How to aerate the soil from a pot

Black peat, an ideal substrate for your Ornithogalum

Black peat, an ideal substrate for your Ornithogalum

The roots, to be able to develop and absorb the nutrients that the plant needs, must be growing on a more or less loose ground. A soil that is compact will prevent water from reaching themthus achieving that little by little they dry out.

To prevent this from happening to you, in Gardening On we are going to explain how to aerate the soil from a pot.

How is the land aerated?

Aerate the soil in your pots

Aerate the soil in your pots

Both the excess of water As a very compact soil, it is very harmful to the roots, since they need as much moisture as a relatively light and loose substrate, which allows air to circulate between the grains of soil that form it. Without that air, that is, without that oxygenation, growth cannot occur.

So how do we get our crops to grow well?

Use a substrate that has good drainage

It is the most important thing. Each plant needs a specific substrate, as we explain in this article, To get them to grow correctly, without problems, It is very important to help it by planting it in a pot with a substrate that allows water to drain.. So, for example, if we have cactus or other types of succulents, it is best to use peat black with perlite in equal parts, or even cheek for example; instead, horticulturists will prefer black peat mixed with a little organic compost.

To further improve drainage, it is worth adding a first layer of volcanic clay or claystone to the pots, before filling them with the sutrates that we have chosen.

If the soil is very caked, use a fork

When the soil in the pots becomes so caked or compacted that it does not allow water to pass through, there is no other choice but to take a fork and stir it carefully. Now, if it is a small plant and / or with delicate roots, such as conifers or palm trees, the ideal is to take the pot and place it in a bucket with water until we see that it has been completely soaked.

How to know if it is caked?

The irrigation water must serve to rehydrate the roots, and for this it must be accessible to the aforementioned. If you see that when watering it goes sideways, instead of being absorbed by the soil, this will be a clear indication that the soil has become very compact..

Control the risks

Potted cacti want little watering

Potted cacti require little watering

It is often thought that the more water a plant is given, the more and better it will grow, but the reality is that if we water excessively what we are going to achieve is that its roots die drowned. You have to keep this in mind and water only when necessary, avoiding waterlogging but moistening all the soil well.

When to water the plants?

Watering is the most important task to do when growing plants, even if it is just one. But it is also the most complicated, beforehandto dominate since depending on multiple factors (location, climate, type of substrate, as well as the water needs of the plant), it will be necessary to water more or less.

Generally, you have to know that in summer the watering frequency will be higher than the rest of the yearbecause the earth loses moisture faster. Also, plants grown indoors will require fewer waterings per week than those grown outdoors. So, starting from this, it is highly recommended to check the humidity of the soilEither with a digital meter or preferably with a thin wooden stick. If the plant is in a large pot, about 20 centimeters in diameter or more, you can choose to insert a finger, or dig a little on one side.

Remember that if you have a plate underneath, you must remove the excess water 20-30 minutes after watering. The same if you have it inside a pot without holes. And it is that if the roots are in constant contact with that stagnant water, they will rot.

How to water?

At first, It must always be watered by directing the water to the groundtrying to make it well hydrated, but there are exceptions. For example, it is preferable to water seedlings using the tray method, otherwise the seeds and / or seedlings could end up spilling out of the container.

Another exception are semi-aquatic or riverside plants, such as reeds or calla lilies, which can be placed underneath a plate and fill it each time it is empty (also clean it from time to time to avoid contamination). algal blooms).

Things NOT to do

Take care of your flowers by planting them in pots with substrates that drain well

Take care of your flowers by planting them in a pot with substrates that drain well

There are a number of things that we can take as ‘norm’ or ‘custom’ and that are not very beneficial for plants. These are:

  • Spray / mist the leaves daily: Although it is true that plants considered indoor need high humidity, it is more advisable to purchase a humidifier or put containers with water around them than to spray the leaves, especially during autumn-winter. Why? Because the leaves have a hard time absorbing water as ‘fast’ as the roots, and they rot easily if they are constantly wet.
  • Using waters without knowing whether or not they are good for plants: the best is rainwater, as long as it is not contaminated; But if you have problems getting it, you can choose to use water for human consumption, distilled (for carnivores and orchids), or from the tap mixed with a few drops of lemon or vinegar to reduce its pH (ideal for acidophilic plants).
  • Water with sun or direct lightWhether it is a plant that is outside or one that is next to a window, they should never be watered in the middle of the day or when the light hits them. Do it at sunset or first thing in the morning; This way you will prevent them from being ‘burned’.
  • Leave them in a pot without holes: we are not going to deny it: ceramic or terracotta pots without holes are precious, but they can become a death sentence (excuse the expression, but it is just that) for the vast majority of plants. Use pots with drainage holes, and if you want to put a plate under them, but remember to remove the excess water 30 minutes after watering.

How to add soil to a pot?

Over the months it is normal for the pot to lose soil through the drainage holes. So you may need to add a bit, but how? It’s very easy: from the top. Take a handful with the soil mixture that you have already used for that particular plant, and fill it in until it is almost full.

Finally, you will only have to water.

How to renew the potting soil?

Most plants have a delicate root system, which must not be manipulated during transplants. However, the soil runs out of nutrients from the moment the roots begin to absorb them. Unless it is fertilized regularly, the growth will sooner or later stop.

For this reason, sometimes we can renew the earth, for example, in the case of cacti and other succulents. The way to do it is as follows:

  1. First, it is watered.
  2. Then the plant is removed from the pot.
  3. Afterwards, the roots are carefully cleaned, putting them if necessary in a basin of water to make cleaning easier.
  4. The pot is then filled with new substrate.
  5. Finally, it is planted, placing it in the center, and finishing filling the pot.

For a few days you have to keep the plant in semi-shadebut as soon as you see growth you can move to its original location.

Potted plants need special care

Potted plants need special care

Plants grown in pots need more attention than those that grow in the ground. So that we can enjoy them, it is essential to use a substrate that, in addition to satisfying their needs, allows their roots to have excellent growth.

How to aerate the soil from a pot

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