Full Member
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Joined: Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:09 pm
Location: Seattle, WA

Chopstick Watering Method - How do YOU do it?

I did some research on the chopstick watering method, as suggested by more than one person on this forum.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that I couldn't find 2 sources that agreed with one another about how to use this method. The main disparities are 1) Where to put the chopstick and 2) How long to leave the chopstick in the soil.

I'm curious how those of you on this forum do it.

1) Where to put the chopstick. The most common suggestions are either at the edge of the pot or halfway from the center of the plant to the edge of the pot. Seems to me halfway would be better, but maybe then you have greater risk of hitting a root.

2) How long to leave the chopstick in. I've seen many different suggestions for this. The most common are:

* Leave the chopstick in the soil all the time. Check daily to see if damp.

* Put the chopstick in for 5 minutes, then remove to check for dampness.

* Put the chopstick in for 10 minutes

* 15 minutes

How do you do it? Let's see which is the most popular method. I'm especially interested to hear from anyone who's experimented with the different variations and found one that worked best.

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2661
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:52 am
Location: SE-OH USA Zone 6-A

Re: Chopstick Watering Method - How do YOU do it?

If your goal is to determine if your soil has--or needs more water, by touching the part of a chopstick that was inserted in soil, oh I guess any amount of time in excess of a few seconds should do the trick.

I've been known to simply stick my finger into soil when I didn't have a chopstick (or toothpick) handy.

The more routinely and regularly you handle your tree babies, the closer you will come to actually being able to identify your trees general condition and to start to research the deficits as you notice them (and) before they become casualties.

I am posing it is handling, and not protocols that will get you the skills you want.

Trolling might be its own reward.

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