Are You Over-Watering Your Garden?

A watering can is pouring water over plants

Plants need lots of water to grow. However, too much water can be just as harmful to your plants as not enough water. Over-watering your garden is a very common challenge. However, it is possible to rescue your plants and make a few small changes to see your garden thrive again. 

The signs of giving your plants too much water look similar to under-watering. Whether you are an experienced gardener or this is your first garden, it can be difficult to tell the difference. Are you over-watering your garden? Here are a few ways you can find out. 

What are the signs you are over-watering your garden?

1. The Soil is Always Wet

Is the soil around your plants always wet? Does your plant look like it’s wilting, but it should have plenty of water? You may be over-watering your garden. The roots of your plants are where they intake water, food, and oxygen. If your roots are always covered in too much water, they won’t be able to get the air they need to breathe. 

Make sure you are using healthy soil that allows for oxygen to exist between particles of soil. It’s possible that your garden is in a pot or a location where the soil is not draining well enough. Using a raised garden bed is one way you can help control the amount of water your garden gets. Allow your plant the time that it needs to soak up water and breathe in between waterings. 

2. Leaves Build Water Pressure

Another sign that you are over-watering your garden is when your leaves start to absorb more water than they can use. This causes water pressure to build in the cells of your plant’s leaves. Eventually, the pressure builds up and the cells will burst. This leads to blisters or lesions on your plant’s leaves that can leave behind discolored warts. 

If you are seeing cells burst, cut back how often you water to allow the leaves to use up the water they already have. You may need to use a hand pruner to remove leaves that become damaged from high water pressure. 

3. Leaves Wilt and Turn Brown

Do your plants have brown, wilting leaves? There could be two reasons for this, and both have to do with how much you water. If you are under-watering your plants, you will notice wilted leaves that feel dry and crispy to the touch. However, if you are over-watering your plants, you will see wilted leaves that feel soft and limp. 

You may also notice that just the tips of the leaves turn brown. This is another sign of over-watering. 

4. Mushy Stems

If the base of your plant’s stem feels mushy or unstable, you are over-watering it. You may begin to notice a rotting odor coming from the soil of your plan or see fungus or mold growing directly on top of the soil. If you have reached this point, it is difficult to rescue your plant from over-watering. 

How can I rescue my over-watered plants?

With just a few small changes, you can often rescue plants that have had too much to drink. If you notice that you have been over-watering your garden, immediately cut back on how much you are watering and pay more attention to your plants. Give the plants time to absorb the water they already have first. Then, you can adjust your watering schedule. 

Checking your soil regularly is a great way to see if your plants need additional water. Do this by pushing your finger 1-2 inches into the soil. If the soil is moist, it’s a good sign that your plants have enough water, and you may want to reduce how much water you give them. If the soil is dry, it’s time to water again. 

You could also try using moisture meters. They are inexpensive devices that you can insert into the root ball to gauge how much moisture is in the soil. Using moisture meters can remove the guesswork from watering your garden and tell you exactly when your plants need additional moisture. 

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