Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Too Much of a Good Thing

The most surprising answer on the pre-test during my first Master Gardener class here in Arizona was this:
The most frequent cause of plant distress in the desert is overwatering.
Yes, denizens, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing... and I have the photos to prove it.

Apparently, too much perlite... old perlite... improperly stored perlite... leads to situations like this
as the extraneous pellets flee the saturated soil in the shallow pot,
and this 
as the soil clumps together in impenetrable clods
making it impossible for the roots to pick up any nutrients at all.
They are waterlogged, drowned, soggy, sodden, sorry things.
They're not much good as decorative plants.
And so, I was back at it yesterday.
I rescued what seemed salvageable and repotted it with brand new soil.
I tried to ignore the fact that the two containers I had not improved were doing just fine

as was the succulent I transplanted into the dirt on the north side of the house.
Apparently, too much tender loving care is the equivalent of a death knell for growing things in the desert.
Who knew? 
The answer, unfortunately, is I did.

I would type more but I must return to the nursery for more supplies.
Just because I failed once, does not mean that I will not try again.

Gardening in the desert requires an acceptance of disappointment.
I'm getting very good at that.

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