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Beginner Gardening: Another "Too Much Water" Question...

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Forum: Beginner GardeningReplies: 5, Views: 66
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Glendora, CA

June 20, 2012
7:59 AM

Post #9172706

OK, here's the deal: I decided to finally build a raised garden bed & wanted to do it in a big enough way so that I could successfully grow a lot of stuff at one time without overcrowding. When it was finished, it took 5 tons of soil to fill so I bought the good composted redwood soil and started planting...

One of the things that every nursery told me was to be careful not to let the soil dry out because of the raised bed's tendency to drain too quickly. Keeping that in mind, I watered everything religiously...maybe too much I think because this soil actually seems to be retaining moisture better than I had thought it would.

Now, my carrots have sprouted and got to be about 1" tall but have stopped growing. My bush beans aren't dying, but they've turned kind of a pale green (I should mention that none of this stuff has been in the soil a month yet).

If the soil itself isn't SUPER damp (just moist), can I hold off on watering my vegetables awhile to dry everything out to get them to start back up? Am I being too paranoid, given that they all were planted only a few weeks ago? Help?
Plantersville, TX
(Zone 9a)

June 20, 2012
10:50 AM

Post #9172929

I treat my plants the way I would like to be treated. Would you like to live in a soggy swamp, or would you like a nice drink of water, once a day?


SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

June 20, 2012
12:02 PM

Post #9173027

LOLOLOL! ^^_^^

Less can be's ok. I'm growing in my raised bed for the first time this past season, and my plants let me know I was overdoing it with the watering. Now, I use that old one-digit meter, down about 2" into the bed, and if the dirt sticks to it, there's enough water in that bed.



Bee, too funny!


Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

June 20, 2012
6:00 PM

Post #9173445

One way to improve drainage is to turn some coarse pine bark under. It doesn't last as long as grit (just 2-4 years) but bark shreds can be long and thin, whhcih I think is better for drainage and aeration than round grit.

It also helps to locate your raised beds on high sp[ots in the yard, not low spots. Wherever the water table is after a rain or watering, the soil above grade recovers air long before the soil that's below grade.

My RBs sit on top of impervious clay, so I sloped the floors and dug drainage trenchs so the RB soil was all above water level even during rain.

I use concrete paving stones as RB wall, and som ed are only 3/4" thick. So my beds' c orners and edges dried out first. So I tilted the pavers out and slipped in plastic cut from bags of pine bark mulch. "Lining" the walls with plastic made the edges dry slower, so the whole needed watering less often.

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Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

June 20, 2012
6:01 PM

Post #9173451

Here is where the plastic was most needed. Grittier soil, small bed, and a roof that keeps rain off.

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Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

June 21, 2012
6:53 AM

Post #9174049

heypilch - did you add fertilizer? If not, then you need to fertilize them asap.

Watering every day should not be necessary. Vegetables are encouraged to grow deep roots by growing them on the "dry side." I have very friable soil in raised beds, but the vegetables don't get watered more than once a week after a rainfall. If your vegetables start to show signs of needing water by drooping their leaves, then it's time to water.

Having said that: Leaves will droop if you've given them too much water! Roots drown in very wet soil.

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