CityDiggity

A green space for urban gardeners

The color of water and other splashy container gardening secrets revealed

A little water is a wonderful thing. But don't depend on raindrops alone.

A little water is a wonderful thing. But don't depend on raindrops alone to nourish plants.

Armchair sleuth that I am, I jumped at the chance to gather intel when I saw a crew making its way down one of our city streets attending to the splendid hanging baskets Chicago adorns its lamp posts with during summer.

As the magic wand was extended over the baskets I made a discovery that changed the way I would maintain my container plants in the years to come: the water he used … it was, well, BLUE! Maybe that was the secret to success.

From that point forward every other watering lavished on my plants had just the slightest tinge of aquamarine. And it worked like a charm — my containers started to look fantastic.

Of course, I learned later that the rigorous daily watering required in the swelter of Chicago summers tended to wash the nutrients from the soil of the containers. Adding the blue crystallized plant food to your water is a great way to give back said nutrients.

And while we’re on the topic of water, let me underscore how important it is to keep the soil in your containers from drying out. Plants register watering neglect via yellow leaves if you over-water and brown leaves if you under-water. So be consistent, your plants will show you their appreciation.

And don’t think you can automatically skip watering if it rains, a light rain isn’t enough to saturate your soil and restore what a day of sun and heat has taken away. Be sure you check the soil with your fingers to make certain the rain was enough to get it just as moist as if you’d watered yourself.

Oh, and try to water at the same time daily (or at the same time on a less frequent schedule if your containers take longer to drink up the moisture than mine); once you’ve established a routine, watering becomes much less onerous.

I, myself, am a midnight waterer, which I’ve found is the best time to guarantee that I don’t make a splash with my neighbors below.

[Thanks for visiting City Diggity, please check out my archives for previous posts that you can take into your garden. And don’t forget to leave a comment; I want to know how your garden grows.]

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4 Comments»

  Dawn wrote @

Love it! ‘Midnight Waterer’ sounds like the name of a horticultural superhero. Perhaps you can contact Marvel Comics with the idea…

  Avis Weathersbee wrote @

That’s a great idea! Perhaps to be introduced on Earth Day!

  Lynne Jordan wrote @

“Midnight Waterer” sounds like a Blues song but it also guarantees the early sun won’t cook my little flowers before I can get to them!

  Stephanie wrote @

When I was working, watering in the night was my only choice. However, now that I stopped working, I find that I do keep the habit of watering in the night so that I do not have to wake up early next morning to do it. My plants love the rain too. Rain water rejuvenates my plants. They tend to become more ‘alive’ after rain falls :-)


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