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Water Retention


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#1
cripes0103

cripes0103

    Organic Gardener

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Hey guys,

I am using a 35/65 perlite/FFoF mix for my girls right now but my soil has gotten really hard and my water retention is TERRIBLE! It used to be fine, I would pour about .5L into my 2 gal pot and get absolutely no runoff. Now, when I pour .5L in, it seems to just shoot right to the bottom and drain out, I'm getting about 30% runoff (which I know is optimal, but I prefer to have no runoff due to my cramped grow conditions.)

Is there anything I can do to improve the water retention of my soil, or from now on am I going to have to water more frequently?

Thanks!

Edited by cripes0103, 18 February 2010 - 08:03 PM.

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#2
cripes0103

cripes0103

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Anyone?

#3
toastybiz

toastybiz

    keep it green

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Is the soil hard? Has it pulled away from the sides of the pot?

You should water very slowly, give it a chance to soak in and not run down a gap between the soil and side of the pot, which I suspect is what's happening. If that doesn't work, you can take something very thin and long, like a knitting needle or a moisture probe, and gently make holes in the soil (though understand that doing so could cause minor damage to roots). If you do poke holes in the soil, don't force it down hard, if you come down onto a major root you don't want to break it).

#4
cripes0103

cripes0103

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Thank you, I think my problem definitely has been due to watering too fast. I just use a measuring cup to pour, so its difficult to regulate how quickly it comes out. I guess I'll just have to be super careful with my next few waterings.

#5
toastybiz

toastybiz

    keep it green

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I should have also mentioned to not add all the water at once, spread it out into smaller "drinks" to allow each small amount a chance to soak down in. I usually add about 20% of the water then go do something for 5 minutes (put up a few posts on GC), then go back and add some more, and so on.

#6
cripes0103

cripes0103

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I know this is a very delayed response, but I just checked back in on this post. Thank you for, once again, being extremely helpful! I am going to definitely do this next watering, and probably every watering after that. +rep if I could, but apparently I need to spread the love


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