HEY-HEY-HEY… REvski (The Rev) here to share some good reasons to keep some “water on your brain” when setting up your growing zone, or even in an established grow-room. Let me just start here by saying that so many-many (many) times, I have fixed people’s gardens, either locally, or via phone/text/email, simply by fixing an unfortunate water related mistake they made; simple to fix, every time. So, my target here today is to help you avoid that unfortunate situation with some pretty good 411; so, settle in and spark ‘em if ya got ‘em, and let’s rock and roll…
The Enhanced Water Methodology
Plants love to get a pretty steady diet of calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) from their water source. I strongly believe that a certain and consistent amount of Mg and Ca should be within the water you use on your plants, always; the amounts of these elements you want in your water will vary depending upon your growing medium. This doesn’t just apply to all natural or organic gardens either, I’m talking any style, even hydroponics style. You will want to pay attention to the sources you use to accomplish this. Myself, running an organic/probiotic/all-natural indoor TLO (True Living Organics) garden, I take my city tap water (starts out at 60-70 PPM and chlorinated) and run it through a 3-stage reverse osmosis (R/O) water filtering unit; 1 R/O Membrane stage, and 2 Activated Carbon stages. So, I just mix back in some of my “wastewater” from my R/O water filtering unit (that is now dechlorinated thanks to the carbon filter) into my pure filtered water, enough to bring it up to about 30 PPM (20-40); and this is my base water here I use to water all my plants with.
Rev’s Tip: The more powerful your soil-mix is, the lower your Mg & Ca PPM value can be. So, if I were using something like bagged soil-mix which is relatively weak compared to my custom TLO soil-mix, I would run my PPM values higher, up around 90 PPM or so.
Another way to accomplish this is to take some water and bubble it with an air-stone and air-pump, like you would if making an organic castings or compost tea. But rather than adding organic matter, you add some Dolomite Lime. Make a very high PPM solution by adding this to the water before bubbling, and allow at least a couple days of vigorous bubbling action to totally dissolve some of the dolomite. Only use dolomite lime here, which is pure Mg and Ca, and I prefer to use (fast acting) pelletized dolomite lime, but powdered is all good too. About a tablespoon of dolomite lime in a gallon of water (or 3 tablespoons of pelletized) will bring up the PPM value significantly even within 24 hours. You can then use this water to blend with your pure water, like rain, distilled, or reverse osmosis filtered water; (all of these water sources are uber low in PPM value and generally under 5 PPM) in order to reach your desired PPM level and a little goes a long way. I mix 4 oz. of this “dolomite tea” per gallon to my water to reach my desired PPM value, as an example. You may want your “bubbled lime water” to be higher or lower in PPM value depending upon your needs.
The pH value of water, like rain, distilled, or reverse osmosis filtered types, is irrelevant and makes no difference whatsoever. The water needs to have higher density—PPM value—in order for the pH value to have any effect on your plants/soil. So as the PPM value raises, so does the importance of the pH; this is true with nutrient solutions as well. Bottom line is don’t sweat the pH value of pure water when the PPM value is super low.
I normally run my water at right about 35 PPM, and dolomite lime is a TRUE BUFFER that tends to take the pH closer to 7.0 whether or not it starts out higher or lower. This is a good thing, trust me. I’m in living soil-mix, but if I were growing hydroponic style, I would just use my tap water as my base water, chlorine and all, because I don’t think longer term, microlife is a good thing in hydroponic gardens, so the chlorine becomes a good thing. Pretty much any tap water (ground water) will have a decent amount of both Ca and Mg present. If you had a well and you also collected rain water, let’s say, and you are growing in soil, indoors or out, you could come up with a mixture of your (non-chlorinated) well water and your rain water as your base water, to get that consistent bump of Mg and Ca—ground water also contains a plethora of trace and micronutrients.
FUN FACT: Strawberries are the closest relatives to cannabis plants, genetically speaking.
Water Used to Boil Vegetables
I started out doing this on some tomato, and strawberry plants, and they got really happy as a result. I was boiling some carrots one day—in R/O water—and after we ate the carrots I decided to just whip out my TDS meter to see what the PPM value was for that water I boiled them in. To my shock, it was up around 350 PPM—wow! I thought to myself, this has got to be some great stuff here leftover in the water from the carrots. I mixed this water with my R/O filtered water in ratios that resulted in 60 PPM water and watered these plants.
The rest is history, and I have used this same method with water used to boil carrots, and green beans in for use on my cannabis plants, the only difference is I adjusted my water mixture to be lower PPM value; around 40 PPM. This has worked out awesome for me so far, and I have even included this leftover water when making aerated living teas with great success. So, mess around with this on some expendable plants first to get your “feet wet” and see how well this works for yourself. Go mellow with PPM value because this stuff packs a big punch! L8r G8rs 😊