• Home Home

Gardener warns against common watering method that leaves your plants thirsty: '[This] won't actually help your plants'

"Only the top layer is wet."

"It helps lock in moisture when it’s hot and dry.”

Photo Credit: TikTok

You may not think twice about the way you water your plants since it's a pretty self-explanatory activity. But if you only give them a quick spritz, it may not be enough to keep your plants hydrated.

TikToker Green Thumb Diaries (@greenthumbdiaries), an urban gardener from Toronto, shared a plant hack on her account that can help your garden thrive while saving water in the process. 

@greenthumbdiaries Gardening Hack 1 - Why a quick watering won't actually help your plants grow! #gardeninghacks #gardeningtips #wateringplants #soiltips #wateringplantseveryday ♬ original sound - Green Thumb Diaries

In the video, she used a hose to water her plants, moving it back and forth a few times across the garden. However, she said "[this] won't actually help your plants grow" in the caption and showed viewers how to level up their gardening game. 

"Your water won't hit the roots since only the top layer is wet," she explained to her audience. "An inexpensive solution is mulch. It helps lock in moisture when it's hot and dry." 

According to the Water Conservation for Lawn and Landscape initiative supported by the USDA, mulching benefits your garden in several ways. The site stated that on hot, windy days, soils lose moisture at a higher rate because of evaporation. That means plants need much more water to stay healthy and hydrated. 

However, "mulch will reduce the amount of water lost to evaporation by shading the soil [and it] acts as an insulator, keeping roots of the plants at a constant temperature," according to the USDA cooperative extension. 

A graphic on the site showed that mulch can increase plant yields because it reduces rainwater evaporation by up to 70%. Since the soil will retain more moisture, you won't have to water as often, helping you save money on water bills and conserve water — a win-win for you and the planet.

The USDA water conservation resource recommends adding two to four inches of mulch in your garden for best results. However, it's important to choose the right mulch since plants vary in their water requirements. You can learn more about the basics of mulching here to help you get started.  

Many viewers were curious about the plant hack and had other suggestions for fellow plant lovers.

"Peatmoss works well too," one user commented. 

Another TikToker gave some helpful advice: "Just [be] careful … some plants hate the mulch next to their main stem." 

The TikTok creator replied that it's best to keep mulch at least two inches away from stems. 

"Mulch is awesome but make sure the mulch has both the leaves and bark. It not only holds water but also feeds the soil," another viewer chimed in. 

Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider