Mineral Content of Tap Water

garf_gwMay 20, 2011

The included pic is that of a drinking glass used for tap water in Miami. If not scrubbed regularly, you get a buildup of minerals within a couple of weeks. Imagine a plant in a 5 gallon pot in summer in Miami, watered every other day. How long do you suppose it takes to build up to toxic levels. Theoretically, you can flush the pot regularly, but then there goes the nutrients. What is the best solution?

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If you're using organic fertilizer or controlled release fertilizer, only small amounts of nutrients will be soluble and available to be leached at any one time, so "flushing out" the pots won't be a problem. If you're using water soluble fertilizer, then you can irrigate with the nutrient solution after flushing the pot out with regular water (though giving the plants a break from water soluble nutrients isn't necessarily a bad thing). If you're using conventional fertilizers, then flushing them out might be a problem.

Lowering the pH of the water (and neutralizing the alkalinity in the process) is another option. Commercial growers use sulfuric, hydrochloric, or phosphoric acid. Acetic acid is an easy option for a home gardener. Lowering the pH of your water to somewhere between 6 and 7 should eliminate your salt accumulation, and is generally good for your plants as well.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 12:28AM
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