Do you want to flush soil without overwatering plants? Well, here is a guide to help you start flushing your soil without overwatering.
Why do gardeners flush soil? To flush soil means placing the soil in water to remove excess salt or minerals in the soil. It is also called leaching. So, gardening flushes the soil to remove the toxicity present. This toxicity is a result of overfertilizing the soil.
Suppose you want to flush soil without overwatering plants. In that case, you have to be careful and follow the instructions because a minor mistake can result in you soaking your plants with water, and as a result, they’ll eventually die.
Why flush your soil?
Flushing is important to remove toxic components from the soil. Most of the toxic substances accumulate over time from fertilizer or water. For instance, when using tap water on your plants, the salts and chemicals such as chlorophyll in the water may be small, but over time, they accumulate in the soil to make the soil inhabitable.
When this happens, you have to clean the soil by flushing it. Once you flush it, the plant will have fresh soil rich in beneficial nutrients.
When is the best time to flush your soil?
The best time to flush your soil is before you harvest the plants. Why? Because as plants grow, they absorb nutrients, leaving extra nutrients containing toxic compounds in the soil. As they grow, these nutrients build up, and before you know it, they start attacking your plant towards the end when it’s maturing.
So, if you don’t flush your soil to remove excess salts before harvest time, it can affect the quality of your plants. The excess nutrients make it hard for the plant to grow in its final stages.
That’s because the toxic compounds make your plants weak and unable to use their energy to grow fully. But, once you flush your soil, the plant will have fresh and more energy to use to grow the bud size and improve its production.
Also, ensure you flush soil at the right time to avoid depriving the plants of nutrients. Check whether the plant is ready for harvesting before you begin this process.
Step-by-step process to flush soil without overwatering plants
Most gardeners don’t believe it’s possible to flush soil without overwatering plants. Trust me, it’s possible. But you have to be keen when you are starting the process.
Let’s look at the process of flushing your soil without overwatering plants.
Check the condition of your soil.
By the condition of the soil, I mean if the soil absorbs water correctly or if it has poor drainage. There are different soil types, and plants work well in different soil conditions. So, you should know your soil.
The best way to know is to add water and leave it till it is absorbed, then add water again and check if it remains stagnant at the top. If the water becomes stagnant, then you have poorly draining soil. On the other hand, if it absorbs the water, then it is good soil for flushing.
However, you don’t have to check the soil condition when using the bottom watering method.
Check your pot
When you flush your soil, the water has to come out with excess nutrients. That means the pot has to have good draining holes. If it has a blockage, you’ll have to fix it before you start the process.
Often it can be a lump of soil or rubble blocking the drainage holes. Once you determine the problem, test with fresh water to ensure it drains well.
If you don’t have drainage problems, you don’t have to go through this process.
Place the plant on a drainage spot.
Once you start flushing, the water will come out with loose soil, salts, and other components. So, place the plant in a bathtub, a sink, or a shower to drain the excess water without creating a mess.
On the other hand, you can place the pot outdoors to avoid making a mess in the house.
Ensure you use plain water that doesn’t have any minerals. Start giving the soil water slowly and keep pouring until it begins overflowing from the drainage holes. Once it starts overflowing, stop watering the soil and wait some time for the water to drain. Start the process again and repeat it a few times.
So, how much is enough water to flush your plants? A common rule is to add more water than normal watering water. At least four times the normal amount. Also, another method you can use to measure water coming out of the pot. The water draining off should be 25% to 50% of the pot’s volume.
This process makes sure you flush soil without overwatering plants. And once you are done, let the soil sit still for a few hours as it drains off excess water.
Place the pot on a drip tray.
After flushing, place a drip tray underneath the plant for about 24 hours. Check whether it has collected water during that period. The excess water will drip out over time, and you won’t have to experience overwatering your plants.
Alternatives to flushing
Most people have doubts about flushing their soil because of overwatering. However, you don’t have to fear because you can flush soil without overwatering plants. But, there are other alternatives that you can use to improve the soil quality.
Here are the different alternatives.
- Repotting the plant
- Add fresh potting soil
- Add mulch or compost
Without any doubt, you can flush soil without overwatering plants if you follow the outlined steps. Flushing will help your soil and your plants. With better soil quality, you can improve the growth of your plant.
You can repeat this process after a few months to ensure your plants have the required nutrients and to avoid the build-up of toxins in the soil. And if it doesn’t work, you can repot and change the soil.