Most of the planet is covered with water. Despite that, the world is running out of water, freshwater to be precise. Moreover, when you overwater your plants, you don’t just waste water, but harm the plants as well. If the situation goes really bad, you can search for “tree service near me” and hire professionals to salvage the situation. Let’s figure out how you can prevent overzealous watering this growing season.
- The world is running out of water– Human beings can only use just one percent of the water available on the blue planet. That’s bad news since water usage has tripled globally over the last 50 years. The United States has faced severe droughts across several states and that has forced regulators to launch more state and federal programs to reign down everyone’s water consumption.
While people have been waking up to the water shortage and limited dishwasher and washer use without full load and switched to more sustainable lawns with native species, the overwatering problem remains when it comes to gardens. People tend to overwater their plants during the growing season and don’t realize that they are doing more harm than severe drought conditions.
- Waterlogging – When you overwater your plants, the soil surrounding the roots of your plants may be oversaturated and that’s called waterlogging. When water doesn’t drain away fast enough, the roots start to rot, and it can kill your precious plants. Naturally, your plants are exposed to waterlogging during rainy seasons where heavy downpours flood your gardens. However, you can also cause waterlogging by overwatering your plants, both indoors and those planted outside.
- Effects of waterlogging – Your plants don’t want to be dry. However, they are in a major crisis when they are waterlogged. As mentioned above, overwatering can drown and suffocate plant roots and this impedes their ability to absorb nutrients, exchange gasses, and supply the rest of the plant with food, nutrients, and water needed for survival.
However, that’s not all. When the soil is extremely wet, it invites the growth of harmful algae, fungi, and bacteria on the roots. The infection can even spread to the rest of the plant, release a foul smell and kill your plant within a week. Saturated soil also allows for the accumulation of ethylene gas and carbon dioxide which can worsen the situation for the roots.
Waterlogged soil is also easy to compact. It also makes the soil pack densely together and does not allow water to escape easily. Gardeners know that they need the soil to be loose and aerated so that water can drain out and gasses can flow. It also reduces resistance when plant roots try to dig their way in and spread out deeper and farther from the base. Waterlogging essentially kills off a healthy root system and eventually the plant.
- Signs of an overwatered plant – While overwatering is harmful to the plants, it’s not a hopeless situation. If you can identify an overwatered plant in time, you can strategize and save that plant from dying. Let’s check out the signs of an overwatered plant.
The most astonishing thing about the symptoms of an overwatered plant is that it’s often the same as that of an underwatered plant. That’s why you need to be careful while inspecting and assessing these symptoms. For instance, a plant that’s overwatered or underwatered both have wilting leaves. Make sure to thoroughly investigate the symptoms. You don’t want to worsen the problem by watering an overwatered plant.
Another symptom of an overwatered plant is yellowing or dead leaves. Even new growing leaves would start falling off. This happens since waterlogged soil gets the nitrogen leached out of it. Apart from yellowing, a waterlogged plant may also show scorched or brown spots on the leaves or entire leaves that turn brown. An overwatered plant may also suffer from edema and start showing soaked and bulging spots or blisters.
To make sure that the symptoms are not for an underwatered plant, check the soil as well. Waterlogged soil may have some form of residue or scum buildup at the surface. You can also get a stick and poke deep into the soil near the plant. If it comes out with extremely soggy soil, the plant must have been overwatered.
- Saving overwatered plants – To start saving your overwatered plant, you need to assess the damage. Check the discoloration and wilting level and check if water is pooling on the soil around the plant. When you have assessed the damage levels, move on to the next step of draining out excess water.
If your plant is potted, you can add more drainage, by poking a few more holes at the bottom. You can also aerate the soil and allow more air to move in. However, the best move is to completely dig out the plant and shift it to a different spot or re-pot the plant with new and dry soil. If you dig out the plant, check for dying roots and leaves and clip them out to prevent the spread of infection. You can also use a fungicide if you find any black spots of mold growth on the plant.
- Preventing overwatering – In the future, you need to make sure to prevent overwatering your plants. Before you water your plants, check the soil. If it looks dark and moist, keep the hose or watering can away. Water only when the soil goes dry. If you have an automatic dripping system, install a soil moisture sensor and let the meter administer your garden’s watering system. It’s also a good idea to not water your plants after a heavy downpour.
Water is a precious resource, and it should be conserved. You can do that and reduce your water bill to some extent by not overwatering your plants. Overwatering can harm your plants. If you are not able to save your plants in that situation, you can always search for “tree service near me” and hire professionals for the job.