Hi! I am a first-time container gardener.How can I tell if my soil is too wet or too dry? I'm trying a method that a few people I've met practice wherein you grow THE most in the smallest amount of space.When I first planted my lettuce, it was awesome,now I can't tell what happened?! I asked a couple of gardeners at my local FM what they thought. One said it could be the weather (too hot) the other said, I may not be watering enough with all of those seeds, the lettuce needs A LOT of water, according to him. Any thoughts? I also have no cellphone or I'd send you a photo. Thank you kindly..! Terri PS- Is there an online site where I can ask questions so I don't have to bug you guys?
Container Gardening and Lettuce
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Here at GKH, There is a team dedicated to answering questions that people may have. We welcome your questions, and are glad to help anytime you need.
I, myself, prefer container gardening as well. With this comes a whole different set of issues than field gardening. With a little know how from experienced gardeners, you will do just fine.
First... With watering, I use the finger test. It is simple: Stick your finger into the soil, and you should always feel slight moisture at about 2-3 inches down. The top will dry out well before the rest will. Water well, making sure there are drainage holes to let extra run out. Your goal is minimum run-off. You don't want to waste precious nutrients. You want to let the top dry, no more than two or three inches down. You do want the top to dry though.
The pH of the soil is usually the next big issue. There is a simple way to keep it in check. Dolomitic lime (not hydrated lime) will do three things: 1. Control pH. 2. Provides calcium. 3. Provides magnesium. These three things solve three big problems in container gardening for you.
Last... Always use a good quality soil, or blend your own with plenty of organic matter, always having dolomitic lime on hand. You will always use it.
If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask us as many questions as you need!