over watering - Knowledgebase Question

mercer island, Wa
Avatar for fjohnlundber
Question by fjohnlundber
August 11, 2010
a lot of my potted plants seem to do poorly.i have a soil measuring tool for moisture, and it shows the top of the plants as dry, but the middle / bottom as wet. all pots have pebble based drain holes, so i'm baffled about how much to water, how little, etc. !!! also my gerbera are attacked by slugs, etc. even though i use the best snail/slug killer on the market. HELP!!!

Answer from NGA
August 11, 2010
I use the iron based Sluggo to protect my plants from slugs. Give it a try - I think you'll be happy with the results. As for watering plants in containers, it can be difficult to judge just when to water. Start by immersing the containers in a larger container of water to make sure the soil is completely moistened. When no more air bubbles rise to the surface, the soil is saturated. Then allow the containers to drain. When no more water runs from the drainage holes, pick each one up and note how heavy it feels. Wait a few days and pick each one up again. If it feels lightweight, it's time to water; if it still feels heavy, you won't need to water for a few more days. Eventually you'll get a feel for how light or heavy the container is and whether or not it's time to water. I sometimes stick my finger down into the potting soil. If it is still moist an inch below the surface, you won't need to water for a few days; if it is dry one inch beneath the surface, it's time to water. Hope this information helps!

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