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Do you find watering your plants a joy or pain?

Posted by meyermike_1micha 5 (mikerno_1@yahoo.com) on
Wed, Oct 17, 12 at 19:42

For me, it all depends.

Let me just start by saying, I only find it fun to do when they are all OUTSIDE and at certain times inside!!!

Yes, I find it a pain to make sure they all get water appropiately and without getting water anywhere except into the pots.

I have to check each of my 6 rooms and make sure that everyone is satisfied and many I have to bring to the sink, shower, or set on top of buckets. I have to trudge up the stairs several time a day, unless I fill a 30 gallon bucket up there with water and dig from that.
Now this is where I loose all the calories.

When they are outside, oooohhh, it is so much fun, easier, convenient to water everything all at once with the hose, and early in the nice moring a.m sun. It is then when I find it very enjoyable and relaxing.

I can't tell you how happy I was, how joyful it was to be able to stick all my plants back outside for days again, and hose them all down, letting water flow freely through them while all the leaves got another good rinse. They look so vividly green, clean, and I love it! Sometimes the rain does a great job for me giving me a break.

What about you, do you find watering your plants a joy all the time, or a pain at certain times? Are you torn?
Do you have to set time aside in your schedule to do so?
What do you have to do to make sure all your plants are watered in a timely matter? What about you with hundreds of them?
Do you check every one of them every day?
Please share how you feel about watering and what you do.

Mike


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Do you find watering your plants a joy or pain?

  • Posted by tifflj 6 Pitts, PA (My Page) on
    Wed, Oct 17, 12 at 19:54

I have only 6 plants right now. But I do find it a joy to water them. I would like to find a better way eventually, but I guess that will come in time when we buy our new home next year. I also find it a joy to wipe down te leaves. It gives me a time to really inspect the plant, talk to it and bond with it. Wish I had more time for that, but with 2 little guys running around, I dont have the time I would like for it. They get done twice a month. I would lie to do it weekly, but what can ya do.

As far a schedule, It is easy for me now because I have 6. But I am OCD, so I would figure a way if I had more.

Some suggestions would be something like a post it note on the plant saying either when last watered or when next wateing would be.
I have an iPhone, so should my plant family increase, I might set up reminders in the calendar. Maybe GW should make an app for that!!!!!!! There is one called Koubachi. I used it for a minute, it would have been helpful had it worked properly.

There is my 2 cents.

tiff


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RE: Do you find watering your plants a joy or pain?

I don't dare count the number of plants I have. And since I tend to keep them indoors year round, I don't know the freedom of hosing them down. Each and every one I water I have to take to the sink or tub and give it a thorough watering. I did that just this morning with my window jades and it took me about twenty minutes (roughly six of them).

I can't say I find it relaxing, but I do feel a sense of accomplishment from it. I definitely do have to set time aside to do it, and generally go by how the plant looks (zebra plants will be all droopy, pony tails will be soft, etc) or the dowel method.

I try to fertilize every time I water. I also have to be diligent about collecting rain water and transferring it to my watering jugs because I only water my Calathea's with rain water. The list goes on, but it's getting a little embarrassing... :)

It's definitely an extensive "hobby"!

Jeni


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RE: Do you find watering your plants a joy or pain?

I don't have that many plants anymore but I do find watering rewarding.


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RE: Do you find watering your plants a joy or pain?

Totally agree it's fun to water outside in the summer. But it's just a major PITA to me while plants are inside. Especially hanging pots, of which I will have a LOT more this year. (That will be interesting - part of me being upset with another part.) Those must be taken to a sink or tub because they have no drain saucers, zero margin for error.

For non-hanging pots, I try to set them all on something waterproof, like cheap vinyl tablecloths, and use whatever drip trays I have and can find. I try not to put so much water that it fills those up. When I've goofed and have to empty those, I may say things that are not rated G. About once per month, I try to give each plant a thorough soaking, and drip-out time in sink or tub. But the rest of the time I just give small sips of water to try not to make a mess.


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RE: Do you find watering your plants a joy or pain?

Like you, love it outside! lol, inside I don't mind really, except for my Bonnie Spider Plant. She is so large, hanging, it's hard to take her out of her hanger w/out breaking her leaves/shoots. I think I have a plan for next time tho.. wish me luck- lol..The other day was a real mess with her! (that plan didn't work out at all!!)

I don't have quite as many like a lot of you, 25? maybe? need to recount.. so I just take them to the kitchen sink, sausers on the table to drain. I look at them all, wipe leaves down, and yes, talk/bond with them too. They all seem to need watering/feeding at different times, so I may do this 2x a week, 2x a month, depending. I have no job or any kind of schedual to keep, so timing is when I get in the mood to do it~ :)

They seem to be needing MORE water now that they are inside, I was really surprised with that. Would a humidifier help with that? Air is really dry here.

Intresting subject :)
Marjie


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RE: Do you find watering your plants a joy or pain?

Hi all.....
most of the time I am on the run and just make sure any that need water get it, from now until spring the plants really don't need much as they are not actively growing..
and in the summer just as Mike and others do I just hose them down to clean the leaves and flush the soil and keep them healthy and growing well....
I love it when I get a day to just water and clean my plants repot if they need it...its so relaxing and its just a good day...and then I get a close look at all my plants, just in case any bugs moved in....have a great day....linda


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RE: Do you find watering your plants a joy or pain?

I love to water! :-D

Josh


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RE: Do you find watering your plants a joy or pain?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Thu, Oct 18, 12 at 22:34

Copy/pasted from a recent post over at 'containers':

Meandering ~~~~~~~~ For any that don't know, I'm a bonsai guy, and I DO loves my plantses, but I doesn't love de watering. I look at watering as a necessary evil, to be attended to so I can enjoy the fun stuff. For me - that would be the pruning, wiring, shaping, even dead-heading of the mixed display plantings scattered around the decks & gardens.

I can pretty much get lost in wiring and pruning my trees, forgetting almost entirely about the passing of time, but what really grabs me and transports me to another place is looking at trees with obvious potential but no firm future yet planned. I'll walk around the gardens & growing benches & pick up a tree, look at it from every angle - plan where it will need roots/branches grafted on, what branches need to be shaped/moved/removed/developed further, or how to rework the tree in such a way that a deficiency might be turned into a natural looking point of interest. For me, that's the zen experience, the most cerebral aspect of bonsai, spending good sized chunks of time that pass unnoticed, dwelling in the plant's future, starting with the tree as it appears at that moment, in hand, then exploring any of an infinite number of divergent paths in the mind's eye, each of which gradually reveal a different tree as you dawdle. If you don't like what you see, backtrack a bit and take a fresh path ...... what diversity you find in the newly conceived tree, revealed as you approach the path's end, can only be limited by your imagination.

Lucky is the manipulator of plants whose skill set can keep pace with his imagination. Mine can't, so I'll content myself with being blessed with a good imagination. ;-)

Al


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RE: Do you find watering your plants a joy or pain?

Hi Mike!!

I will say that i love to water too!

Watering in the summer is easy and less messy than watering in the house during the winter, but i still fine peace when i water. It makes me focus on my plants and get away from the hectic days of work. You know that my days are long and many unhappy people flying the "unfriendly skies.." so when i get home, i relax by watering and seeing the new growth on my trees. You can see such a difference in just three days away and i love to check on them when i get home. It gives me quiet time and i really love this.

I also posted over at the Container forum.. Watering is a relaxing time for me...

Tell Sissy HELLO!! Hugs too!!!

Take care,

Laura


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RE: Do you find watering your plants a joy or pain?

I have automatic irrigation. But often I'll hand water extra when I think it's needed, when a plant/s are not getting quite enough from the irrigation. It's also good for washing down the leaves and freshening them up. And it adds more humidity as I water around the plants, not only just on them. That I find relaxing and provides a feeling of helping the plants on their way to where I want them to be in their growth. (That's better than tugging at the leaves, LOL).


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RE: Do you find watering your plants a joy or pain?

Today...Watering was such a PAIN...lol

Mike


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RE: Do you find watering your plants a joy or pain?

Well, I haven't watered anything yet...but I sure wish I was at home watering instead of working....
'cause work feels much more like 'work' than watering does, hehehe ;-)

I'm the associate waterer/fertigator for my brother and sister, also.
Whenever I visit, I look at the plants and diagnose how they've been treated
between visits. Sometimes I increase fertilization; other times I cut back on water.

If I were more organized and ambitious, I could make a career out of it :-)


Josh


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RE: Do you find watering your plants a joy or pain?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Fri, Oct 19, 12 at 13:40

So a bad day watering is better than a good day at work? ;-)

Al


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RE: Do you find watering your plants a joy or pain?

Hey Mike...Another great topic...

Hello All,

Watering..depends on the plant. My Crown of Thorns are adjacent each other and a pain, 'litteraly' while watering.

I either get pricked or a top-heavy Crown topples over.'

I too prefer watering outdoors. Turn on the hose, water and spray foliage. 2 in 1 Watering.

Of course, rain water is best..economical and natural.

When I have the energy, lol, taking each plant to the sink...either soaking or spraying seems to perk up plants. But, hauling each plant takes time and a ton of walking..not to mention water bill increase. Toni


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RE: Do you find watering your plants a joy or pain?

Each watering and pot by pot I offer them for a modest price asking Mrs if she wants to buy a plant while presenting it to her in a humble but fashionable way
Watering plants for me isn't really a pain but my future as a plant sales person does have something to be desired.

Vacuuming how ever is a pain all that noise just to collect dust from places we cant even reach.



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RE: Do you find watering your plants a joy or pain?

I used to love to water. I still enjoy it within reason. If we have a dry spell and I have to drag the hose and the sprinkler to every nook and cranny of the yard, I tire of it. If once in awhile I have to handwater a bed of perennials on a nice day and can sit on a riding seat and take my time and enjoy the sun and check out all the plants, well, then what could be more pleasant? (g)

When I was a twenty something, and loved houseplants and didn't have an outdoor garden, I loved to water and check out many houseplants and trim and fuss over them. And they all looked great. Even managed to keep a gardenia healthy and blooming. Now I manage a few easy houseplants over the winter and I'm so glad to get them back outside where they can be hosed. :-)


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RE: Do you find watering your plants a joy or pain?

Jeni,

You made me wonder....How many plants DO you have? I too keep the majority of my plants inside all year. I would be embarrassed to admit how many plants I have in my home and classroom. I will admit my how many I own if you do!

In answer to this post...Most times I truly find that watering my plants is a joy, except when I am extra busy and I know I need to water certain ones. At times my friends think I am nuts because I spend so much of my weekend tending to my houseplants. There certainly could be things much worse!

Lorrr


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RE: Do you find watering your plants a joy or pain?

I wish I could say otherwise, but I really don't enjoy watering plants at all. I like all the other aspects of taking care of plants; potting, re-potting, propagating, etc., But I really don't get any satisfaction out of watering.

Larry


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RE: Do you find watering your plants a joy or pain?

i regard it as a necessity: i don't emote about it one way or the other. i am not water-stressed either ;).
for over 120 plants (30% small cacti/succulents/AV) 1 hour per week is really nothing. it's all by hand, all indoors, plus another dozen seasonal balcony med-large pots over summer (ok, balcony might take another 1 hour total). no hose luxury!
how is it possible?
water wicks in short (similar to half-hydro, but in soiless wicking mixtures).
i also noticed that water-wicked plants use much less water with this set-up.
i have no problems with such difficult things as ming aralias or cyclamens or caladiums or alocasia ,etc. which is a definite joy.
at this point i am even considering giving it another try with gardenia (hubris strikes again:))..


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RE: Do you find watering your plants a joy or pain?

I always feel funny posting as a n00b here, but . . .

I'm hot and cold about it. When I'm in the mood, it's very very good, but when I'm not, it's horrid.

I counted 59 plants. With three exceptions (two spiderplants and a mess of T. zebrina on pedestals with catchment buckets), I drag every single pot into the bathroom. I don't water on a schedule, and due to space constraints I have plants grouped solely by light needs and not water, so when I hit a groove it's fine. When I feel depressed, it's a chore. I don't get resentful, but I perform unethical experiments on drought tolerance.

Definitely looking forward to kicking these babies outside for the season. My porch becomes rainforest-y, with the cicadas and the mockingbirds and everybody yelling. Especially when I slop water e'rywhere and the humidity off the concrete passes the air from muggy to pea-soup-palpable. The post-watering smell is best when complemented by the taste of a beer!

Ugh. So. Is it summer yet?


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RE: Do you find watering your plants a joy or pain?

For me, watering my plants is therapy, a stress reliever, an excuse to examine my plants for new growth or problems. I enjoy it.

Christopher


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RE: Do you find watering your plants a joy or pain?

Some girls dig 4 carat diamonds.
Me?
I was over the moon with my 75 foot 1/2" hose that I bought all the right gadgets for to connect to my kitchen sink and drag out to both balconies.

It arrived this morning. At 10am -- there was not a single happier girl to be found in all of California, I promise you.

But I will say I liked watering a LOT more BEFORE gritty mix. Even visually -- watching dry soil slurp up water like it's been waiting for so, so long....it's very satisfying to hear/watch.

Having to provide more than just water on a regular basis is a bit burdensome (compared to just watering without thinking), and exponentially more so with indoor plants and the runoff. It's not that it's hard to water and I do love watering in and of itself; it's that with soil, I knew exactly how much water to put in, let drip and be certain it will run out of the pot but won't run over the saucer. Then I'd go and collect all the water with a big bucket. With gritty mix, if I water until there's runoff, it's almost immediate -- then I feel like it's not enough. If I water to feel like it's enough moisture everywhere -- I have a flood, lol. So now I have trays and I take everything to the sink.

At least outside, I can go all crazy w/ the watering can without being careful but inside -- lugging back and forth plants and setting them up to drip there...

NOT QUITE AS FUN!


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I hear you Sugi!!! You could not have taken the words out of my mouth better than you did.lol

Hi Chris! I will be writing you soon-)

I can't wait until I can get them outside and do my daily morning watering as much as I want! I love iT! Overflowing into the ground is a ball to watch.

MIke


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RE: Do you find watering your plants a joy or pain?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 27, 13 at 22:10

Ozarkia - this was great: "I don't get resentful, but I perform unethical experiments on drought tolerance."

Sugi - have faith that if you water slowly & cover all the soil, when 15-20% of the total volume of water applied has exited the drain hole - your soil is thoroughly moistened.

Al


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RE: Do you find watering your plants a joy or pain?

Al, in my obsessive way, I have moved some plants to different pots after putting them into gritty mix, and SEEING how moist it was even after 3 days has made my faith stronger, haha. I love the lack of PWT (and thereby my overwatering self being rendered useless) but it definitely has taken some getting used to. That said, it was also SO clear when moving these plants that whatever root growth there was in that short period was (1) whiter, (2) faster and (3) significantly thicker than the roots that had originally gone in. So, I believe -- I just feel like peeling back the carpet and putting in a drain to the outside to water like a crazy person inside.

But now that I have my "indoor garden hose" handy dandy capability -- I'm lost as to how I will fertilize with every watering. Perhaps drench everything then go back and pour on 1/2 tsp (vs 1/4) FP and drizzle with a watering can? Or do 1/3 by hand at the higher amount and flush out with regular water for the other 2/3?

Also, for the blueberries and gardenias....I'll still have to do by hand for the vinegar part....unless I can think of some way to sprinkle citric acid into the soil then watering on top? Or maybe I will squeeze lemons while watering haha!

Really, with the number of plants I have (and how much could I have with a 2 bedroom condo and a total whopping 40-50 sq feet of combined outdoor space on two balconies, this really shouldn't be a part-time job like it is, lol. It's a good thing I so enjoy it!

Mike, after moving some succulents, I had a big batch of gritty mix in a container leftover. Not being one to leave it alone, I had leftover petunias that I didn't know where to put. Sooooo totally rootbound, I cleaved off half the roots and pruned like nobody's business, then plopped them into gritty mix (5 of them) and one, I planted into a new concoction I've been trying of the perlite fines that I screen out for 5-1-1 (that I am DETERMINED to find some use for haha) and some Gardner & Bloome silky potting soil I have (like satin). I mix about 3-1 tiny perlite to soil, and it becomes this wonderfully light mix. I have no clue if this will be any good in the long run but I have some cuttings going in this and one petunia.
After this season, I am excited to pull up the petunia in GM and the petunia in this 3-1 mix, just to see the root difference. :-) But watering that mix is therapeutic. It sizzles, then slurps, then "spreads". LOL, I love it.


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RE: Do you find watering your plants a joy or pain?

sugi, you'll need to do more shopping for hose accessories: there is a screw-in plastic container for hose for mix-in of fertilizer or insectiside. search for 'fertilizer bottle hose to hose'.


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RE: Do you find watering your plants a joy or pain?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 1, 13 at 12:14

Sugi - I wouldn't pour fertilizer on the soil straight from the bottle and then try to dilute it while it's in the soil. There is far too much potential for harm in that approach.

It takes about 6 gallons of fertigation solution to water my plants. I use a 2 liter watering can by Dramm to water indoor plants. I made a nozzle that fits over the spout,  photo watering003.jpg that makes it easy to water slowly and cover the entire surface of the soil so there are no dry pockets in the soil after I'm done watering. When I'm finished watering, I measure 1/4 tsp into each empty milk jug and fill with water from the tap so I'm ready to fertigate next time.

If you use any sort of hose end fitting to fertigate with, you need to be sure it delivers an accurate dose at the low flow rates you'll be using when you water. I wouldn't trust something designed to to spreads fertilizer solution on gardens/lawns/beds - they're just not accurate enough. Perhaps a hydroponics shop might suggest something with guaranteed accuracy.

I have about 150 plants and about 64 sq ft of growing area under lights for an indoor growing area. It takes about 45 minutes every 4 days for 90% of my plants. A few go 8 days, and 3-4 go 2 days because their pots are exceptionally small in relation to plant size, but all my plants tend to be in very small pots because I do regular maintenance on roots.

.... not suggesting you should do what I do - just hoping it helps you in your considerations.

Al


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RE: Do you find watering your plants a joy or pain?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 1, 13 at 12:24

PS - there are pressurized containers that hold several gallons of solution that you can pull or carry and use to fertilize at every watering.

Al


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RE: Do you find watering your plants a joy or pain?

Al, are you still collecting plants? or was 150 the magic number and you're no longer compelled when hearing about a new plant with that urge to get one?

:)


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RE: Do you find watering your plants a joy or pain?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 1, 13 at 15:33

I have a limited amount of indoor space devoted to growing, so I very often give plants away to make room for others, but that gets harder and harder to do as the plants I've been working with (bonsai & potential bonsai) get older and more refined. I still propagate a lot of material - almost can't help myself - and give it to friends; and I have a lot of plants on the window sills at work, so when people start a conversation about what's growing, it provides a perfect opportunity to offer them a plant or two. I just landed a speaking engagement in which I'll be talking about growing succulents with a heavy emphasis on soil choice as a result of having given a few starter plants to a customer who was active in a garden club in a neighboring city. People try to share their plants with me all the time, but I just don't have the room or the desire to take on any more than I'm already committed to. I'm sure there are a lot of us in essentially the same boat. ;-)

Al


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RE: Do you find watering your plants a joy or pain?

  • Posted by Sugi_C 10a - SF Bay Area (My Page) on
    Tue, Apr 2, 13 at 19:30

Al - rereading what I wrote, it totally sounds like I intended to pour fertilizer in straight, haha. I *meant* the 1/4 tsp or 1/2 tsp IN water, poured onto the plants after the full on hosing via my wonderful hose setup. :-)

Anyway - your post does give me an idea. Do let me know what you think?
I had ordered a pressure sprayer (the kind you pump?) from Amazon because I know the bottom section of my blueberry bush shows some sign of powdery mildew and I wanted to do foliar iron sprays on this one gardenia that hates me.

Instead of one - it turns out my 3 am ordering spree got me two sprayers; I have yet to return one and it's just sitting here.

So, if I hose-water everything and then go back with a FP/water solution to spray the soil until nicely drenched -- would that work? I'm contemplating leaving my acid-loving stuff out of the hosing moving forward, so those (like the blueberries) I will continue to do Miracid + vinegar + water mixtures....but for the rest of the plants, will going back and spraying a solution (into the soil, not leaves) suffice for "fertilization"?

Or no....?

Petrushka -- that screw-in attachment: will it slurp up a dosage I am wanting? You're talking about the hose attachment that MG also sells their fertilizer in, correct? Or am I not thinking of the right thing. I would guess it'd be tough for me to control how much solution each water is getting. Furthermore, some of these plants aren't in large pots, meaning I'm not hovering over it for very long. Would each ounce of water contain fertilizer, or would it have to receive, for example, a gallon, in order to have received the designated dosage?


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RE: Do you find watering your plants a joy or pain?

It depends with me too. I dont mind watering indoors,but watering an outdoor garden in 95 degree temps is a pain


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RE: Do you find watering your plants a joy or pain?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Wed, Apr 3, 13 at 15:13

Here's what I think:

If you're using a fertilizer that contains Fe (iron), it's very unlikely you have a scarcity of Fe in the soil. That doesn't mean though, that you don't have a scarcity of Fe in the PLANT. Foliar applications of Fe aren't very effective on plants with a lot of cuticular wax, like gardenias. Usually, when you have an Fe deficiency, it's because the soil/soil solution pH is so high that the iron bonds with other elements in the soil solution and precipitates (falls out of solution and becomes insoluble/unavailable). The best way to fix that isn't by adding more Fe or through foloiar applications, it's by lowering the pH - so the Fe that's already there can go back into solution. Fe is not very mobile in plants, so while foliar applications might help supply Fe to the foliage if it can be absorbed, it's not likely that it will resolve the deficiency throughout the entire organism. That's best achieved by ensuring there is dissolved Fe in the nutrient stream (sap).

Your fertilizer plan is workable, but I think it's an extra step. Why not just mix up enough fertigation solution and fertigate all in one application, instead irrigating and then fertigating?

If you're going to use one of the hose end siphon attachments, I think it's important that you ensure it's accurate at various pressures. When you're only trying to mix 1/4 tsp of fertilizer/gallon of water, it wouldn't take much to double or triple the solution strength, or have an inadequate amount of fertilizer going into the solution. You almost need an injector type system that can be accurately calibrated if you intend to add fertilizer to the irrigation stream.

Al


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RE: Do you find watering your plants a joy or pain?

of course precision of solution will depend on the specific product you use. it's much easier if you're applying outside (which is how I used it before). however, there are newer products on the market that are farely precise. you'll need to research the subject - I just gave you a pointer. I did a quick google and came up with this Canadian product, on expensive side, but you already invested in the hose. and it can be for future 'garden expansion' use too ;):
EZ Flo Garden Hose Injector
http://www.rittenhouse.ca/asp/product.asp?PG=1672


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RE: Do you find watering your plants a joy or pain?

on the other hand you can search in container forum - there's lots of info there too.
e.g. "this"
mentions other injectors and ez-flo (some like it some don't).


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