We might be watering our potted plants wrong — but an Instagram user has a simple hack for fixing this common gardening mistake.
In a recent video, Instagram user Joe (@joesgarden.official) demonstrates an easy way to ensure that your plants are getting enough water.
First, Joe shows how people often water their potted plants, giving a small lemon tree a refreshing-looking shower by pouring a watering can onto the surface of the pot’s soil.
“If you water your potted plants like this, then you may be causing more harm than good,” Joe says in the video.
He goes on to explain that while containers and pots can be “a great way to grow crops if you are renting or only have limited space,” planting this way often leads to ineffective watering methods.
The video shows a bucket of soil that has been watered from the top, which looks soaked and hydrated from above — but Joe sets the record straight.
“Although the soil may seem saturated, dig a little bit deeper and it can often be bone dry,” he says in the video. Joe picks up a handful of dirt and reveals that only a couple of inches below the surface, the soil looks as though there’s no water at all.
Joe has an alternative method that ensures potted plants will receive a more even distribution of water: placing the entire pot or container in a larger container (or tray) filled with water. This way, the soil soaks up the water through the holes in the bottom of the pot, which will make the soil healthier because it’s more evenly watered.
For larger plants, Joe recommends digging a hole in the soil inside of the pot, putting a smaller container into the hole, and pouring water into the container instead of on the surface of the plant.
Instagram users expressed their enthusiasm for Joe’s hack in the comment section of the post and also shared their own tips.
“Definitely trying this!” one user wrote.
“Using a soil mixture that’s super heavy in Peat, as is the mix he’s using, definitely will do this. A good way to avoid this is to rehydrate your peat based mix before using it so its already thoroughly moistened when repotting,” another user said.
“Put soil that you haven’t dried out before watering and it will be fine,” a third user commented.
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