Should You Wet Soil Before Planting?


Many gardeners ask how to prepare the soil for planting, prior to starting a garden. The preparation of soil for your garden is a simple and easy process. You’re getting ready for another set of planting. You may be eager to get started and do the planting quickly. In your eagerness, you may have already purchased the seeds and/or the plants. But wait! Don’t be in too much of a hurry. Let’s get the soil properly prepared and wet before planting.

So, should you wet soil before planting? Yes, you should wet the soil before planting. This is a crucial step to take to ensure your planting goes well. Skipping this step may cause your plants to not root well in the soil or cause them to dry up and die shortly after placing them in the ground.

With proper care, use good quality soil, proper preparation before planting, and careful attention after planting, you are on the road to success.

It is vital that the soil is sufficiently moist and ready well in advance of your planting date. Otherwise, digging the hole for planting will be quite laborious, and when the soil is completely dry, you will find that the plant won’t absorb water as expected. The water will run off, and you may lose your new plants quickly.

If you are in a hurry, it’s best to wait. You don’t want the negative effect of your new plants drying up quickly. You first have to find the right soil for gardens. You’ve got to start with a plan to get the soil ready for planting. Dry soil just won’t do the job. Start early and get the soil ready for the day of planting well in advance of the day of planting.

Start Several Days Ahead

When you get ready for planting, make sure to begin preparing well in advance. Some people will recommend starting days in advance to start watering. if you don’t, you may find that the soil is so dry that you may struggle to dig holes to plant anything there. Then, when you try to water it, the soil may not absorb water, causing a sort of runoff, leading to a failure in what you started out to do.

Avoid this danger and begin watering early much before you begin the process. Allow the soil to soak up the water early on, so that the soil will become soft and pliable. Then, when you are ready for planting, the process will be easier, as you put in the spade or tiller. Then as you water, the soil will soak up the water and benefit your garden.

Prepare The Entire Planting Area

You’ll want to run a sprinkler over the entire area by putting it on low for about 15 to 20 minutes. If the soil was already hard, let the water settle or drain. Use your finger to test how deep the water has penetrated. Continue doing this several times until the soil is moist. Remember that you want it moist, but it should not be soggy, causing your seeds to be destroyed.

Wet the soil like this several days before the date you will be planting. But on the day of planting, don’t water the soil before planting. If the water is too much and the soil gets soggy, it will cause various problems for your seeds or plants.

Prepare The Planting Hole Individually

If you are not planting the seeds and you get the plants instead, here’s what you need to do. Dig holes that are double the size of the rootball, and fill the hole with water and allow the water to drain down the hole. If it drains quickly, it repeats the process several times because the soil may be completely dried out. With clay type of soils, this process may take more time. Wait till the hole and the surrounding area is completely moist but not soggy. Then, you can go on and install the plant.

Water After Planting

Once the planting is done, the watering must be handled carefully. Assuming that the soil was properly moist before planting, you are now on a good start with your gardening process. Start watering with a slow drip method directly to the roots if possible. Otherwise, the sprinkler system will work fine.

Watering needs to be slow for long periods of time. This allows for the water to soak deeper into the soil, allowing for more of the roots to benefit. If you water too much out of your eagerness to see a good crop, you are doing more damage than good.

Continue to water until the rain begins. But make sure there is sufficient saturating rain. Otherwise, if it is just a drizzle, the little water that falls on the soil will quickly evaporate and the seeds or roots will miss out. Keep a tab on the amount of water your garden gets from the rain. Monitor it properly so that your vegetables don’t suffer without sufficient water.

Related Questions

How do you prepare soil for planting?

Preparing soil for planting in gardens is simple. For your vegetable garden to be a success, proper soil preparation is necessary. When you begin with better quality soil, your end result will be better. First, make sure to remove all grass from the planting area. If possible, get rid of all the roots from the grass to prevent more growth of the grass. This may take some time and effort, but it will be worth the trouble. Second, use a spade, or plow, or even a rototill on the area to turn over the soil. You don’t want to plant in unplowed soil and risk your crops. In that case, all your efforts will be in vain.

Is it better to till wet or dry soil?

Tilling the soil is crucial. Make sure that the soil isn’t too dry and hard that it is difficult to penetrate. In such a situation, you may need to use a pickax to penetrate the hard soil. You sure don’t want that. Wet the soil just enough to be soft and pliable. If the soil comes up in clumps or a ball, then it is too wet. Water it well, but just right for tilling.

How do you treat soil before planting?

If you want healthy plants, you must cultivate healthy soil and the environment by treating it properly. When the soil in your garden is appropriate, you won’t need much fertilizers or pesticides. It is said that when you build the health of your soil, and thereby your vegetables, your health is also improved.

Well treated, organic soil will contain plenty of humus, which comes as the result of decaying leaves, grass clippings, and your basic compost. It does better-withholding moisture, yet drains good. Such soil will be loose and fluffy with lots of minerals that are important for effective plant growth. Within such soil will be living organisms such as earthworms and fungi and bacteria. This helps maintain a great quality soil.

Other Considerations

Can I plant seeds in wet soil?

Planting needs to be done in soil that is moist. If it is too dry, that is a problem for the seeds and plants. If it is too wet and soggy, that also causes several complications for the seeds and it may not grow properly. Make sure to have a balanced amount of water in the soil for effectiveness.

How to make good garden soil?

Using any soil won’t work to get your vegetable garden up and running. Start with good topsoil that is free from pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and other pollutants. Then, add sufficient compost to supply good microbes and to increase the water holding capacity. Mixing in the sand will improve the drainage so that all the water won’t stay on top or at the root level and “drown” the roots. Then, of course, get your soil tested and provide the appropriate fertilizers according to the soil and according to the vegetables you will be planting.

How packed should the soil be before planting?

For better planting, you need soil that is loose and easy to work with. If the soil seems to be packed and dense, try digging holes to transplant seeds for tomatoes or peppers, and any others. Work the soil with one or two quarts of compost or manure for each 8 to 10 inches planting hole. Work it well into the soil so that it is loose enough for planting.

Eyerly Family

The Eyerly Family is a family of 8 that loves gardening. Over the past several years we have been applying what we learn about gardening to our own 16x16 raised back yard garden. Our garden is very prolific and we grow a wide variety of vegetables which we love to eat! Click here to learn more about the Eyerly Family.

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