You want to consider every way possible to add more sustainability to your lifestyle, especially when you’re raising plants in a hydroponic garden. Rainwater collection is a popular choice for people in many areas of the country who want to do their part to conserve water. It’s not possible everywhere or during every season, but collecting rainwater seems like an obvious choice for hydroponic gardeners—outdoor gardens get plenty of hydration from rain, so why not your hydroponic garden? Before you install your rainwater tank for your hydroponic system, however, consider the question: Is rainwater good for your hydroponic garden?
Is Rainwater Good for You?
Whenever you’re considering a new water source for your plants, it’s necessary to ask yourself if it’s healthy for you to drink as well. Your plants will absorb the water along with any impurities. Sometimes these impurities are unhealthy for you to consume even after a plant is fully grown—you often see this happen with soil contamination.
Rainwater on its own is relatively harmless. It lacks the additives your drinking water contains and has a lower average pH, which many plants enjoy. However, many collection efforts involve water touching a surface, such as a roof and gutters, before reaching the water tank. Just as you wouldn’t eat food off the ground, you shouldn’t drink untreated water off the roof. Untreated rainwater contains harmful debris from the roof, and it may also collect potentially hazardous waste from birds or rodents along the way.
Some roof-based debris makes for good fertilizer, but for your safety, you should at least filter the rainwater. If you treat rainwater after collecting it, however, it also becomes safe to drink, but it may contain chlorine, depending on your purification method.
Using Rainwater for Hydroponics
Once you’ve filtered the rainwater and stored it in a secure tank, you can use the water just like you would use any other water source. Make sure to test the pH and adjust it as necessary for your plants. Remember that it won’t contain any of the chemicals tap water may contain, but it often contains plenty of nitrogen. Rainwater is good for your hydroponic garden after you’ve filtered it.
Just like anything you bring in from the outside, rainwater may contain diseases or parasites that your hydroponic garden isn’t used to. Look for the sure signs of pests or algae in your water tank before using the water. So long as you keep an eye on your plants while using rainwater, you’ll have a natural, environmentally friendly method of keeping your hydroponic water basin filled. At FloraFlex, we care about growing green and offer subscription-based organic hydroponic fertilizer to fit the needs of any gardener. Browse our selection of hydroponic supplies and tools to give your system a necessary upgrade!