GardenGeek
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What is Best Water for Plants? Distilled, Tap, Purified?

Hey Friends!
What kind of water you are using for your plants?
Like Destilled?
Tap?
Purified??


I have been using destilled for actual watering, but "degassed" for the vaporizer that is close by my plant to provide humidity.
Correct me if i am doing wrong please

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rainbowgardener
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I use tap water that has sat out over night so the chlorine evaporates out of it -- is that what you mean by "degassed"? This is for my seedlings under the lights (and currently the water has cinnamon and chamomile added to help prevent fungus).

Later on for outdoors, I use rain water when I can (we have a rain barrel). If I run out of that, back up is a 50 gallon pond that I can steal from. As a last resort, I use tap water straight from the hose. I'm hoping we get a second rain barrel this year. Then I would rarely have to use hose water.

a0c8c
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I'd be using rain barrels for my seedlings and such, but I don't have any barrels :( Right now I buy gallons of spring water, as they have micronutrients distilled water doesn't have. At 78 cents a gallon, it's not too bad.
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gixxerific
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a0c8c wrote:I'd be using rain barrels for my seedlings and such, but I don't have any barrels :( Right now I buy gallons of spring water, as they have micronutrients distilled water doesn't have. At 78 cents a gallon, it's not too bad.
Good idea on the spring water.

I use "degassed" water for my indoor plants but sadly hose water for outside. I don't have a rain barrel though I do put out 5 gallon buckets to catch rain when it is raining and that is the only water I will use for compost tea.

If I had it my way it would be rain barrel water only. But alas I'm in a money pinch, I do however have a small allowance to spend on gardening due to taxes but, again sadly, a rain barrel does not fit into that budget. I will see what I can do though I am pretty resourceful.

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Sage Hermit
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melted snow and tap water.
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GeorgiaGirl
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I try not to use tap water, although sometimes (in the heat of a drought-y summer when there's no other water source) you do what you have to.

I try to use when possible:

- filtered water for my seedlings (triple-filtered with a Berkey water system)
- captured rainwater (no big barrels yet, but I have several 13-15-gallon containers I just leave out and use as needed)
- water from the basement dehumidifier when it gets full
- tap water that I let sit out for 24 hours if I'm out of the other kinds

We'd love to have a well on the property too, specifically for the gardens and occasionally the fescue back yard (if we have another drought), but that's an expense that's not in the works anytime soon.
Julia in Georgia

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applestar
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For the most part, I use filtered water or de-chlorinated water.

GardenGeek, I'm pretty sure you don't want to water with distilled water. Rainwater contains far more nutrients than distilled. I have to find the ref. but I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that distilled water is NOT beneficial for another reason besides lack of nutrients, maybe it has to do with positive and negative charge/ions? Anyone know?

If you have a home distiller you might want to use that pure water for the vaporizer. It will prevent mineral build-up in the unit, as well other stuff (I can't remember what) that can get condensed and blown out (this might've been with cool-mist humidifiers). Anyway, distilled is better for the unit.

GardenGeek
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Thanks so much for such a variety of ideas and experiences
Apple star i will search on what you said and will post here if i get some appropriate reason
If any other know that why distilled water is not good for plants? please tell

Thankyou buddies

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Sage Hermit
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I pump water out of our River and we have a well on the farm. Tap water is fine.
I forgot to metion back in the day I got a 300 gal fishtank :))))) I hauled that up to the farm and we put fish in it and it collects rain water. : O )
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katylaide
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It's likely to be different in the USA, but I know that in the Adelaide Hills in South Australia, leaving tap water overnight wouldn't do much for the chlorine because there's a fair bit of it in there, you'd probably need a week. Also, chloraminated water would take weeks to be free of chloramine. If you don't know yet and want to be really sure, you could probably find out what they put in your tap water. I use rainwater and dirty aquarium water, which is the waste water from a reverse osmosis machine, containing no chlorine or chloramine (or else it would kill the fish), but I'm told this water can be a bit high in salts. Occasionally my parents water my vegies with the hose and they don't seem to have suffered, they probably appreciate someone who knows how to water plants better than me.

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applestar
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In the instructions that came with a mushroom growing kit from Fungi Perfecti, they said to use (1) Spring, well, or rainwater or (2) boiled and cooled tap water, but "BE SURE NOT TO USE CHLORINATED OR DISTILLED WATER!" -- their caps and exclamation point.

gracejax
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I have an outdoor filter that is on one of my faucets...as well as, collected rainwater. I would never use distilled water either for myself or for my plants. Frankly, I save that for my iron. Since distilling takes out EVERYTHING from the water, I don't feel that it is beneficial. I, too, have found that chlorinated water seems to need to be left more than just overnight. At least 3 days seems to be better and more effective.

I collect water from my kitchen sink while waiting for it to heat up (I have a wonderful instantaneous water heater) and then leave it for a few days before using it. I must admit to sometimes using water straight from the tap...I too can be swayed by the convenience.
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soil
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rainwater is the best
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GardenGeek
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You are absolutely right
I got to know that rain water has natural vitamins,miners,and others good nutrients thats why plants grow so well..

GeorgiaGirl
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Just a side musing: It's amazing, having grown up in the 80's being told how terrible and poisonous rain water is (the whole "acid rain" thing) is, to think how much more contaminated regular tap water is (not just chlorine, but fluoride is horrible for humans to ingest -- I imagine it can't be great for plants, plus traces of pharmaceuticals, female hormones, and who-knows-what-all-else). Just a weird shift of thinking. But, yeah, I've noticed that everything watered with rain water fares better than water straight from the hose.
Julia in Georgia

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gixxerific
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Georgiagirl I was thinking the same thing and did some research, rain water contains all kinds of bad stuff, and rain barrel water is even worse.

But (BIG BUT HERE) that is what our plants are used to so should it be a problem?

Google is your friend.

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Sage Hermit
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Many years ago I was obsessed with wilderness survival and read a great number of books and even treked hundreds and hundreds of miles in the desrts in the US. I never told anoyone this but thats why I picked the Name Sage Hermit beacuse one day I made camp under a sage brush. I learned of one way to purify water.

Basically its a 3 part filtration system consisting of 3 materials. You make about a 4 foot teepee. On the top you want to hang a basket of straw. below that basket you want a some dirt and below that basket put some sand. It all filters down through each basket and comes out the bottom filtered.
--/V\-
-/-V-\-
/--V--\-
~~~~~~
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Toil
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I live in a state known for really good tapwater right now. So it's a no brainer.

Chlorine kills beneficials by oxidizing organic matter. It can't do it twice! So just about anything will neutralize it. Molasses, soil, vitamin c...
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Organic4Life
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I prefer well water first, rain water second and tap water as a last resort.

emerald7
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Filtered water

My tap water doesn't taste horrible, but it's not that great either. But I don't like having to haul gallons of drinking water into the house from the store every week, and most of all I don't like the massive amounts of trash generated by drinking bottled water. It also costs less to have a water filter on your kitchen faucet than it does to buy bottled water, minus the trash. So... for the past 4 or 5 years I've had a pretty good water filter on my kitchen faucet (Multi Pure). It takes out chlorine and a lot of bad chemicals (arsenic, VOCs, etc etc it's a long list), while leaving minerals intact. So, that's what I drink, that's what I give my cat, and that's what I feed the plants too.
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JV
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well water and rainwater.

joshbuchan
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well i would rather use water from the tap than nothing,
but i have got a little set up were rain water runs of my garadge and green house roofs and goes inthe to gutterin, which goes into my 3rd water tank, then theres a pipe at the bottem which runs two my 2und water tank which has a tollet bubble thing in it, so if the water gets low it alows water to be pushed in from the 3rd tank and when its full it stops the water. then there a pipe that joins the 2und tank into my big main water tank, at the top of that it has anouth tollet bubble thing.

a very rustic set up but works very well and i allways have rain water to use.
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AndrewH_TX
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I'm in the beginning stages of my garden, but I plan to use my x-freshwater aquarium and outdoor pond water.

About once a week (more often isn't a problem) you typically take out 10-20% of the water from the aquarium to help dilute the toxins that build up. This water is FULL of nitrogen, fish waste, etc. (toxic to the fish, very good for the plants)

The water will start out as treated rain water, or treated river water (Brazos River is right down the road), so once it's been in the aquarium for a week, it'll be aged perfect for a garden.

Might even try to setup a drip system from the ponds (as in man made koi/fish/decorative ponds).
Last edited by AndrewH_TX on Tue Mar 23, 2010 11:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Thanks, AndrewH

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applestar
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This is related more to hydroponics, but did you see this thread on [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=112618&highlight=aquaculture#112618]Aquaponic Gardening[/url]?

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AndrewH_TX
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applestar wrote:This is related more to hydroponics, but did you see this thread on [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=112618&highlight=aquaculture#112618]Aquaponic Gardening[/url]?
First day on the forum, so haven't had a lot of time to look around just yet, but what I'm talking about is slightly different than aqua-gardening or hydroponics (thanks for the link BTW).

I'm talking about a normal everyday, in the dirt, garden being watered by x-fish water (syphon the water out of the aquarium into a watering can/bucket to pour directly on the plants).

No extra equipment or setup (of course other than having an aquarium ;)). Definitely could setup some sort of "drain system" for the aquarium where it simply has an overflow pipe that leads to the garden (still talking about a normal everyday garden). Start getting into freeze and clog issues, but it's do-able.
Thanks, AndrewH

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Gary350
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Water right out of the garden hose works for me. Oops I forgot I live in Tennessee they call garden hose a hose pipe around these parts. There aint no such thing as a hose pipe. Hose is rubber, pipe is steel. LOL.

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AndrewH_TX
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Gary350 wrote:Water right out of the garden hose works for me. Oops I forgot I live in Tennessee they call garden hose a hose pipe around these parts. There aint no such thing as a hose pipe. Hose is rubber, pipe is steel. LOL.
Rofl I know what you mean!

Like an engine and a motor... engine = internal combustion motor = electric

Do you have city water or a well?
Thanks, AndrewH

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rusticbeds
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plant water

For starting seeds under lights and while they remain in the house (as well as for all house plants), I use water from our in house distiller. We have city water that has so many additives that without filtration for bathing, we would scratch ourselve to death! At times, the city water supply smells more strongly of chlorine than any overdosed swimming pool. All my plants grow very well.

We water outdoors with filtered city water, if we run out of rain water. I regularly sprinkle alfalfa meal, diluted KWAS, diluted sprouting grain water, or compost tea around all plantings. When I must water with the city water, I figure the noxious components are somewhat neutralized. Especially with raised beds, I rely on heavy mulches to reduce any need for supplemental water.

For those who believe city water is acceptable in my area, I let anyone inspect the filters. Our connection to the city supply is only a few years old as are the in house components.

On the other hand, there may be many toxins in ones rain water. It can depend on the surface on which the water passes over. If anyone knows of a home test kit for pollutants, I'd appreciate the source.

We recently discovered a source for former fruit juice containers that hold 275 gallons of liquid. They are almost a 40" cube inside a metal pipe type enclosure. They have a 6" top cap and a hose connection at the base. We are connecting two in series to alleviate any dependency on the city supply , particulary for our blueberry patch. Of course, we do wish we had an uncontaminated well-a rarity anywhere, anymore.

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Duck pond water and well water.

I've never had the pond tested for nutrients, but you would think with 30 ducks on it, it would have some benifits.

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CrystalClear
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tap water or bottled?

rainbowgardener wrote:I use tap water that has sat out over night so the chlorine evaporates out of it -- is that what you mean by "degassed"? This is for my seedlings under the lights (and currently the water has cinnamon and chamomile added to help prevent fungus).

Later on for outdoors, I use rain water when I can (we have a rain barrel). If I run out of that, back up is a 50 gallon pond that I can steal from. As a last resort, I use tap water straight from the hose. I'm hoping we get a second rain barrel this year. Then I would rarely have to use hose water.
Does that help with water that has a high level of salt also?
Crystal Spear

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Kisal
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No, salt doesn't evaporate. In fact, after enough time it becomes saltier, because some of the water evaporates. Salt has to be removed by distillation or by the use of chemical or electrical methods.
Last edited by Kisal on Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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CrystalClear
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Rain may be the best but here we get less than an inch in a given month so I might have to order some and have it shipped since the clouds that blow over dump somewhere else!
Crystal Spear

DoubleDogFarm
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Welcome to Helpful Gardener, Everclear.

First I would like to say, there would be no Las Vegas if wasn't for the aquifer.

We get plenty of rain in the winter and almost 0 in the summer.


Eric

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Blue Fox
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Okay, here's a question about rainwater (which I try and use when I can - three rain barrels and buckets under every drip) - the question is, does it matter what type of roof it's coming off? I have Bob's Superstrong Plastic on the greenhouse, galvanized roofing on the trailer and painted metal roofing on the woodshed.

I seem to remember something about the zinc they use for making galvanized roofing is bad for you and shouldn't be used for drinking water, but what about for plants??
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rainbowgardener
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Here's something I posted last spring about that:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=117078&highlight=roof+water#117078

Summary would be for irrigating water (not drinking) there should be no problem with most roof types.
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Indy
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Rainwater is distilled water with a dab of CO2, sulfur, and nitrogen picked up along the way.

Tonythegardener
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Rain water

I try to use tap water all the time. I have gutters on all my sheds and collect rainwater in large barrels. It sometimes runs out in the summer and then I have to resort to tap water.

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A foot of snow will fill alot of 50 gallon drums!
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