In farming, no matter what formulas, methods, and techniques you use, it won’t make a difference if you don’t have a clean water source. It’s one of the most important things you should have. Farmers and commercial growers place an emphasis on this by testing the quality of the water first before even preparing the land for farm use or before building a greenhouse. A problem in the water supply will be the bane of your existence. You can’t cover it up. Some even go as far as relocating their whole operation to a different site.
For some, moving to a new location is just not possible. This is especially true for hobbyists. So for hobbyists and for beginners who want to give indoor gardening and vertical farming a try, it’s important to find and address the problems in your water source. Here are a few things to consider.
Hard water contains a high level of minerals such as magnesium carbonate and calcium carbonate. These two are needed for plant growth. Some minerals can also be found from this water source that can give the plants the nutrients that they need. However, make sure that the other minerals found in your hard water are not toxic.
Hard water means that it has high alkalinity. The higher it is, the more resistant it is to changes in the pH. Although it has the minerals that plants need, it comes with its own challenges.
Hard water is more prone to limescale formation. Plants won’t be able to have their calcium and phosphorus supply when that happens. To prevent this, you can add to your hard water an amino acid blend to promote the plant’s cell walls to decrease any damages.
If you want to avoid the effects of using hard water, you can use filtered water. Reverse Osmosis filters can help remove the ions and minerals so you can use water that’s clean and light.
However, there are a few challenges to using this as well. Since it’s “cleaned” out, most of the bicarbonates are removed, making it less resistant to pH changes. If the nitrates in your plants suddenly spike during growth, they can lose their quality or even die out in the process.
The pH in plants isn’t very stable and can quickly change from one moment to another. Before committing to an RO filter, take a sample of your water to be analyzed. You might need water softeners to do the trick.
Finding the best solution
So what’s the best way to get the water that my plants need? The best way is to use tap water and blend it with RO water to create just the right amount of pH resistance. Mineral deposits strain not just your plants — your filters take a hit too. By using this method, you can make your plants stronger and healthier while making your filter’s life span longer.
The answer to this question can also vary depending on the laboratory analysis of your raw water. Make sure to have your water evaluated first before trying anything!