Help! My Potting Soil is Too Dry to Soak Up Water.

“Have been using your Black Gold Cactus Mix and Perlite for about a year now.  I am growing primarily succulents.  When I started, I experimented with many different kinds of soil and your soil mixed with perlite gave me the best results.  In Hawaii, my climate is hot and humid.  I have noticed lately that the soil is becoming hydrophobic.  Is there any solution to this problem or ways that I can avoid this from happening? I really love your soil and would want to avoid this with future planting.  Thank you.” Question from Patti of Mililani, Hawaii.

Answer: Yes! There are several things you can do to make dry soils moist again.

If the soils in your pots are repelling water, I suggest incorporating some Black Gold Peat Moss Plus or Black Gold Just Coir into your mix. Both products soak up water well and Peat Moss Plus contains an added organic wetting agent to keep soil water retentive. I also suggest adding a pebble layer on top of pots to help keep moisture in the mix.

For bagged soil, seal your bags well after use to keep the soil from getting dry. You can even add a little extra water to the mix and blend it by hand before sealing it. The ambient heat should help re-wet the mix.

I hope these suggestions help.

Happy gardening!

Jessie Keith

Black Gold Horticulturist