Watering: How to avoid drowning your garden

Tough to achieve too much watering when you have to squeeze each water molecule through a sieve.

Tough to do too much watering when you have to squeeze each water molecule through a sieve.

They say more plants die from overly enthusiastic watering than from any other cause. Whoever “they” are, they’re probably right. I confess I’ve contributed many an innocent seedling to that sopping wet statistic.

The Cure for Too Much Watering? Overwork.

I think I may have stumbled onto a cure for overwatering. In fact, the only way I managed to get my tendency to overindulge my whining seedlings was to change my watering methods. I carry every bit of water myself. No hose in sight.

Well, not quite true. I can see a hose, out there by the two mutant rose bushes that are skyrocketing branches into the air.

But as far as the rest, I can safely (and a bit self-righteously) say that I tote, carry, lug and haul every ounce of water my plants get.

Besides, hoses are catastrophic when dragged through the living room.

Overwatering is still possible, but I have to work hard to do so

First, fill two 24-ounce drinking glasses.

Head for the indoor garden and give each of the two tamarinds a hefty gulp. Back to the kitchen for a refill.

Give the European cypress, the basil planter, the herb garden and the funny looking thing with the curled up leaves a sip. Maybe two. Give the weird houseplant with the mottled striped leaves a few ounces.

Drinking glasses go back to the kitchen, and out comes the plastic drinking water bottle with the watering-can nozzle on top. Fill that, and moisten the soil around the perimeter of each of the peat starter pots. One water bottle should easily cover a dozen peat pots. Don’t use the one with the red nozzle. It leaks.

Back to the kitchen for two towels to clean up the red nozzle’s spills.

Clean, wipe, mop, traipse.

Now fill up the empty gallon milk jug, 3/4 of the way up. Any higher and it leaks, and we’ll be mopping the floor.

Out to the patio, jug in hand, to water (in no particular order) jalapeño plant that refuses to die, yellow squash plants in 12″ indoor pot now living on outdoor patio, sumac “tree,” and what may or may not be a russet potato plant.