Why use rain water?
Whether you put your plants out to get the rain or collect the rain water to be used later, the benefits are the same. In nature, rain is the main source of water so it makes sense to use what plants naturally are used to. You can also use collected snow in the winter, but be sure to let it melt and reach room temperature before watering plants. There are a few key reasons to use rain for your plants though. So, let’s dive right into it.
It saves money
Collecting rain water doesn’t cost anything and you can store it for later use. In contrast, tap water, distilled water and reverse osmosis water all have some degree of cost to them. So using rain water can save you some money. Who doesn’t like that!
It contains more oxygen than tap water
The air is made up of 78% nitrogen so it will help plants to look more lush and green We. The rain water is highly oxygenated in comparison to tap after or distilled water. This helps to prevent over watering issues such as anaerobic conditions which can lead to root rot.
It helps release micronutrients
Carbon dioxide comes down with the rain and mixes with other minerals in the atmosphere. This creates a slightly acidic rain that when it touches the soil helps to release micronutrients such as zinc, manganese, copper and iron. *Not to be confused with actual acid rain which will harm your plants.*
Less chemicals than tap water
Tap water needs added chlorine or chloramine as a disinfectant and some municipalities also add fluoride to the water for cavity prevention. If given to plants, it can cause toxicity, which basically means an excess of that nutrient. This excess can cause damage to your plants in various different ways. For example, chlorine toxicity can cause yellowing, browning or scorched looking leaves. Additionally, the chlorine or chloramine in tap water kills the beneficial microbial life in your soil or coco coir.
Tips for gathering rain or snow
You can use almost anything to collect rain water such as tupperware, bucket or even cups if you had nothing else. You can also use a rain barrel to collect water. This is a great idea if you can your hands on one. Simply set it up to drain from your eavestrough directly into the barrel. Once it’s full enough, you can put the water in gallon jugs for storage. If you’re collecting snow, you’ll want to let it melt and get up to room temperature before giving it to your plants.
You can also do a snow flush on your plants before harvest to stimulate the colder, winter weather approaching. Simply add some snow to your soil and let it melt and water the plants. This stimulate nature and helps signal to the plant that it’s time to finish up.
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