Pot Plants. Over Watered?

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Pot Plants. Over Watered?

Postby abrogard » Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:50 pm

I suspect I have been overwatering my pot plants. So this week I have severely cut down. I won't water now until I see the leaves drooping.

I used to water them daily because that's what the garden at large seems to need...

I have a climbing bean in a bucket that is always yellow - it has produced fruit but I don't like the look of it. I've fed it just like the other plants but it won't green up. The leaves are quite hard. I wonder if the problem is having it in a bucket.. do the roots get too hot in such an environment?

IMG_9581 [640x480].JPG
yellow bean plant


you can see the poor looking yellowed leaves

IMG_9582 [640x480].JPG
yellowed leaves



and you can see the healthy looking young new leaf since I stopped pouring the water in

IMG_9583 [640x480].JPG
greener leaves


Similarly there's a cucumber or zucchini which displays yellow leaves and is also in a bucket and I can't get it to green up, either.

But since I cut down on the water I fancy the newer leaves are greener and better. What do the members think? Am I on the right track here?

Image

As I'm writing this and looking at the pics I realise I should have built wooden boxes around them to protect them from the sun and find the answer to that question for myself....... always a day late and a dollar short....

:)
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Re: Pot Plants. Over Watered?

Postby bubba louie » Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:34 pm

It's a bit hard to tell from a photo because the results of over and under watering can look surprisingly similar. I usually poke my finger into the mix and don't water until it feels dry.

Do you use a premium potting mix. It could be a bit hungry.
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Re: Pot Plants. Over Watered?

Postby abrogard » Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:48 pm

Ah, yes... I was thinking that.. similar results either way...

My mix always feels damp.. always. I was pushing more water because yellow and feeling surprise that the dampness was not sufficient moisture (as I thought) for the plant. But, yes, maybe I've been over watering...

It should feel really dry?

I mean, I can tell 'dry', levels of moist, difficult, but 'dry', not a problem, I can tell 'dry'.

It's not a premium potting mix. In fact I don't use pure potting mix any more. I mix various proportions of potting mix and garden soil and maybe compost, maybe sand......

Mostly I think I've been doing (back then when I planted in those buckets) 50-50 potting mix and garden soil.
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Re: Pot Plants. Over Watered?

Postby bubba louie » Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:39 pm

If it feels damp as far down as your finger reaches don't water.

Cut out the garden soil, it really doesn't work well in pots. IMHO

You could try mulching the top of the pots if you think they're drying out too much. Just keep it clear of the stem.
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Re: Pot Plants. Over Watered?

Postby abrogard » Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:28 pm

Always feels damp at the top, never mind as far down as the finger reaches, when I've watered in the past. So that's pretty definite information. Thanks for that. It is something to go on.

I have watered either because of yellow looking leaves, thinking the plant is not flourishing because of lack of water, or because of limp leaves in the heat.

It begins to look like I've just got to get used to limp leaves... they're natural.

Of course I know they're natural. It's the degree of limpness. I fear mine are too limp.

Perhaps 'too limp' is really, really rare.

I'm going to experiment anyway. Another hot spell next week. I'll leave them unwatered no matter what they look like as long as I feel damp in the soil.

You don't think the bucket thing is a problem in itself? Not enough soil for the plants? Getting too hot through the sides? I can build some kind of shelter round each bucket I guess.
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Re: Pot Plants. Over Watered?

Postby bubba louie » Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:18 pm

I haven't had much experience growing vege in containers so I'll leave that for someone else to comment on.
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Re: Pot Plants. Over Watered?

Postby Pam » Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:40 am

They're quite possibly getting too warm, but also, do you have drainage holes in the sides of the buckets or just the bottom? If you only have holes in the base of the buckets, with them sitting on the paver as they are, the holes are likely to be blocked to an extent, so they're possibly not draining as well as they should. Apart from the heat the buckets themselves are getting from the sun, the pavers are likely to also be generating a bit more.
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Re: Pot Plants. Over Watered?

Postby abrogard » Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:56 am

That drainage hole thing is very likely - I only drilled 10mm holes in the bottom. I'll put some in the sides at the bottom. And I will build some wooden sides/masks/shelters whatever for them.

Thanks, all.

:)
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