As much iberis (candytuft), oenothera (pink primrose) and bathes pink (a great dianthus) as I have around — it seems that I always have places that need some. They make the borders so colorful in spring. So every year I try to plant more of each in spots that need it.
My timing is not specific — just whenever I get to it — usually during bloom — which is when I remember and when I can see where it needs to go.
I don’t pay a lot of attention to them after they’re planted. It’s pretty much stick it in the ground and forget it.
As I walked around the border with a fist full of oenothera root divisions the other day, I was surprised to see that many of those thin wisps of stems and roots that I had planted last year actually made it.
That got me to thinking about watering. It’s very popular and in my opinion very overrated. I’m about the only gardener I know of that doesn’t water. Of course, the primary reason that all came about was because I didn’t have any means of watering or buying any kind of system for watering when I started gardening. So — I never watered — unless you count carrying a bucket or two of water to certain plants now and again. After 34 years — I consider watering just something else to do and I don’t need another task.
It seems to be pretty well understood that it’s bad to over-water seedlings because their roots need to breathe and too much water keeps them from doing that. But few understand that the same principle can apply to plants in the ground.
It can be a wonderful thing to furnish plants water during a drought. But with watering being so popular — and considered “the thing you have to do” if you garden — I think most people over-water and really don’t have a clue as to when plants need water and when they don’t.
Anyone I’ve known who waters, seems to go by the soil surface. If that’s dry, they think the plants need to be watered. Some at least will stick their finger in the ground an inch or two to see if it’s moist, but most just can’t resist watering the minute the surface seems dry.
Plants and people are a lot alike when it comes to watering. We all need to be watered, but if we’re not allowed to experience some hard times (no watering) then we don’t put down deep roots. Deep roots hold us firm and allow us to make it when the going gets tough.
My plants have deep roots and they make it through almost everything without my assistance.
Organic Gardening is easy, effective, efficient and it’s a lot healthier.
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