Successful organic gardening relies on a series of small but vital choices we, as the gardeners make. Something as simple as where you buy the seed you choose to plant is pivotal in today’s world of GMO where even the seed coat can affect the final product.
Some factors, like the volatility of the weather, are out of our hands but other factors like proper hardening, picking the right site for each plant and deciding what day you put your babies in the ground all affect gardening success.
But one of the most important factors is watering. When do you water? How do you deliver the water? How much? How often?
These are all important watering questions but I like to think that “when” is one of the most important. Why? Because timing is vital especially to the “newly transplanted.”
Half a century ago, at my mother’s knee, I learned one tip that has helped me
move vegetable and herb starts from peat pots to the ground, easily.
Transplanting is pretty simple. Dig the hole, peel the peat pot back so that none of it is sticking up above ground level, place the transplant in the new hole and firmly press dirt all around it.
But there is one more step you have to take to help ensure every plant you put in the ground survives. Mom called it, “watering in.”
Watering in is so simple but so many people forget to do it. Once the transplant is in the ground and the earth is tamped down around it, pour a couple of cups of water over the plant. This simple act – watering in – does a couple of critical things. It:
- Ensures the roots of your baby and the dirt are in solid contact.
- Eliminates air pockets that could dry out bits of the baby roots and kill the plant.
- Stops the dirt from acting like a sponge and wicking off the water.
Watering in new transplants works. This year, I transplanted a total of 199 fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers in my garden. I only lost 2. I credit watering in with my success.
It’s been 60 years since my Mom introduced me to this concept and this summer, for the first time, I read about this technique in what has rapidly become my favorite gardening book.
Deep-Rooted Wisdom by Augustus Jenkins Farmer was a gift from my sister-in-law,(I think the best gift I got for my 68th birthday!) Watering in is just one of the common sense ideas for gardening that the author offers.
Read up, give them a try and let me know what happens in your garden!
If you want more watering tips, check out the best soaker hose I have found! It’s also one of the tools I consider “nice to have.” You can garden without it but over time, the hoses will pay for themselves.
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