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When to water

 
pollinator
Posts: 328
Location: Zone 8b Portland
46
forest garden fungi food preservation
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I've been mulching with wood chips really heavily for the last few years and I'm getting some really nice organic matter built up in certain areas.  I mulched 2 areas very heavily (12" or more) in the fall/spring and now that we're in summer I'm starting to wonder when I should be watering.  The plants are acting like they need water but when I dig down even 1" it's soaked still.  Is it possible that I'm confusing heat stress with water stress?  Without the chips I was watering at least once a week.  Now I'm letting it go for weeks and wondering if I should be adding more water or just letting it dry out.  
 
pollinator
Posts: 2085
Location: 4b
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I would dig down until you are beneath the wood chips into the soil, and another inch or two down.  If it's damp, it doesn't need water.  
 
Chris Holcombe
pollinator
Posts: 328
Location: Zone 8b Portland
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forest garden fungi food preservation
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That sounds good to me. It eliminates the problem of the chips being wet and the soil being dry. I’ll do that in a few spots this weekend to get a feel for the moisture levels
 
gardener
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Location: Central Texas zone 8a
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I am in that timeframe (100 degrees f) where plants just wilt in the heat of the day, regardless of moisture in soil.
 
Chris Holcombe
pollinator
Posts: 328
Location: Zone 8b Portland
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forest garden fungi food preservation
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Yeah we had a few days recently that were near 100F. I think I’m confusing heat stress with lack of water but I’ll confirm this weekend
 
Chris Holcombe
pollinator
Posts: 328
Location: Zone 8b Portland
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forest garden fungi food preservation
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Ok I dug down to the soil and yeah it’s fairly dry. There’s a ton of water trapped in the wood chips but the soil seems to have dried out a bit. I’m really looking forward to the organic matter content in the soil rising to a level where it stays moist. It’s only a matter of time 😊
 
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