Making Soil Retain Water

Q: The soil in the huge pots on my patio has dried out completely. The soil doesn’t seem to retain water. What can I do?

A: Empty the soil from the pots into a big plastic bag. For every cubic foot of soil, add a quart of water that has been mixed with a teaspoon of dish detergent. Seal the bag, then mix and mash the soil inside. Leave it in the sun for a day and then refill the big pots. The water and detergent will wet the soil and make it less hydrophobic in the future.