Are You Overwatering Your Garden?
by Mark Freeman
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Take a look at your garden. You can see that it isn't doing as well as you'd hoped. The lower leaves on your flowers are turning yellow and falling off and you're losing flowers. The plants actually look droopy and wilted, even though you've been watering them faithfully. Well the truth is, you may be watering your garden too much.

Overwatering your flowers and plants can be just as damaging to them as underwatering. More plants die from being over watered than not being watered enough. If you notice the symptoms mentioned above in your outside garden or in your houseplants, you need to pay attention to how much you are watering. One simple way to see if you are overwatering is to check the roots of your plant. Rotting roots are a certain indication of overwatering.

Inside your home your houseplants are affected by rapid changes in room temperature. Heat is drying, but air conditioning dries out a plant, too. Inside your plants may suffer from not receiving enough light. Are you regularly fertilizing your plants? If you are, are you following closely the manufacturer's suggested amount of fertilizer?

As a general rule, your outside garden should receive one inch of water each week. Remember that this is a general rule and you will have to observe your garden. The amount of watering you need to do will have to be increased or decreased based on the time of year and climate. Even as we transition from a hot and dry summer where the sun scorched your garden daily to pleasantly cool sunny autumn days, your garden still needs water. Check the soil in your garden before you water. Is it dry and crumbly, or is it muddy? Think how much rain you have received the week before. If there has been a half inch of rain already this week you don't want to overwater.

A helpful tool to prevent overwatering is a rain gauge. When you water your outside garden, water it slowly so that the water will not run off. Watering slowly also helps the water to seep deeper into the roots. Water your outside garden only in the morning. Watering during the heat of day just wastes water due to evaporation. Watering at night can cause fungal growth.

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©2005 Mark Freeman. All rights reserved.

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