Watering in soil: How dry is too dry?

  • Thread starter Gurtgurt
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Gurtgurt

Gurtgurt

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I've read the stickies about watering but I don't have any moisture meters. I judge when to water based on weight.
I hear it's good to let media dry back, but I also hear it's not good to let soil get hydrophobic.

If I wait 2 days pots are light but I can still press the sides of the fabric pots.
If I wait 3 days the fabric pot is super dry and fairly solid. (This is when I water, still before significant droopage in plants or pants).

Which is better? Super dry and hydrophobic top; or just light but not "bone dry"?

2 points for the right answer.
 
fishbuds

fishbuds

269
93
personally, i do like very dry cycles, but not everytime. when drying way back to air light, add yucca to your feed, it will help with absorption, intake, and a few other things.

i do not want to see wilt everytime i water, that would not be productive, imho, if i go a whole grow without wilt that would be fine too, watering in soil is an art. practice makes perfect, as all environments are different.

.02
 
Mostlymooses

Mostlymooses

310
93
Light but not wilting/drooping. Letting your plants go for longer periods between watering is rumored to increase drought tolerance but who knows if there is any science behind it.
 
E9noxis

E9noxis

1,031
163
I go 3 to 4 days. Really dry. It takes a few minutes of water a little and wait for it to soak in before I can freely water it.

So, my vote goes to hydrophobic and no wilt
 
Oldchucky

Oldchucky

Supporter
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Less than 12 bucks and they work. Can help locate dry spots and double check your watering practices specially in larger pots. Living soil you don’t want to dry out totally and soil in general you don’t want to water to runoff. Yes it’s all about eliminating guesswork and the more you can eliminate usually the better with the result. I even checked seedling cups with it.
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fishbuds

fishbuds

269
93
I dont wait that long because it's more difficult to get the water in. It causes all the water to fall down the sides and pour out the cloth pot.
i like plastic indoors, even outdoors too sometimes over cloth. for me, cloth pots have to be huge, so they dont need to be watered constantly. then they can t be moved around easily. so i go plastic or inground.

have some 20 gal smarts around, may plant one or two for fun, and make worm farms out of the others.

plastic, you can just fill the pot up and soak the whole media, without side runoff or touchy feely watering practices. i need to be able to just pour and go ;)

another trick is top dressing with peat and worm castings and a little perlite. helps fill in air pockets. and yucca or some other sapponin source to help with avoiding hyrdophobic soil.

but i digress...

cheers

.02
 
E9noxis

E9noxis

1,031
163
I like that cloth pots help prevent over watering and sitting water. I hear it's harder to develop anaerobic bacteria this way. Plastic pots hold on to too much. (Not that I have the experience to say either way)

Also, my lst clips work great with cloth edges

Screenshot 20220327 114736 Amazon Shopping
 
Madbud

Madbud

3,369
263
I dont wait that long because it's more difficult to get the water in. It causes all the water to fall down the sides and pour out the cloth pot.
Its also how you learn to water slowly. Another advantage of cloth is you can dry the soil quickly anytime with a fan, especially the bottom. You cant do that in buckets.
 

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