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Mineral Deposits

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Mineral Deposits

Post  briandhadley on 12/23/2012, 1:49 pm

Does anyone know if mineral deposits from hard water are harmful for a garden? My water is so hard that when the ground is dry you can see a layer of white deposits coating the ground.

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Re: Mineral Deposits

Post  camprn on 12/23/2012, 2:00 pm

HI Brian, do you have a water softener in your water line? Do you city or well water? Minerals, including the salt used in water softeners may indeed have a detrimental effect on your garden. It may be worth getting your water tested to find out what you have there.

glad you\'re here to the SFG Forum.
I know there are a few previous threads about this subject. Use the search feature at the bottom of the 'Latest Topics' list to the left to locate some of those threads.


41 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau



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Re: Mineral Deposits

Post  briandhadley on 12/23/2012, 2:47 pm

No water softener. It is city water. Thanks for your response.

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Re: Mineral Deposits

Post  plantoid on 12/24/2012, 7:11 pm

Hi Brian, Welcome to the site .. I hope youhave a long and interesting stay .
See if you can locate on line a typical chemical analysis for your local area supply ( I think most US states & water compsnies have the specifications available )

I think I'm right in saying soft waters have dissolved minerals from rock that is fairly easily broken down by carbonic acid ( big component of rain ) or decaying plant life. These are slightkly acidic

Hard water is usually alkaline in content often with a high lime type mineral content with no decayed plant material in its build up .

Are you up for using the " All new Square Foot Gardening " book as indicated in my strap line ?

When you said there is white showing on the dried out soil .....It took me back to when I was a Kiddy ( nearly 60 yrs ago ) .
Our soil at that time was so washed out and devoid of compost and decaying manure that is how it looked , it was a lime based black clay & quite crumbly in 1/4 inch crumbs or less .

Once it had been well manured for two years it started to behave like normal mother earth should


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Re: Mineral Deposits

Post  littlejo on 12/24/2012, 7:45 pm

Brian, I used to have 'very hard' well water. If you heat water in a pan to boiling, then let it cool, it will form little hard granules on side of pan. I was afraid of getting kidney stones. The chickens would lay an egg, and I dropped 1 from about 3.5 feet up. It just rolled into the grass, it was hard to crack an egg to fry!
I got a water softner system. It pulls calcium from the water. It then uses salt to clean the system, removing the calcium, then the salt is rinsed out. No salt has been detected in my water supply.
I had good luck with gardening (row garden) before the water softner, and now, I have to add calcium(gyspum). I think the plants will only use the minerals that it needs. I think the garden will be fine as long as the water does not make the dirt hard as heck.

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Re: Mineral Deposits

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