Water is one of the most important elements when growing plants, not all water is the same. You may not know, but the type of water you use on your plants has a massive impact on the nutrients you need to use!
The hardness of water depends on the concentration of positive metallic ions within the water including calcium and magnesium. This can also be increased by carbon dioxide too. Soft water is defined as 60mg/l, and water with over 120mg/l is considered as hard. The water in between both of these levels is defined as moderately hard.
Hard water is often difficult to clean equipment as it increases the chemical re-activeness of the water. Likewise, it’ll also increase the pH level too! Hard water comes from groundwater which has been exposed to mineral rock for long periods of time.
On the other hand, soft water affects equipment less, providing an easier base to grow plants. Soft water will also affect your equipment less, making it easier to clean. You’ll find that soft water is typically sourced from surface water and will not have been exposed to mineral rock for a long period of time.
A lot of growers do not realise that chlorine is a micro-nutrient required by plants, the quantity they need is incredibly small though! Most growers add Chlorine without realising it as it’s present in normal tap water – which is a huge mistake for growers! It’ll ultimately contribute to stunted plant growth. Chlorine also has a massive impact on root health too. All the beneficial bacteria and elements will be washed away by chlorine. Without these crucial bacteria, your roots will not have any organic nutrients helping them to grow. To avoid this, we suggest investing in a water filter, it’ll help your plants considerably!
When growing using the method of hydroponics with nutrient solutions, it is important to oxygenate the water. You’ll also want to take great care when adjusting pH levels too. You’ll need to add them carefully at in low amounts. It’s easy to go too far when trying to correct pH levels. Adjusting them slowly will help to avoid causing problems.
Furthermore, over watering and warm water can also have a negative effect on pH and lead to root rot too!
If you live in an area with ‘hard water’, your tap water already contains reasonable amounts of calcium and magnesium. Therefore, a hard water nutrient will contain less of these than a soft water nutrient in order to compensate for the difference in the water. Whereas, if you use a soft water nutrient in a hard water area, you may notice a build-up of limescale in your grow system. This isn’t necessarily bad, but over time it can clog your system’s pipes. Therefore, you’ll want to invest in a cleaning product like pure clean from plant magic.
Hopefully this blog has spread some light on how hard and soft water can impact plant growth. For more news and info, check out our other blogs and subscribe to our mailing list for future blogs.