Beginner – how much should I water my container plants?


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I have just started out with growing a few herbs and vegetables on our patio, and am need of some beginner's advice!!

This is the setup we bought on saturday:



Already the collard greens (back left) is going a bit yellowish and the leaves at the base of the coriander & parsley have gone a bit yellow. I googled and it said this could be to do with over or under watering? The thing is, I have NO IDEA how much water to put on them! Some websites say water until you see water in the tray at the bottom? But after emptying what felt like a LOT of water into one pot and still seeing nothing, I decided that surely couldn't be a good idea?

Our watering can is in the picture, any idea how roughly how many full watering cans I should be pouring over these plants per day, in total? That would make it easier. I just filled the can this morning and poured it evenly over the 6 pots. Felt like quite a substantial amount of water.
 
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I read in a "similar thread" that "you can't water too much, but you can water too often"... is that true? So if I pour a LOT of water on, it won't do any harm as long as I don't do that too often? So once a day, perhaps? Or less?
 
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Overwatering. Wait until the top inch or so of material is dried out to water. Plants of that size won’t need water everyday unless it’s 100 out, in which case they’re not likely to survive anyhow. When you water you want to aim to just have a tiny bit trickle from the bottom, otherwise you’re washing nutrients away.
 
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Okay. So I'm watering too often but probably not enough because I think only the top couple of inches of soil got wet.

So I should water a LOT more when I do water, but I should do it less often?
 

alp

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Yes, TT is right. Don't do it until the soil is dry to the touch! Also feel the air. If the temperature is high and humidity is low or there is a dry wind, your plant will start to wilt.. Look and feel. Don't overdo it. Also add a weak feed as the nutrient of the pots might be depleted as the plants grow bigger. Some plants are super hungry - like me!
 
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Try watering from the bottom. Pour water into the tray or pot plate with the pot in it. When that water is absorbed, you can add more. After all the soil in the pot is well hydrated, you will have to water less often.
Another benefit of bottom watering is that the plant develops deeper roots, and there is less chance of sunburn on the leaves (drops of water act like prisms and can cause burn spots.)
 
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Feel the weight of the pots.
Get a feel for how heavy they are when they've just been thoroughly watered, and the excess has been allowed to run off.
If they are very light for their size, water; if not, don't.
You can water too much, especially in pots; the water itself won't kill your plants, but the sluicing out of nutrients can lead to poor performance or worse.
Herbs, especially, need to be kept on the dry side, to maximise the essential oils which give them their flavour.
 
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Thanks everyone. Shame I did that full can right before posting this thread! D'oh! Anyway the water has run through to the trays for the first time now. So now I'm just going to leave it until the soil is actually dry again rather than watering again tomorrow just because.

Hopefully things will then improve. Thanks for the help!
 

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