Water runs thru hanging basket w/o wetting the soil

It was nice and wet a few days ago and today it's dry and wilty. (Nasturtium seedlings; they don't shade the surface yet.) The basket is hanging in bright shade and gets a little sun early in the morning.
Would spraying the surface with a little soapy water help?
Thanks, Bob
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On Sat, 27 May 2006 12:08:14 -0500, zxcvbob wrote:

That should work Bob. When I did nursery work we would soak the baskets in a bucket or tub untill they re-wetted themselves. That's a funny looking sentence.... guess I need more coffee!
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It may be better to soak the basket in a tub of water until it's thoroughly soaked. I replaced all my baskets with hanging plastic pots. They're much easier to water and stay damp longer.
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Mindful wrote:

Yes, that's excellent advice.
Soil is like a sponge.
Place a completely dry sponge under the faucet and it takes a long while before it absorbs water.
Place a slighly damp sponge under the faucet and it immediately takes up water.
This is a property of surface tension in water, where water molecules attract other water molecules, in effect pulling water into the sponge/soil.
Soaking the pot in a bucket of water, or even the kitchen sink will do the trick.
Also, don't shy away from mixing things into the potting soil to improve water retention.
You may even place a wet sponge or two at the bottom of the pot, on top of a gravel mixture if your prefer.
-Jason
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Lucky wrote:

That's why I mentioned the soap.

I can do that now, while the plants are small. Once they are streaming three feet over the sides, it won't be practical.
I watered them from the top this morning and most of the water just ran through. But I checked it a couple of hours later and the little bit of water that had soaked in had spread all throughout the soil, and it was receptive to more water now.
Best regards, Bob
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After the plant shades the soil, you may find it still gets bone dry if it's in the sun all day. Hanging baskets, in general, are about half as large as they should be.
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it is a good idea to place a high absorbent diaper on the bottom. it has those water holding crystals and the plastic facing down. the watering will hold better. Ingrid

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