I’ve learned quite a bit about maintaining plants over the past few weeks. Bokashi is quite the environmental, ecosystem, soil food web educator.
Municipalities put chlorine in drinking water to kill off bacteria. That makes perfect sense because no one wants to drink water with harmful bacteria swimming around in it.
That works perfectly well for drinking water but not so well for watering plants, especially when using bokashi or compost tea.
Bokashi and composting manifest beneficial microbes (bacteria and fungi). The beneficial microbes do much to improve the soil quality and nourish the plants. The microbes are the heart and soul of organic gardening. They help organic matter break down to release nutrients for the plants.
Watering plants with chlorinated water will kill the microbes. That’s not what we want. Instead, it is important to use non-chlorinated water for plant watering.
You can either purchase distilled water (not recommended), allow your chlorinated water to sit out in the sun for about 24 hours for the chlorine to dissipate or, if your municipality uses chloramines, you will have to treat your water to remove it (and that doesn’t always work). Chloramines do not dissipate from water.
Free Non-Chlorinated Water Alternatives
I’ve been using a combination of three free water alternatives to water my plants:
- Water accumulated from our dehumidifier
- Condensation from the air conditioners
When the weather cooperates, I have an abundant supply of chlorine free water. It’s only when we run into an extended spell of cool, dry weather that I have to rely mostly on my dehumidifier (my basement always has enough liquid in the air).
I’m doing my part to provide the best for my fruits and veggies so they can provide the best for me.
Update 6/3/13: I found out that vitamin C neutralizes chlorine. Purchase powdered ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and add just a bit to your water to neutralize the chlorine and chloramine. If you’re not quite sure how much vitamin C to add, go to a pool store and purchase a pool water tester. I wouldn’t suggest the test strips, get the kit that has the liquid drops.
Add enough of the chlorine tester drops until the water in the glass changes color. That means chlorine is present. Next, add small amounts of vitamin C until the water is clear again. Clear water means the chlorine has been neutralized. Simple as that.