It’s been a long time since the West has seen rain like it experienced in January and we know gardens love rainwater. The rain caused lots of damage; however, the benefits of rainwater are seen in many of the gardens. Landscapes and gardens look their healthiest after significant rains. Plants look healthy and deep green. The turf looks almost emerald green. In this blog, we look at why this is true.
- Rain Contains Nitrates. Plants need nitrogen to grow and thrive. Nitrogen is one of the three essential nutrients plants need to live. Forms of nitrogen vary in how easily plants can absorb them. Nitrates are composed by mixing nitrogen and oxygen. Nitrates are the most easily absorbed form of nitrogen available to plants. The air in Earth’s atmosphere is made up of 78% nitrogen. However, this nitrogen is not available to plants. Nitrogen fixation is what the nitrogen gas in the air needs to be useful to plants. This occurs in small amounts with the energy from lightning. As a result, nitrates enter the soil with the rain providing excellent nutrition to plants.
- Rainwater Is Free From Chlorine and Other Salts And Minerals. You can read about how chlorine in your water hurts your plants Rainwater does not contain the chlorine in municipal water needed to make it safe for drinking. In addition, salt and other chemicals build up in the soil over time. Rainwater is 100% soft water, and a good, heavy rain helps push salt and other minerals down away from the roots of plants. So this pure form of water with nitrates provides only good nutrients for the garden.
- Rainwater Is Naturally Acidic. A neutral pH is a level of 7. Municipal water is treated to be lower in acid. This ensures metal pipes last longer and do not rust. Most plants grown organically prefer slightly acidic water. The pH level of rainwater is usually between 5.5 and 6.5 pH. This is just the right amount of acid for many plants. Rainwater starts pH neutral, but when it falls, it combines with naturally occurring oxides in the air making it more acidic.
- Reduces Water Waste. Collecting and using rainwater instead of relying on municipal water means less waste and more water is conserved. In addition, collecting rainwater helps lessen the demand for water from the municipal water supplier, which benefits entire communities and cities.
Just remember not all rainwater is usable. When there is heavy rainfall much of it runs off because the soil cannot absorb it fast enough. This is why catchment and rainwater storage will be necessary for the future to battle the water issues today. Also, remember, Jain Unity software calculates usable water from rain and adjusts your water schedules accordingly. It is the only software today capable of calculating usable rainfall and incorporating it into an irrigation schedule.