Rain at last??/When to start watering

Shirley Meneice samclan@redshift.com
Sat, 16 Oct 2004 21:09:56 PDT
I find a deep saucer under the plant helps.  The water applied to the 
top does run through, but when caught below tends to be taken up as if 
by a wick.  The other possibility, though terribly time-consuming, is to 
immerse the whole pot in a bucket or large container of water and let it 
stay there until the bubbling ceases, indicating that the soil is 
soaked.  Often it will "float" in the container when really dried out.  
Then I place a smaller plant on the container to hold it down into the 
water until it has begun to soak up the moisture and no longer tips over 
in the water.

Hope that helps.
       Shirley Meneice

Mary Sue Ittner wrote:

> Dear All,
> We have discussed more than once when to start watering dormant plants 
> if you live in a Mediterranean climate. As usual there is no 
> consensus. Some people recommend late August for those of us in the 
> Northern hemisphere. There are a couple of genera that Lauw and others 
> have  noted do not bloom well or even come up if started later: 
> Oxalis, Ferraria, maybe some Moraeas. I have been a bit concerned 
> about starting some things too early since where I live we can have 
> warmer temperatures in September and October than we do in summer and 
> have been concerned how some of the newly emerging plants will cope.
> Last year Gordon Summerfield from South Africa told us when we visited 
> him that if they are not in growth by mid October, he gives his 
> dormant plants a good soaking. I saw on the weather report last night 
> that they are predicting the first good winter rains for some parts of 
> California will hit early next week. San Diego and Los Angeles have 
> had no really measurable rainfall since mid April (just imagine all of 
> you in other areas who complain when you go a number of weeks without 
> rain!) I hiked with a couple from South Carolina this week who visited 
> last spring and they just couldn't get over how different it looked 
> here with all the grass brown and looking dead and everything covered 
> in dust. Hopefully this rain will wash off the dust on the leaves of 
> the evergreen shrubs and trees and help with the fire danger.
> Last week we had a number of days of very hot weather and it looks 
> like my Oxalis ambigua which was looking so nice has died and some of 
> the Lachenalias that were just coming up have shriveled leaves. I'm 
> wondering if either will recover. I had watered some of my dormant 
> containers, but not all. Anyone else want to update us on their 
> experiences?
> Finally does anyone have any good ideas about the best way to water 
> dormant pots that are completely dry? I find the water goes right 
> through them, around the sides.
> Mary Sue
> Mary Sue Ittner
> California's North Coast
> Wet mild winters with occasional frost
> Dry mild summers
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