Hard Water

superdavefiveJanuary 8, 2008

I know from my wifes house plants that we are subject to some mineral deposits in our water. It is no secret that the City of Waukesha delivers hard water. I am about to start experimenting with starting seeds indoors. Does anybody out there do anything special in regards to mineral heavy water? I remember when I was a kid that my mother would put her "plant water" in a jug to let it settle. Does this help? Is there a better solution? Should I even worry when we're talking about seedlings that will only get this water for a short time? Our older houseplants have a crusty sediment around the edge of the soil.

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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

Leaving the water sit in open air would be to let the chlorine disssipate. Some cities are using chloramine instead of chlorine which doesn't dissipate and neither does florine, for that matter. All of those are not good for plants. I usually collect rainwater or snow melt for my houseplants and seedlings.

tj

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 4:59PM
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Kat

The crusty sediment around the edge of the soil can be from the fertilizer your wife uses (if she uses any). Usually every 3 months I give my houseplants a good drenching. I put them in the sink and keep filling them with water to help get rid of that buildup. If it's really bad, you can do that more often.

Kat

    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 2:55AM
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Kat

The crusty sediment around the edge of the soil can be from the fertilizer your wife uses (if she uses any). Usually every 3 months I give my houseplants a good drenching. I put them in the sink and keep filling them with water to help get rid of that buildup. If it's really bad, you can do that more often.

Kat

    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 4:40AM
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noinwi

Here in Barron County the water is hard. The mineral deposits build up around the faucets,on vases, planters, the tea kettle and the pets' water bowls. Very annoying, but it shouldn't hurt your starts. This is the same water that goes through the hose for the veggie garden(unless you have a rain barrel).
I do let the chlorine dissipate from the water I use for my houseplants and veggie starts, and we have an under the counter filter for drinking water, but it doesn't remove the minerals. I still have to soak the above mentioned containers in vinegar water regularly to remove the deposits.
One thing you could do is purchase distilled water for your seedlings. I keep distilled water on hand for my steam iron. It's around the same price as drinking water.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 2:38PM
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mommie_rose

For seedlings, I would suggest using water vegetables have been boiled/steamed in. I use it because it's got extra nutrients (what was leached from the veg during the cooking process). I also use it for my houseplants every now and again because it seems to work like fertilizer.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 6:36PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

Yes, the crusty edges are probably from ferts. Specifically, the salts used in synthetic ferts. Like mommie_rose mentions, you can use the water from veggies, just don't use the water from canned veggies- more salt.

tj

    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 7:07PM
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leftwood(z4a MN)

Interesting about the vegetable water. I have no doubt that roots take up more than just the simple elements of fertilizers. In addition, you may be feeding other soil flora and fauna that in turn helps plants grow.

Also, years ago there was a craze about using boiled water (after it was cooled) to water seedlings. The idea was, if I remember correctly, that without the dissolve gases in it, the water was more easily absorbed by the tender roots.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 4:19PM
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lyndy(4/5)

One thing that works great, if you happen to have one, is water from an aquarium. It is chemical free, and means I regularly do a partial water change in my fish tank which helps to keep it clean. And when I do a more thorough tank cleaning, all that fish poop is great fertilizer!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 9:00AM
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