well water has high iron and manganese - is this a problem?
I originally posted this to the Northern Gardening forum in error.
My new vegetable garden has done very poorly this season. I had our well water tested and found it has 1.07 mg/l iron where the maximum allowable in drinking water is .300. The manganese is .209 mg/l with a maximum allowable of .05. The soil for my raised beds was purchased through a local garden centre, and is comprised of 1/2 composted horse manure and garden soil. I irrigated with soaker hoses off the well for the first month, then changed to city water when it appeared nothing was growing properly. But, even with city water for the past two months everything is yellowed and stunted. I tried boosting with 20/20/20 weekly for three weeks and nothing changed. I have zucchini plants that are only 5 inches high and yellow, and not even the radishes grew. I also did not have to weed, because no weeds grew. Does anyone know if the iron and/or manganese is the problem, in which case I will never use the well again, or should I be looking at getting my soil tested as well? And, if it is the minerals in the well water, have I destroyed my soil?