Rainwater is high-quality water that is especially great for plants. In fact, it’s the best water for plants! Why? Quite a few reasons!:
1. Rainwater is soft water. Free of the salts, minerals, and chemicals that are found in municipal treated water, groundwater, and surface water, rainwater is pure hydration. Salts and chemicals build up in your soil over time and these residues are tough on plants. This effect is exaggerated in potted plants where the accumulation is more pronounced.
2. Rainwater is slightly acidic—naturally! Green gardeners know that most organically grown plants prefer soil pH levels between 5.5 and 6.5. This is on the acidic side of the neutral pH 7. Irrigate with rainwater and help keep your soil pH in perfect balance!
3. Stored rainwater contains some organic matter. If collected from your rooftop, rainwater contains traces of organic material from contact exposure to leaf litter, pollen, bird droppings and the like (which perhaps not surprisingly are great for your plants). It’s like a light application of fertilizer every time you water!
4. Rain contains nitrates—an important macro-nutrient. Rainwater contains nitrate – the most bio-available form of nitrogen. Nitrogen is one of the three key macro-nutrients that plants need to thrive–necessary for the development of lush foliage. Many forms of nitrogen are not actually absorbable by plants. Nitrates, which are made up of nitrogen and oxygen, are formulated by nature for maximum uptake by your plants. Plants typically absorb most of their nitrates from the soil. And where do those nitrates come from? Rain!