Karen knelt beside her apple tree and admired the large ceramic pot that she had invested in. Her grandmother had told her that a tree grown in a pot would need a lot of room for the roots to grow around in the soil. The tree would only grow as large as its roots could spread, so a large pot was needed to give the tree some growing room. She had likewise been warned that if the tree were not given a large enough pot, its roots would eventually break through the pot itself to find more room to grow.
The pot that Karen had chosen was a mosaic of red and blue tiles in a striped design. Not only did it give the apple tree plenty of room to grow on her balcony, but it matched the cushions on her porch chair as well. Karen checked around the soil of her tree, making sure that no intruding insects were bothering her balcony resident. She hummed to herself as she went through this nightly ritual.
Once she was satisfied that her apple tree was free of pests, she turned back toward her apartment. Karen grabbed her two gallon watering can and measured out the weekly dose of organic fertilizer mix into the can’s bottom. She filled the can with water and returned to her balcony again. Karen hefted the heavy watering can and tilted it over the edge of the pot slowly. She watched as the water flowed in around the soil, and paused as the water seemed to overrun the soil’s surface.
Karen waited patiently while the apple tree soaked up all of the nutritious water. Experience had taught her that the plant needed time to let the water soak in before more was added. When she watered her tree too quickly, the nutrient-rich water simply spilled over the sides and out the bottom of the plant, resulting in her tree not getting enough to drink. Only once the water soaked in did Karen add more, pausing again when the water reached the overflow threatening point.