mudlady_gw(Syracuse-z5)February 26, 2006

I am trying wintersowing and if I am successful, I will have lavish beds of annuals come spring. I will have to do a lot of watering if I do have lots of beds. My well water is too nasty to drink, even though I have a substantial treatment system. Untreated water is extremely hard with high levels of calcium, magnesium, and iron. The treated water still smells bad but has been softened and most of the iron is removed. However, I am concedned about the sodium content of the treated water. I use bottled water for my houseplants, but I have to choose whether to water outdoors with treated or untreated water. Using the untreated water is a chore because it comes only from the hydrant in my Siberian huskies' kennel and I have to use a very long set of hoses.

Any ideas about which source of water would be best for the outdoor plants?


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penny1947(z6 WNY)

I am going to take a guess here that the untreated water would be the best solution. However, If you have a way of collecting it how about rain water? Last year I used a lo9t of bucket to collect snow and as it melted I used that to water a lot of my plants I also collected rain water in large storage tubs. I live in the city and have city water but when I can provide extra rain or snow water I use it since the city water is full of chemicals.


    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 8:19AM
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gottagarden(z5 western NY)

Softener salt is not good for plants. At first they won't mind, but eventually the salts build up in the soil and wreak havoc, starting with sensitive plants first.

At our house we have well water. The incoming pipe is split as it goes into the house. One fork goes for the outside hose system, the other goes to the water softener and everything in the house. I didn't have to request it, it was built that way, probably because people don't want to pay to soften water that is only going outside. Check your pipes to see if you might have a similar situation without knowing it.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2006 at 2:38PM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

First try to reduce the watering. Deeply prepared beds and mulching can help a great deal, as can growing plants that don't necessarily need a lot of water.

If you don't have to water, then the problem disappears.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2006 at 4:11PM
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adina72(z5 CNY)

Also, you could try alternating with the softened water and the untreated water. Definately do not use any chemical fertilizers as they contain salts as well. Stick with organics. But I think the ideal situation would be to put in one or two rain barrels and use lots of mulch on your flower beds.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2006 at 10:33AM
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