Dry Out Potting Soil Quickly?
Soaking Wet Pots Fast?
How To Fix Waterlogged Plant Soil?
The Best Way To Dry Out Wet Pots?
Waterlogging Potting Soil Causes Damage To Plants And You Can’t Do Anything About It!
Dry Out Wet Pots Quickly?
Wet soils are very common in containers. They are often found in the bottom of the container where they accumulate moisture from evaporation and condensation. The problem with wet soil is that it causes damage to your plants and makes them susceptible to disease. The solution to fixing waterlogged soil is to drain it. Drainage helps to prevent the buildup of moisture in the root zone which can cause problems later on. If you have been watering your plants regularly then there will be no need for draining. However, if you haven’t been doing so, then now is the time to do so because waterlogged soil does not stay wet forever and eventually it becomes too much for your plants and they die. Luckily, if this has happened to you, there is a way to save your plants and all you have to do is drain the water from the bottom of the container. We will explain how to do this effectively with pots and outdoor containers.
You can save your plants if you act quickly! (Just don’t forget to feed them!)
Drainage in containers is different from drainage in your garden because the water does not flow away as easily. In pots, the drainage holes can easily become clogged with soil and this causes an accumulation of water which in turn causes your plants to be waterlogged.
With the methods described below you can successfully drain your pots and keep your plants healthy.
Step 1: Clean The Drainage Holes
If the container has drainage holes then these need to be clear so that water can escape freely. You should check these every now and again because they can become blocked with soil and debris.
If they are then you should use a thin object like a chop stick or pencil to clear them.
Step 2: Find A Suitable Location For The Container
Find somewhere where water can evaporate naturally from the container and ensure that there is good air flow around the pot. You could get a tray of some sort and put sand in it.
This will act as a reservoir for excess water to drain into therefore removing the need for drainage holes and preventing waterlogging.
Step 3: Move The Container To Its New Location
If you have chosen to put the container somewhere with more suitable conditions, move the container there and then fill it with soil. Be sure that the container does not tip over though as this can cause the soil to become waterlogged if there are drainage issues.
Waterlogged Outdoor Containers
If the container is directly in the soil (as opposed to on top of it in some sort of tray) then you need to make a hole in the soil for excess water to drain into. You should make the hole no deeper than 8 inches and ideally 4-6 inches will do.
Then place a container (suitable for the size of your plant) in the hole you have dug and fill it with sand. This will store any excess water that drains from the container and allow it to evaporate into the atmosphere.
Dealing With Waterlogged Soil
If you are lucky, you may not have had drainage issues and the soil may just be very wet. If this is the case then you should remove any excess water from the container and then place a layer of small stones on the bottom of it.
This will prevent the soil from holding too much water which will prevent waterlogging in the future.
Feeding Your Soil Needs Some Attention Too
The problem with having wet soil is that it can’t hold nutrients for your plants very well. You should feed your soil to improve its ability to do this.
You can do this by mixing in some organic fertilizer or some slow release pellets. Follow the instructions on the pack but generally you just mix this in with the top few inches of soil.
After doing this, water your plant well to get the soil nice and moist and then keep an eye on it to see when it needs watering next. You’ll probably find that you need to water it a bit less than you were doing before!
Too Much Water, What Can Be Done?
The main problem with having a container that holds too much water is the weight of it when it’s sitting on the bottom of it. If the container has drainage holes in then you need to take the steps mentioned above to ensure that water can easily drain away from the container.
If you do not have drainage holes in your container then you need to drill some in before doing anything else. Ideally you should drill a few about 1 inch from the bottom and several in the middle so that water can drain from all areas.
If your container is heavy when you place it on the soil then you need to find a way of lightening it. You could remove some of the soil or grow your plants in a smaller container and then transfer it into this larger one once waterlogging is under control.
Another solution is to fill the bottom of the container with stones before placing the container on top. This will stop the container from sitting in water and thus preventing waterlogging.
One Last Tip – Check The Container Before You Plant Your Seeds
One thing that can easily be forgotten is to check the container for faults before you start filling it with soil.
Check all joins are are securely fixed together and that there are no cracks or faults in the glazing. Any of these could cause your new container to break while its full of wet soil and this would not be good.
As with many of the mistakes you can make while growing cannabis, it’s much easier to prevent waterlogging than to fix it once its occurred!
Watering Your Containerized Plants
Watering your container grown cannabis plants can be a bit more challenging than planting them in the ground but it’s certainly not difficult if you prepare correctly and keep at it. Here are a few tips to help you out.
Make sure your plants are in the right size containers.
Make sure your containers have adequate drainage.
Water your plants well and allow the water to drain out the bottom.
Do not water again until the soil is dry an inch or so down.
How Often Do I Need To Water My Containerized Plants?
This is always the big problem for people growing their own cannabis. People who have grown cannabis in the ground never seem to have problems with this but as soon as the plant is growing in a container it seems to be a different story.
When growing your plants in containers you need to make sure you don’t over water them. Cannabis plants like most plants like “moist” soil but they don’t like “soaked” soil.
You should be careful with the fertilizer you use too because this can also have a tendency to make the soil more liable to stay wet for long periods.
So the best rule with watering is to check the soil and ONLY water it again if the soil is dry at a depth of an inch or so.
If you’re still not sure about your plant’s water requirements try looking at its roots. If they are always wet then you need to water more often and if they are just slightly damp then you’re doing great.
Also, when we talk about watering your containerized plants we’re talking about the soil itself staying moist not the water dropper/bottle itself. You should be watering your plants with enough water that is soak through the soil but not sitting in a pool at the base of the plant for more than a few minutes.
Eventually you’ll develop a feel for how much water your soil likes and you’ll be able to tell by just feeling the weight of the pot (After years of practice, haha).
Do not put plants in full sun
When placing your containers outdoors make sure they are getting some shade from the sun especially in the afternoons. If you place them in an area that gets no shade then they will not last long if at all.
Sources & references used in this article:
Decomposition of rice residues in tropical soils: IV. The effect of rice straw on nitrogen fixation by heterotrophic bacteria in some Philippine soils by T Yoneyama, KK Lee, T Yoshida – Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, 1977 – Taylor & Francis
Immobilization of zinc fertilizer in flooded soils monitored by adapted DTPA soil test by SE Johnson‐Beebout, JG Lauren… – … Soil Science and Plant …, 2009 – Taylor & Francis
Iron‐induced oranging disease of rice in relation to physico‐chemical changes in a flooded oxisol by RH Howeler – Soil Science Society of America Journal, 1973 – Wiley Online Library
Transformation and availability to rice of nitrogen and phosphorus in waterlogged soils by WH Patrick Jr, IC Mahapatra – Advances in Agronomy, 1968 – Elsevier
Dry season soil conditions and soil nitrogen availability to wet season wetland rice by W Ventura, I Watanabe – Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, 1978 – Taylor & Francis
Microbial ecology of flooded rice soils by I Watanabe, C Furusaka – Advances in microbial ecology, 1980 – Springer
Root signals and the regulation of growth and development of plants in drying soil by WJ Davies, J Zhang – Annual review of plant biology, 1991 – annualreviews.org