Even those that don’t have so much as a single day’s experience in the art of indoor gardening know that overwatering is in every respect a pretty terrible idea. Nevertheless, overwatering remains the single most common cause of disaster for those looking to produce a sturdy indoor vegetable crop – many of whom never get to experience the joy of harvesting.
Of course, indoor gardeners in general are not exactly keen to admit that they are making these kinds of rookie errors. Nevertheless, it will always be your plants that have the final say with regard to how well you are looking after them – they’re also pretty good at telling you when you’re doing a terrible job with your watering duties.
For example, if you notice that your vegetable plants are wilting, it could be that they are not getting enough water. If on the other hand they are wilting and yet there is plenty of water in the soil, chances are you are giving them too much of the stuff. Too much water in the soil makes it difficult or impossible for the roots to absorb the oxygen they need to survive, which can in turn that lead to a plant which looks like it is starving to death…because to a large extent it is.
Brown Leaf Tips
Perhaps the most easily identifiable sign of overwatering also tends to be the first to present itself. There are of course plenty of reasons why the leaves on your vegetable plants may become discolored, but if you notice that just the tips of the leaves are beginning to turn brown, this is usually a sure-fire sign that you are overwatering them. Mercifully, this usually represents a level of damage which is less than severe and easily remedied.
Brown, Wilting Leaves
If things have progressed one step further, then there’s every chance the leaves on your plants may be turning brown in general are becoming rather limp. This can happen due to there being too much or too little water in the soil – the difference being that if you are overwatering, the leaves will feel rather soggy while under-watering leads to leaves that feel dry and brittle.
If your plants are provided with too much water which goes on to be ingested, they can become bloated and overloaded in a similar manner overfed human being. But along with becoming rather sluggish and unhealthy, the very cells within the plant’s leaves are put under huge pressure by the excess water and may eventually burst to form blisters. The result can be a plant which looks to some extent as if it is covered in white warts and legions, which despite often being misinterpreted as the sign of a serious disease can in most cases be attributed to simple overwatering.
Last but not least, leaf fall is another one of those pesky problems that can be indicative of both too little water or too much of the stuff. It’s quite common for newcomers to panic at the sight of leaf fall and assume that the answer simply must be to add more water, when in fact it was too much in the first place that caused the problem. When leaf fall presents alongside buds that fail, it’s almost definitely an overwatering issue.
Monitoring and maintaining optimum moisture levels really isn’t all that difficult. Moisture meters cost next to nothing and all plants have their own well-documented watering guidelines, which if followed to the letter are largely foolproof.