We talk about “bottom watering” our plants from time to time. It’s probably important to know what that means and why it’s hands down our favorite technique for watering our seedlings and plants.
Perhaps this is rudimentary, but “top watering” is where you water your plants at the top of the soil. Typically, via a sprayer, watering can or like with a hose and sprayer. It works perfectly fine, but particularly in the early stages of a plants life, it can be somewhat disruptive to the plant. Also occasionally messy, if you get a little zealous with the watering can.
As you probably know by now, we like growing our seedlings in 1020 trays. One of the biggest reasons we do that, beyond plant mobility, is so we can practice bottom watering. This is where you fill the tray with water, allowing the water to “soak” into the soil. We prefer this technique as it has a few major advantages. First, it’s impossible to “over water,” if there’s still water in the tray after an hour or so, you can simply dump it out. Second, it promotes very “even” and thorough watering of your soil, since the water is wicked throughout the soil instead of briefly passing through it. Lastly, it’s super fast and also very “clean,” no accidentally shooting soil (and your seedlings) every which way when that watering can gets tipped a bit too much!
We can water literally hundreds of plants in just minutes this way!
Another pro tip? You can also do this with your houseplants! If you put about an inch of water in your kitchen sink and place your house plants in the sink for about 30-60 minutes, they’ll get a nice, even bottom watering. (Assuming your pot has holes in it, of course.)
This technique was life changing when we started practicing it. There’s few things we do that really make life easy, but this is definitely one of them!