Soil doesn't absorb water

I planted some bamboo seeds in potting soil and when I pour water on it the water just stays on top. If I let it soak in, it only goes like 1/2" down. Do I have to let it soak in longer?
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It's a good idea to wet your potting soil first, wet enough that it can be formed into a soft ball when squeezed. It should be moist but not soaking wet. If you do this first, you should find that the water will then drain through. If not, you need to lighten your soil by using perlite. Make sure that you have a drainage area in the bottom of the pot. Hope this helps.
--
gloria - only the iguanas know for sure



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On Sat, 07 May 2005 19:35:50 -0400, Michael Shaffer wrote:

Use WARM water, peat moss and some soils tend to act hydrophobic when totally dry.
Tom
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Put the whole pot in tepid (baby-bath-temperature) water, up to the rim, overnight. Allow to drain. Keep the soil moist or you'll probably have to do it again.
An alternative can be to add a small amount of surfactant to the water and top water. In the past, I've found one drop of shampoo per quart of water satisfactory.
Next time you use this potting soil, throw some hot water in the bag a couple days before hand, close the bag, and knead it a bit... then leave for 48 hours or so before planting. It'll probably wet easier.
Kay
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Hot water? I just got a bunch of Scottsmans mixes from Home Depot. I really like the texture, but both types had so much peat I had to soak the pots to get them moist. Almost killed one of my trees before I noticed the whole half-gallon of water I poured on it ran right over the top and down out one hole and left the soil dry.
John

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Hot water wets sphagnum better than cold. But don't use it if you've planted something in it! <g>
Kay
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