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softened water, is it bad for my garden?

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softened water, is it bad for my garden?

Post  sjfrunner on 8/29/2010, 3:25 pm

Hi:

For my irrigation system for my lawn I have reclaimed water so I dont want to build an irrigation system for my 4x4 beds. I do; however, have access to water that is not reclaimed, but it has been softened. Is softened water okay for the garden?

thanks for any advice,
Susie in Tampa, FL

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Re: softened water, is it bad for my garden?

Post  Retired Member 1 on 8/29/2010, 3:33 pm

Softened water is too high saline for a garden--it might take a few months, but you'd eventually kill the plants and the salt will build up in the soil making it sterile. I'd recommend tying into the water supply before the softener or using the bypass if you have one.

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I can only get reclaimed water if not softened

Post  sjfrunner on 8/29/2010, 7:07 pm

I have a quandry then. The only other water I can get access to then without major changes is reclaimed which is bad for edible plants. I gotta figure something out soon.

Susie

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Re: softened water, is it bad for my garden?

Post  Old Hippie on 8/29/2010, 8:03 pm

@sjfrunner wrote:I have a quandry then. The only other water I can get access to then without major changes is reclaimed which is bad for edible plants. I gotta figure something out soon.

Susie

What is your reclaimed water from? I thought you could use dishwater, laundry water, shower/bath water as long as there was no bleach in it and your soap was biodegradable. When I was a kid that is almost the only water we ever used on the garden other than the rain.

GK

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Re: softened water, is it bad for my garden?

Post  sjfrunner on 8/29/2010, 8:17 pm

The dishwater and everyting that comes into the house is softened.

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Re: softened water, is it bad for my garden?

Post  Old Hippie on 8/29/2010, 10:35 pm

Ahh too bad. What about rain barrels. We have set up four rain barrels on our house and most of my watering is done from that. We are trying to come up with a way to tie into at least the water from the washing machine to use that as well. It really bugs me to throw that away.

GK

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Re: softened water, is it bad for my garden?

Post  Wyldflower on 8/29/2010, 11:11 pm

Is your water softened by the municipality? Or is is a softener unit inside your house?

If the municipality (or water company) softens the water, then call them to ask what they use, and ask them about using the water on your garden. They should have a full analysis available for you.

If the softener unit is in your house, check to see where the water main comes in, in relation to the unit. If there is a little space, you could maybe have a plumber run one line for your garden water before the water goes into the softener unit.

I second the idea of collecting the runoff water from your roof, too.

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Re: softened water, is it bad for my garden?

Post  sjfrunner on 8/29/2010, 11:15 pm

The rain barrel route is something I definitely plan to do soon. The past 4 days we've had tons of rain. Unfortunately though the rain will slow down by Oct. Water that has not been softened comes out of the spiggot at the side of the house and would be difficult to get all the way over to the SFG. I gotta figure something out.
Susie

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