Posted by Callum VP, on July 7, 2020.
Rainwater is a free natural resource that is greatly underappreciated as many people don’t know how to make the most of it. Rainwater can be used for washing the car, flushing the toilets and even used in washing machines. However, the people who constantly benefit from collecting, storing and reusing rainwater are gardeners and owners of allotments.
You can easily collect rainwater for your garden or allotment by simply connecting a water butt or rain barrel to a downpipe coming from your property. There are 3 reasons as to why you should use rainwater to water your plants or produce.
1. Rainwater is soft
As rainwater is untreated because it is not intended for human consumption it means that rainwater is free from salts, minerals and chemicals found in mains water which is better for your plants and produce. These salts and chemicals which are found in mains water are tough on plants and over time can build up in the soil. If you have potted plants, you should consider using rainwater straight away as it is easier for the salts and chemicals to build up because in pots it is harder for them to disperse.
2. Rainwater is slightly acidic
Did you know that most plants prefer slightly acidic soil conditions? And guess what rainwater is slightly acidic! By using rainwater, you give your plants the perfect soil conditions to grow and flourish in. Plus, mains water is treated with alkaline in order to protect metal pipework from corroding over time, and if you water your plants with mains water then you are reducing the acidity levels in the soil.
3. Rainwater contains nitrates
Nitrate is the bio form of nitrogen and is one of the key nutrients that plants need in order to grow. And yet again rainwater contains nitrates! Nitrate is made up of both nitrogen and oxygen and plants absorb nitrates in the soil for growth and for photosynthesis. By using rainwater to water your plants you are giving the roots, the nitrates they need in order to grow.
Rainwater is a grossly underutilised resource that many people forget to take advantage of to help reduce their consumption of mains water and people also forget that rainwater is FREE!