Softened water on plants

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It might not have anything to do with tap/softened water. That "rainwater" acually contains fertilizer (nitrogen) from the birds and bugs, as well as whatever minerals leach from your roof.
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Bill wrote:

Hmmm, Minerals from Cedar shake? Birds, bugs, squirrels, yes.
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Probably more so than asphalt shingles. Whatever fallout that gets on your roof is gonna sit there on the nice damp wood shingles with plenty of time for the acidity of the rain to help dissolve it. With asphalt, the more fallout probably washes off the roof in larger particles, and sits in the bottom of the holding barrel.
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My experience is that using NaCl softend water will eventually kill practically all vegetation, at least here in Minnesota.
We moved into our home in the winter of 2001. The previous owner came by in the spring to pick up a few things and I asked him about an area in the front yard adjacent to the tree line. It was an area that just looked dead. Black dirt, nothing at all growing, no weeds, no grass, nothing. He said he thought it was related to the trees. He said he had planted and fertilized and watered, grass would start and after a couple of months die.
That summer I tried the same. planted, fertilized, watered..and the spot grew! By the end of the summer the spot had grown to over half the front yard, about 3,000 sq. ft.
That fall, my water softner failed and after much research on softners, replaced it. The installer asked if I know of any problems with the split outside water. Huh??? The outside faucet in the front of the house is softened water, the outside faucet in the back is hard water. A whole Christmas tree of lightbulbs when off. Apparently in the neighborhood I am in it is common to have a softend water outstide faucet for cleaning windows and the car.
The following spring I reseeded, mixed in poatassium into the soil, and watered (from the back this time). Almost the same results, except the spot began to shrink. It has taken three years to mostly get the lawn back to normal.
By the way, I now have a brass tag on the front faucet that says "Softened water, not for use on plants."
I am not saying other things can't harm your plants and lawn, I just say that consistently using NaCl softened water on plants is harmful.
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Bruce,
Water treatment professionals, gardeners, and chemistry are in total agteement with that statement... and it's true.
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Even more off topic ...........
I have a new Kinetico softener in the house. Had I been eligible to vote on the thing, I would have gotten a much cheaper model from the Borg or online. But that's another issue for another thread.
I have the luxury of irrigation water. A 1 1/2" line off the 14" main that supplies irrigation water to all the rural residences in my area. I pay $100 per year, no metering. So, all outside hose bibs and water manifolds are tied into this line. Anything I can attach to the line and as much water as I can run through it. I run MaxiPaw Rainbirds on the yard. Nearly five dozen bubblers to the trees. On some of the stations, I am maxed out, so I run them more frequently.
Sometimes living at the end of the road has its advantages.
Steve
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