Gardens Love Soft Water

Our customers are often keen gardeners which always leads to the question, “Can we use soft water on our garden?

Yes you can… And more than that it may be a more predictable and natural way to give your plants and lawn what they need.

Why is soft water good for gardens?

Let’s do a quick recap of some school science and the water cycle.

Rainwater naturally contains very few particulates. So your flowers, lawn and shrubberies are used to water that is towards the purer end of the scale.

As water flows through the ground it picks up various particulates like calcium carbonate which gives us harder water.

Most likely the reason a water softener was installed in the first place was to repair the water to it’s more natural softer state.

Your plants and gardens will love that because you’re taking them back to what the expect.

For the more astute gardener, soil PH levels, plant and lawn feed composition are carefully planned. Likewise those who have outdoor ponds keep a careful eye on water chemistry and PH levels.

Soft water is a more pure baseline to start from in these cases of careful garden alchemy.

In cases where a lower PH is needed, hard water contaminants can make the process more complex as you first sift out the unknown elements causing a reaction.

What are the downsides to using soft water on the garden?

The main downside if you’re on a strict budget is cost. For the same reason we choose rainwater harvesting rather than using water through the meter for our lawn and plant watering needs.

Your water softener will use salt during any filtration so this is a factor.

Remember the use of soft water on your garden is really about bringing the water as close back to its natural state as possible.

Rainwater is most likely still the best option for cost effectiveness. But rest assured that topping up with soft water certainly won’t do any harm.

Many water softened homes also have a hard water tap outdoors for those grubby jobs that don’t need the silky smoothness of softened water.

Will my Koi pond be okay with soft water?

Koi can be particularly sensitive to any water changes, like many outdoor fish. We would always recommend a strict water testing protocol for any pond.

That being said, remember that half the UK has naturally softened water straight from the tap.  That means there are many thousands of Koi happily swimming around in pond filled with soft water in other areas of the UK.

Reducing PH levels can also be something to consider.  “We first have to remove the minerals from the water before we can effectively lower the pH.”  Hard water has a much higher concentration of minerals and therefor is more complex to control.

You may well end up making life easier for your Koi in the long term with more finesse over their water chemistry.

Bonus Tip: Salt for the Weeds…

My Nan taught me this trick…weeds hate salt! She often pops a sprinkle of salt around the areas of the weeds to make them die off quicker and have an easier to maintain garden.

Granular salt is best for spreading in this case.

Please do ask in the shop or give us a call if you use salt in this way.

There are sometimes bags of granular salt that have been split in transit when they arrive with us that we keep aside for the regular gardeners (and my Nan gets the odd bag too!).

We have either 10kg or 25kg bags available and because of the damaged packaging we can’t guarantee the exact weight. That means a large reduction in the retail price.

References: 

https://m.liveaquaria.com/article/60/?aid=60

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  • a few months ago
Aimee Holland