Using The Bottom Watering Technique In Your Indoor Garden

Happy April Fool’s day. We aren’t one’s to prank, so instead, here’s one of our top 5 techniques! If you’ve been around for awhile, you know we really like the process called bottom watering. Once we transplant into larger containers, we almost exclusively switch over to using bottom watering techniques.

What this basically means is that we’re adding water to a container that our plants are sitting in and they will absorb (or wick) the water into the soil. In our case, our “container” is a basic 1020 tray that (perhaps sensibly) doesn’t have holes in it. The main reason we do this is that it ensures a much more even, thorough watering of our plants. It’s also a lot less messy than top watering techniques and is much easier on our plants. If you’ve read about our penchant towards sub irrigation, you probably recognize this technique is also baked in that theory.

It’s practically impossible to over-water using this technique. If there is any water that remains in the container, that means the soil is as saturated as it possibly can be. It’s generally best to remove any significant standing water from the container (after about 20-30 minutes or so) as this can contribute to future problems if the plants rest in that water.

As you can probably also see, we get a lot of economy of scale in our watering efforts using this technique. It’s very simple to water “one point” as opposed to all of our individual plants. In cold climates, we obviously don’t have the benefit of using a hose end sprayer in frequently freezing temperatures to water our plants outdoors. And such techniques would be, ummm, “messy” if used indoors. This is definitely one of the tricks we use to help us manage the watering of a lot of plants, quickly, in our indoor growing spaces.

An extra pro-tip? We sometimes use this same kind of watering technique for our house plants. We’ll fill our kitchen sink with an inch or so of water and place our houseplants in the sink for a half hour or so. It’s super helpful if you need a very thorough watering, like if you’re going on vacation or something like that.

This is yet another reason we leverage the 1020 tray system and why it’s invaluable to our efforts. There are other ways to leverage this same technique, though, so the 1020’s aren’t a pre-requisite. We hope you experiment with the technique and find it as helpful as we do!

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