You know that keeping the soil moist helps your plants to grow and thrive. Perhaps you live in a particularly arid region, though. Maybe you have especially thirsty plants. On the other hand, you may simply forget to water your plants and flowers on a regular basis. If so, keeping soil moist can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are many time-saving and practical methods that can help maintain the proper level of moisture in the soil of your potted plants or flowerbed.
Apply mulch to flowerbeds or outdoor plants to help keep potting soil moist. If the soil is already covered with a layer of old mulch, remove it and replace with fresh, clean mulch. A thick layer of mulch can decrease water evaporation by up to 50 percent.
Cut clean, dry sponges into pieces small enough to fit into the bottom of plant pots. Moisten the sponges and place them into empty pots. Fill with potting soil and add plants. The sponges will retain moisture as you water the plants and help keep the potting soil moist.
Irrigate beds, gardens or small trees with a soaker hose. Soaker hoses are made from porous rubber tubing. This allows water to slowly seep from the entire length of the hose rather than gush out of one end as with traditional garden hoses. You can wrap a soaker hose around a larger plant or stretch it across an entire bed to help keep the soil moist.
Poke the soil around your plant with a plastic drinking straw or pencil before you water. This will create several conduits into which the water can flow, allowing it to moisten a larger area of the soil. This will help keep it moist longer.
Place ice cubes into a potted plant in addition to regular watering. As the ice slowly melts, the soil will be steadily moistened. By adding ice to potting soil that has already been adequately watered, you will help keep it moist for an extended period.