June 2, 2020
We are moving into the warm season and I will have to check my vegetables more often. Warmth brings pests, but it also dries the plant soil more rapidly. This is especially true with containers. I had checked my containers yesterday morning but got busy and had not checked them later. The result was obvious when I checked them this morning as several of the plants had droopy leaves. I recall when I worked at a nursery in college we watered early in the morning and before we left at night. Both watering’s were enough to soak the soil but not enough to leave standing water in the pots. This kept the soil moist but avoided over watering.
We have had a couple of watering incidents during the last month. We had purchased two hibiscus and put them on the porch until we could get them into the ground, then we sort of forgot about them. We do not use our front door very often (except to accept shipments of succulents of course) and instead go out through the garage. By the time I noticed them again they were wilted, and the leaves were falling off the plants. I put them in the planter anyway hoping they might survive. I watered them and set them in the sun to see what would happen. They are thriving again and making new leaves to replace the ones lost.
The other incident was over watering. I am not sure how it happened but the plant we received from the veterinarian’s office for Bella was dying. Melissa checked and found the pan beneath it was full and the pot itself had standing water. I took it outside to the front porch to dry out in the sun and see if it could be saved. It has been two weeks and it does not seem any better. I guess there is more of an art to watering than I realized.
THOUGHTS: With gardening and with life we need to pay attention to the details. There are times when even a few days of neglect can lead to serious harm. I found this true with my plants. Our country is finding this true as well. We have developed a culture of neglecting the plight of the poor and minorities. During the pandemic, these are the people hit hardest. They have lost jobs, wages, and dignity while being forced to bear much of the burden for our wanting to “open up.” The death of George Floyd may have been the spark, but there were centuries of neglected embers lying beneath the surface. Throwing water on the fire will not put it out, but merely reduce it too embers again. We need to address the underlying systemic problems now rather than later. If you venture out, stay safe.