Thursday, April 28, 2011


Water plays a vital role in the health of your plants.   Did you know that about 99% of a plant is water?  And, of course, water is necessary for absorption of nutrients.  But, can a plant get too much water?   Can excess water be a problem?  With all the heavy rains and moisture in our area, these are good questions to discuss.  When there is an abundance of water, the plant top can actually wilt for lack of water, while it's roots are completely submerged.  This is because the roots are incapable of absorbing water and nutrients because oxygen is low, or non-existent when it's water-logged, and, in turn, the plant top doesn't get the water circulated to it.  Farmers experience this when their fields are flooded and water-logged this time of year.  Gardeners can also have similar problems.  The ideal soil is one that can absorb an abundance of water and its organic substances, but also one in which the passages between the organic and mineral particles are filled with air.  A well-drained soil is one where surplus water runs off quickly and dries out fairly quick after a rain or watering.  A water-logged soil is just the opposite--it contains too much water and little air.  Soil can also become waterlogged if it contains too much peat moss.  Amend, if necessary. If you have a problem with drainage beneath your topsoil, you can correct it by installing drainage tiles or pipes--or, raised beds are becoming a popular alternative.  You can also make sure that your beds are higher in the center, sloping downward.  This ensures that water runs away from your plants--not many plants tolerate 'standing' water.  With the recent heavy rains, many gardeners have also had problems with some root rot on their tubers, rhizomes and corms.  If this happens to you, address the problem as soon as possible.  One way to remedy this is to remove the rotting area by scraping it out with a spoon, or cutting out with a sharp knife, followed by washing with a mixture of 1 part Clorox bleach to 9 parts water.  Let dry thoroughly, then cover with soil.  You may have to take out the whole rhizome, corm, or tuber if the problem is too widespread.   Watch your plants closely--notice little problems and correct them before they become big problems.   Sunny, drier days will correct many of the problems we're presently having in our flower and vegetable gardens.  I look forward to those days!
Susanne Holland Spicker Mother, Grandmother, Homemaker, Gardener, Teacher, Photographer

Passion is defined as the love of, or the object(s) of affection and emotion. I am passionate about family, friends, flowers, food, photography and fabulous music! This blog is dedicated to those loves.

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