Love ‘Em to Death

Last week Adam and I transplanted the seedlings from their starter kits to larger flats. The seedling’s love the extra leg room and are beginning to look like plants.

Zucchini, Cucumbers and Kale... getting big!

Zucchini, Cucumbers and Kale… getting big!

While we were transplanting the seedling’s I noticed that the tomato plants didn’t look so great. They didn’t have a good green color. They looked… purple.

As I pulled the flat closer to me I realized it was kind of heavy and with further investigation I found that the plants were sitting in about a half inch of water.

Water is important for plants, but these guys were saturated.

We found that the cause was from Adam and me both watering them each day. I had been traveling for work so Adam thought I wasn’t able to get to it. We didn’t talk about it. One thing led to another… and the seedlings were over watered.

Yes. Like I just said, watering your plants is important. And necessary. But, there’s a fine line.

Over watering is actually worse than under watering. Over watering prevents a plant from obtaining nutrients and oxygen to develop their roots.

You would think that the more attention you give your plants, the better they would do.

But, that’s not the case.

You can actually love your plants to death.

Fortunately, with the tomato plants, we found it early and acted quickly. We put them into new flats with new soil. The tomatoes are looking much better and my mind is running wild with images of all the caprese salads that will grace my table come August.

Tomato plants looking better and getting adult leaves.

Tomato plants looking better and getting adult leaves.

I have fallen victim to loving a plant to complete death before. I bought a rosemary plant and thought it would be so cute to grow on my kitchen island in a large, rustic coffee mug. I didn’t know rosemary needs to be in pot that drains water well.

My coffee mug did not do the job.

BMOC, Herbs-2

The old water sat in the bottom of the mug causing the root to rot which prevented water and nutrients getting to the plant. What happened is that it looked like it was dry and I kept watering it. Soon, the plant was dead.

I now have a rosemary plant in a Terra cotta pot that I water when the soil dries out and it is doing great.

Much better!

Much better!

Here are a few other watering tips:

– Gardens typically need about an inch of rain each week. But, like a healthy diet, everything in moderation. One inch in twenty minutes isn’t great for a plant. Keep an eye on the weather and supplement as needed.
– If the weather gets particularly hot and dry, you may need to water more. And, if it’s cool it may not need as much.
– Water plants in the morning. This ensures that water dries off, instead of staying on the plant all through the night making it susceptible to fungus and bacteria. And, if you water them in the middle of the day, the water might evaporate before it’s absorbed by the plant.
– Provide water directly to plants roots versus spraying all over.
– Get a sprayer head that is designed for gardens. It will ensure the rate of the spray isn’t too strong and some are designed to make it easy to reach in-between plants.

Love your plants.

… Just not to death.