Water is essential for plants to survive. It dissolves and transports nutrients, provides cooling and stabilizes the plant by maintaining turgor pressure. Whether your balcony is covered or not does not really matter much when it comes to watering. Watering intervals and amounts are very similar for both balcony options. This is because the leaves, especially with lush leaf growth, drain most of the rainwater to the side, so the root area of the plant hardly gets any water even when it rains.
„Turgor(pressure)“: Pressure that cell sap exerts on a wall of the plant cell.
Especially in summer, the right timing is important. Water best in the morning or evening, when the soil is still cool. Between 5 and 6 o’clock in the morning, for example, up to 80 % less water evaporates than at midday. Avoid midday and do not water when the sun is strong. Not only does much of the water evaporate, but plants can also suffer burns, especially if the leaves are watered. Watering in the morning also reduces the risk of fungal diseases or slug infestation, as the plants can dry well during the day.
Avoid showering over the plant on a large scale. This causes the water to be directed away over the leaves and to evaporate before it reaches the roots. Wet leaves also promote fungal diseases. Water instead specifically the root area of your plant.
Do not water too much at once, but only as much as the soil can absorb. Wait a bit after the first watering and let the water seep away. Then water vigorously.
Besides rainwater, tap water is also suitable for watering. It is best to fill the tap water into several watering cans and let it stand for some time. This causes lime to settle and warms the water, which plants can take better than cold water.
Make sure your containers and planters have holes in the bottom to allow excess water to drain away. If using a saucer, pour away water that accumulates after watering so your plants do not get root rot. Also, make sure you have a drainage layer inside your container.
In general, you should water as needed. The amount of water required depends on the plant, the temperature, and the size of the container used. Also, the soil must not dry out under any circumstances before germination, which is why watering is generally increased after sowing. Flat-rooted plants need more water because the upper soil layers dry out more quickly. Fast-growing fruit vegetables that develop a lot of leaf mass in a short time also have a higher water demand. Generally, the larger the plant’s leaves, the more water it needs because there is more evaporative surface area. The size of the pot also affects the amount of watering. A large pot provides more soil volume that can store more water than a small pot.
„Flat-rooted plants“: Cultivars (e.g., cucumbers) that root in the top 15-20 cm of soil.
Put your finger or a wooden stick 3-5 cm into the soil and check the moisture level of the soil.
Plants protect themselves from heat by closing their stomata and drooping their leaves to reduce the evaporation area. Therefore, it might happen that your plant wilts its leaves during the day. However, that does not mean that you have to water right away. Only if your plant still looks floppy in the morning, it’s a sign that it needs water.
„Substrate“: Usually industrially produced mixture of various mineral and organic materials used for growing and cultivating plants.
„Mulch“: Soil coverage that retains moisture and suppresses weeds.
Hi, I’m Lisa from Permapot. I’ve been growing my own vegetables in my small urban garden and on my terrace for 4 years now. With Permapot I would like to make it easier for you to get started with urban gardening!
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