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Winter Water Woes: How to Hydrate Yourself and Your Plants in Cold Weather


Our flower field resting for the winter

I love our wood stove. The coziness gets in my bones and warms me to the core on these frosty mornings. There is a worn-out patch of carpet right in front of it where my kids read, draw, and play in close vicinity to it's warmth.

AND.

It sucks all the moisture right out of the air leading to the occasional bloody nose and uptick in dry skin. Since it’s cold, I forget to drink enough water to stay hydrated. When I am dehydrated I get terrible stomach cramps. Does that ever happen to you? They don’t let up until I rehydrate which can take a few hours. This is always a very rough reminder to stay hydrated. 

We live in a dry climate, there is very little humidity in the air to begin with, and winter heating sucks out the little that is there. Our low humidity can actually be a real benefit in growing plants! Low humidity means less fungal disease pressure, and more airflow between plants so we can really pack them close together (which is great for someone like me who is always trying squuueeeeze in one more plant!). 

This week I'm tackling hydration for humans and plants.  I’ll give you a few tips for seed-starting focusing on water, plus my hydration tips for humans like us!


Plants

When starting seeds the seed must stay moist to signal that it is time to sprout!  I start all my seeds indoors in the wintertime so monitoring moisture is top of mind.  Here are a few of my hacks to make sure they sprout:


Newly sprouted seedlings after I take off the humidity dome!

#1 Use a humidity dome or saran wrap. Once you have seeded your little plants, keeping a humid environment helps tremendously with germination.  Typically I use a humidity dome when sprouting a large quantity but sometimes I use saran wrap to cover a smaller amount.  I reuse meat trays and salad tubs then cover them with saran wrap to get seeds to sprout!


#2 Water from the bottom.  Fill up your seed tray with water and let the soil wick it up from the bottom.  This keeps more even moisture in your soil and against your seeds.  It also prevents you from bouncing your seed out of place with overhead water


#3 Make it easy. Choose a time 1x per day to check in on them.  Maybe it’s right before you leave for work. Maybe it’s before bed.  Commit to a time that you’ll check in on your seedlings to make sure they’re not drying out. 


Humans

#1 Water before coffee. First thing in the morning, before you have your coffee, drink water! First thing I do in the morning is get my quart jar, fill it with water, a squeeze of lemon, and a big pinch of salt. I don’t have my coffee until I finish my water, this helps set me up for the day of staying hydrated.


#2 Add salt! All of our bodies are different, but I’ve found by increasing my salt and potassium I stay much more hydrated and energized.  This past year I started using a salt electrolyte called LMNT that I love and has made a big difference in how often I get muscle cramps and hydration stomach cramps. I make a huge pitcher of water for the day, add my salts then drink from it all day.


My favorite pitcher and hydration ingredients.

#3 Make it easy.  I find if I use a straw in my water I double or triple my water intake.  I have a quart jar with a straw that I use on home days and a large travel cup with a straw that I use out and about.  Does your water bottle need a straw? How can you make it easier to hydrate? 


Let me know if you try any of these for plants or people! Thank you for your time and attention and for creating something beautiful with us. 



 *I’m not in any way affiliated with LMNT, I just love their product

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It's funny, warm air holds more moisture, but for your woodstove to work, it draws in cold, dry air in from the outside! So, you need to humidify again indoors (that's why a lot of folks put a pot of water on the woodstove). Hope that helps! Also, most American diets have too much salt (mine included). Trust your body. If you're thirsty, you're already too low on water. I love drinking a warm glass of water each morning in one deep breath. Staying away from ice lets me drink a lot when I'm thirsty (very satisfying). Water before coffee! And drink 8 ounces/1 of water for every cup of coffee, because coffee is a diuretic = forces y…

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