A couple of weeks back, the green bug bit me yet again and I went and bought a whole bunch of plants for my patio garden. Among my planting ambitions was growing coriander from seeds. According to the directions on the packet in which the seeds came, the seedlings would sprout within two weeks. So I planted the seeds in a pot along with planting the other plants (tomato, capsicum, Thai chilli, egg plant and two flowering plants - california poppy and geraniums - ambitious, ambitious, I know!).
Me being a very protective and caring plant "mother", I began every morning by watering my plants assiduously. However, after more than one and a half weeks, there was absolutely no sign of any activity in the coriander pot though the other plants seemed to be doing okay - touch wood.
Then one day last week I was discussing with a colleague at work about plants and she mentioned that it was watering day for her plants. Huh - watering day? Isn't *every* day watering day? And she said, "Oh no, though I drench the soil completely when I water my plants, I water them once a week only". I doubtfully asked her if her plants did not wilt and die due to this neglect. She replied that they were doing fine and in fact an avid gardener friend of hers had told her that once a week was plenty enough water unless it was very hot weather.
Hmm. Hardening my heart, I decided to neglect my "babies" and decided to keep the watering jug away the next morning. The next evening, my skeptical self was surprised to find that the all the plants looked fine in spite of not getting any water in the morning.
The day after that that, I once again skipped the watering. Later that day, late noon, I stepped into my patio to see how my plants were doing. Surprise, surprise, not one, not two but six seedlings had popped out of the coriander pot!
O boy, I had been drowning the poor seeds all the previous days and no wonder they could not put their heads up! What's more, my tomato plant had grown two more new branches, all the other plants had put forth lots of new leaves too.
Meanwhile I had consulted the Google God. Yup, more people kill their plants by anbu thollai* a.k.a over watering than by under-watering! And there was no need to water plants as long as the top one inch of soil had moisture in it.
Oh well, you live and you learn. Here's to hoping my darling plants will not be the guinea pigs for too many experiments!
*anbu thollai roughly translates to trouble brought on by too much love.