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#76208 Jun 25th, 2007 at 01:42 PM
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Alys Offline OP
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Hallo!

I'm a newbie here and also have just become a new resident of Orlando. I'm in an apartment, and have just started up my balcony garden. I have, once again, come up against the bane of my existance: When the soil in the planters starts to dry out it pulls away from the sides of the pot. Then when I try to water the plant, the water runs right down the side of the pot and out the bottom without getting the soil wet. At home in Toronto this was really not a problem I came up against all that often, but darn it, it's HOT here and the soil in my hanging vincas dried out in 2 days! Note: hanging. Picture it, me on my tiptoes UNDER the planter, when, SURPRISE! The water has run straight out the bottom.

I got out my ladder and brought the plants down and gave them a soak in the sink, so now they're moist again. My question is: should I water daily to keep the soil moist or should I let it dry out some and then stuff soil down the sides? Ultimately, I don't want to have to pull down the hanging baskets every week to re-inflate the soil!

Your advice is highly anticipated!

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Yes, It sounds like you need to water more often. As often as it needs to not dry out. I live in dry semi-desert Ca and need to water daily also. It is the price you pay for having a generally great climate.


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you can buy a plastic tip for a large pop bottle that will allow a drip to water the plant over an extended period (lee valley sells them) http://www.leevalley.com/garden/page.aspx?c=2&p=10408&cat=2,2280,54307&ap=1
also if you pack the plant with sphagnum moss it will absorb water and keep the soil moist for a longer period

Last edited by dan@modernblacksmith; Jun 25th, 2007 at 03:40 PM.
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Yeah! Another Floridian! I'm in Brandon, right next to Tampa and I have the same problem. House plants get watered once a week, but outdoors and in a pot!!!! The ones that have survived get a good watering whenever I think of it. I'm afraid you'll have to do the same. There is an additive that is dry gel crystals (can't remember where I got it) you add to the soil and once you water the plant, absorb and hold moisture that the roots soak up later. I'd be happy to tell you it works wonders, but I can't remember which plants I've used it on! Good luck. Let me know if you find a good strategy.


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It does work. The crystals might be available at your local Home Depot or Lowes. Here they run out often.
Another thing is disposable diapers. They also have the crystals in them. I have used the cottony-crystal filling (clean) in the bottom of some of my potted plants. It helps.


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I love the idea of diapering my little darlings! Funny, but brilliant!


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Hi! moss does help! it really retains water so much better than soil. take note though that the surface of the moss might appear dry after sometime but the inside is usually still damp. try sticking your finger or a stick in to check the moisture before watering. overwatering can cause the roots to rot and you wont want your plants to drown! That is a mistake that I have learnt personally!

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I would try rehydrating the soil first, soaking the pot in a sink or tub of lukewarm water for an hour or two depending on the size of the pot. Rewetted soil will absorb water again. Key to making sure the soil doesn't shrink is prevention. Don't let the soil get too dry. Water multiple times a day if necessary or if you don't want to water that frequently try repotting to a larger pot size.

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First things first Alys..........Welcome to the forum....


Miracle Grow company makes potting soil with the moisture crystals right in it. I use alot of this soil in my Pennsylvania flower containers, it does give you a few extra days in between waterings. This soil seems to hold up for the Summer Season, you may need to change it periodically living in Florida.....

You can buy miracle grow soils at WalMart or stores like that.....and it's not too expensive(under $10.00)

Good Luck,

Kratz7

P.S. You could also buy flowerpots with a reservoir built into the bottoms also at WalMart......

Last edited by Kratz7; Jul 22nd, 2007 at 01:06 PM.

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