Chopstick or not to Chopstick?

ConorDash

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Hello, again.

It was recently said to me to ditch the old chopstick idea, for judging moisture.
I feel this might be a hot debate and I understand it is highly up to experience, personal preference and environment, but do you agree with the chopstick or not?

I currently, mainly, use a 100% inorganic mix and use chopsticks to judge how much water is still in the middle of the substrate, as to whether I should water or not. Walter Pall would advise (from videos) to simply water any way, plenty, every day. Personally I quite like my chopstick. I remember JudyB being the first who mentioned it and recommended it to me.
Im not in a particularly hot, humid or sunny place.

So, do you think the idea of chopstick judging the moisture, is still useful in general, or in my situation?
 

barrosinc

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Usually on completely inorganic soils there is always air and the substrate never clogs. I say usually because akadama or others might break down and clog the drainage holes.
 

music~maker

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I'm with Walter on this one. If you're using proper soil, watering again doesn't hurt anything. If the top layer of soil looks dry, water away. Many years ago I used to use one of those moisture meters so I could train myself on when to water, but I abandoned that as my soil mix evolved and my experience grew. At this point, I can usually tell from across the room when something needs water just by looking at the soil.

If you're using inorganic soil anyway, what benefit do you feel you gain by using the chopstick method?
 

Victorim

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Walter says you could stand there watering for hours everyday on 100% inorganic and not be overwatering, it simply passes through and the root will absorb what they want and air is still there. Soak them bud! And if your soaking feed often, excess salts will wash away. win win.
 

mattspiniken

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put a thick string in the bottom of your pot when repotting, let the string hang out one of the drain holes. Feel the string when checking and if it is dry, water. Works really well and helps you get an idea of what kind of trees in what kind of pots will dry out fastest.
 

ConorDash

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If you are not seeing your plants dying what you are doing is working... ;)

Grimmy
lol I like that.

Thanks everyone for your comments. See some would say if the top layer is dry, water, then others would say just cos top is dry doesn't mean middle is..
But it seems like this is all moot because inorganics can be watered all day, everyday and it doesn't matter.. so.. perhaps I should just stop over thinking this bit, rid of all sticks and just water daily.

I feel like the sticks help train me with watering though, inorganics and daily watering seems like cheating.. the whole "takes 3 years to learn how to water" thing, must have some truth to it if it has survived all this time.
Also using the stick, you can't really go wrong so either way works.. well, it's still interesting how so many have differing views on it though.
I would say the more organic your mix is, the more you may need a device for moisture measuring.
 

just.wing.it

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I would say the more organic your mix is, the more you may need a device for moisture meas
Yup. Agreed.
"takes 3 years to learn how to water" thing,
It might take 3 years to get into a good groove of remembering to water, like second nature....
 

ConorDash

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I can also tell when a tree is dry by the weight - particularly if they are in pond baskets.
I read that a good few times too, I've not reached quite that stage yet :).
I think it has a place for those people just starting out, who may have substrate that isn't as forgiving with overwatering. Before you learn how to water, it can be a big help.
That's what I thought.

That's a massive load of trees.. amazing view. Really, amazing little video. Just the sheer collection, different colours, sizes, shapes, pots.. really great collection. I'm in utter awe of that. That pink maple stands out big time, very gorgeous. I'd love to see more of that, if you've a thread or collection of pics?
And yes it's certainly a good thing you don't need chopsticks! Lol
 
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