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How to Improve Water Retention in Your Soil

Water retention is an important factor when you’re growing plants and vegetables in your garden. If your soil doesn’t retain water, it can dry up quickly and the plants will wilt. This is a tricky issue because if the soil retains too much water, it can affect the plants adversely too. So, you have to get it just right. The first step will be to purchase a soil moisture meter and use it in your garden to ensure that your soil has just the right amount of water. It’s crucial to note that some vegetables and plants require less water. Growing the right crops together will require planning on your end. While a certain amount of water may be ideal for some plants, the same amount may be too much for other species of plants. If you plant both these species side by side, you’ll be in a quandary. One of the two is not going to do well, either because of too much water or a lack of it. So, do your research and plan your garden and crops accordingly.

watering your garden

Container Gardening

If you’re doing organic container gardening, it’s best to use a potting mix that retains water well. There are many different types of potting mixes available and they’re not all made equal. Speak to the person in charge at the gardening supplies store and find out which types of potting soils and mixes are better for retaining water. You’ll not need to worry about the soil holding too much water because the holes at the bottom of the containers will allow the excess water to drain out.

Outdoor Gardens

Outdoor gardens present different challenges because the garden will be exposed to the elements. If the weather is particularly hot, the soil will become dry fast. One of the best ways to keep the soil hydrated will be to install sprinklers that go off at timed intervals. This will ensure that the soil gets sufficient water daily. Time your watering sessions if you’re doing it manually with a watering can. Ideally, it’s best to water the garden in the morning or late evening. If it’s sweltering weather and you water the garden at midday, the water will quickly evaporate because the ground is hot. Watering during cooler times will allow the water to sink deep into the soil. Another method will be to cover the garden with about 2 to 3 inches of mulch. Then water the garden deeply once a week. Give it more water than necessary so that the moisture goes in deep. This is better than just watering the ground shallowly with a watering can. Planting your vegetables close together can not only help the soil retain moisture but also prevents weeds. Since the leaves will grow close to each other and shade the soil, there will be less evaporation. The shade will also prevent weeds from growing because there’s not enough sunlight. The soil you use will also determine how much water it can retain. If you’re using sandy, porous soil, it will not be able to retain water as well as loamy soil does. Clay soil retains water well but you’ll need to be cautious when watering so that it doesn’t become waterlogged. So, get suitable soil for your plants and garden.

The methods mentioned above work very well if you apply them. At the end of the day, it all boils down to watching the weather and using a moisture meter to detect if your plants have enough water. Water the soil regularly, use a layer of mulch on the top layer of the soil and make sure that there are very few weeds in your garden. That’s really all you need to do.

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