rain water

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I'm a small gardener and I've heard anecdotal evidence about using rain water rather than tap (city) water. If nothing else it would be free of chlorine.
I've found a source for free rain barrels (55 gallon plastic drums), so I'm thinking about this. Other than hand watering, I'm unsure how you would get this to work. Last year, with help from these groups, I put in a drip irrigation system. I don't want to go back.
It looks like each foot of water height yields .43 psi and the pc emitters need about 10psi, so that is about 25' of height to get this to work gravity fed. That is impractical for me and probably for most people. Seems like it would have to be pumped.
Anyone using rain water for other than spot watering? Is it worth it?
Jeff
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Jeff Thies wrote:

You are going to waste your time with little drums like that if your garden is more than a few pot plants. They hold too little and as you have already worked out getting the water out of them to the garden is a problem. If you really want to use rainwater and don't want to make your life's work scurrying back and forth with buckets you should be collecting in a tank at least 1,000 litres and 10,000 l would be better and you need a pump.
David
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David Hare-Scott wrote:

Well, I was thinking of using several chained (and as a supplement) but even 6 isn't 1000 liters.
Where I live, Atlanta, we've had watering restrictions. Food gardens are now exempt and I believe most restrictions have been lifted. Rain barrels are still sold everywhere, not that I could ever figure out how much good 7 CF of water would be spread out over a week or two!
I'll give up the idea. The idea of getting rid of the chlorine, etc.. is what made it "attractive".
Jeff

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Fish tank water is good to. Already has some nitrogen in it, and no chlorine.
--
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In article

I tried not filtering my small pond (~2 or 3 thousand gal I guess) water last year. Instead I vacuum out 40 gals a week or so and replace with fresh water from a well. Old water goes to favorite plants. Sometimes I just bucket some out and do the same. The pond filter was getting to be a bit labor intensive and dirty/scuming/disgusting/mucking etc.
Works for me but I'd not feed indoor plants inside just when out for summer break. Fish seem happly with just plants and a small bubbler along with a horse heater in winter.
--
Bill Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA


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I saw great improvements on my lawn and garden when I started watering with well water. Had the well installed last spring. Of course there are still contaminants in well water, but unless you have your own spring I don't think they can be avoided....
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The health dept. doesn't require that you chlorinate your well?
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On 4/15/2010 2:30 PM, Billy wrote:

They do not. NW Florida here.....
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So your health dept. wants you dead?
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Billy wrote:

Well, of course! It is a red state!
Jeff
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Thank you for not taking up the "death panel's" time ;O)
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Were your municipal water chlorinated enough to affect your plants/lawn it wouldn't be potable.

Are not your plants growing in the ground, the same ground from where your well water is derived... duh... if anything your well water is far less nutrient rich than your surface soil. double duh
For yoose who are all ascared of chemical fertilizer consider watering your lawn from your septic tank.
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On 4/16/2010 1:25 PM, brooklyn1 wrote:

Sheldon. Prick.
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We have a well I drove with my Dad 36 years ago. No Chlorine here by mandate. The water is sweet but we run it thru charcoal anyway. If I put in a new well like I was thinking to use the present one for garden the original will be destroyed. State mandate. So no stinking chlorine here. BUT
<http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/npl/nar97.htm>
10 miles away upstream.
--
Bill Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA


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May want to double up on the charcoal :O(
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[rain water]
If you are in the Eastern part of the US:
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_chemicals_are_found_in_acid_rain
I have been doing various searches on different search engines, what a chore to find something that actually relates to the chemical ingredients of rain water. Here in the inner Northwest, I've been looking with no luck. Though I suspect it is also acidic but we need the acid in our alkaline soil. We don't get much rain in the desert, and irrigation via damed rivers and stored in man-made lakes. I'd rather use the irrigation water than the city water which is chlorinated.
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I use rain water for the garden at our other farm. That farm has no electricity, so the water is gravity fed from a header tank on a hill (we pump the water up to the header tank using a petrol driven fire fighting pump from the rainwater tank connected to the guttering of the house). I don't use a lot of it given that it isn't our primary residence.
I agree with David about the size of the water recepticles you plan to use. Our tanks hold 5,000 gallons and that sort of tank is the very minimum I'd want to be of any use. However, having said that, I do have a friend who uses small containers in a village near me. She uses it because of severe water restrictions and it keeps her garden alive during +40 degree C days over summer.
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Rain water has nitrogen in it. City water does not. Plants love nitrogen.
Depends where you live and the size of your garden. I have five 55 gallon rain barrels and works just fine for me. It rains often enough in Michigan were I do not need that much extra water. Just enough to get through those slightly drier August summers. If it really gets dry, I put an inline hose filter and the water the garden. I am on a well system and chlorine is not a problem for me.
--
Enjoy Life... Dan

Garden in Zone 5 South East Michigan.
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Explain how you have nitrogen in your rain water, and no chlorine in your well, please.
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In article

The atmosphere contains about 80 percent nitrogen. Lightning storms pulls some of that nitrogen out of the atmosphere in the rain. Page 42 in your book "Omnivores Dilemma Book by Pollan". Thank darwin he has an index in his book. My understanding even without lightning there is still some small amounts of nitrogen in rain. Nitrogen is short lived in water.
Many cities adds chlorine to their water to kill off the biologicals. I do not think chlorine is a natural product in natures water supply.
Your chemistry is probably a lot better than mine. Lets say I have no added chlorine to my well water. The softener does contain salt, sodium chloride a natural product, which I do not believe is the same as chlorine.
--
Enjoy Life... Dan

Garden in Zone 5 South East Michigan.
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