Water and the Plants

It’s a funny thing about plants. They need water to grow. Who woulda thought? The best way for this to happen is from the rain. Which seems like a duh statement, but there is actually something to this. Not just because it’s easy watering that I don’t have to do, but because rain makes plants grow faster and better than water from the house. This is actually a real thing. Rainwater is better for plants than tap water for several reasons. It doesn’t contain the chemicals added to tap water, like chlorine, fluoride, and other non intentional chemicals like pesticides and pharmaceuticals. It also is slightly alkaline which plants like and city water is run to be slightly basic. Finally rain water contains nitrates, which can be taken up by your plants. With nitrogen being one of the main limiting factors for plant growth the extra availability of nitrates is always a benefit.1 While we don’t use city water, unless we have to fill our house cistern, we still filter our water through two heavy duty filters which removes much of the beneficial content. It would be optimum if we could get about 10-30 minutes of a good soaking rain every day, but unfortunately the world doesn’t work like that.

One of the most difficult aspects of our garden, that we have struggled with for the past five years, is how to get sufficient water out to the garden without either depleting our own house water supply or running out to the water filling station every time we need to water. I have been carting several gallon jugs up to the garden on dry days to try and water the plants that desperately needs it, but it’s really not enough and all of the garden has been suffering. I nearly lost all of my tomato plants from an 8 day drought earlier in the summer.

Sad tomatoes

We have toyed with the idea of making a hose attachment for the mobile cistern, or attaching a hose to the spigot we installed at the back of the house. While doing the later would be easier it would also mean we would be using the house water which would increase our need to go and get water during times of major drought. It’s honestly been one of those small decisions that, while making it would solve so many problems, we haven’t been able to move on it.

This week i finally got fed up. I got fed up with having a garden that hasn’t produced anything since last spring and it’s our fault. I was so upset in fact that Chris took me out to the farm supply store and we fixed the issue. We ended up with 230 ft of house that we attached to the spigot and on Sunday evening I finally sufficiently watered my plants. They were happy, and so was I.

Now it’s Monday morning and we are having a nice soaking rain.

And I’m content and drinking my coffee.

Cheers y’all

1 https://www.bluebarrelsystems.com/blog/rainwater-for-garden/

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