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Chlorine in the garden Empty Chlorine is not good for plants

Post  tomperrin on 4/16/2012, 12:08 pm

in any percentage. It's used as a disinfectant. While it may break down rapidly, it will kill trees.

Tom
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Chlorine in the garden Empty Re: Chlorine in the garden

Post  HereIGrowAgain on 4/16/2012, 2:00 pm

Chlorine is a big concern of mine although it has nothing to do with compost in my case. The water where I live is very heavily chlorinated. I wont drink it or cook with it straight from the tap. I run my water through a Brita filter and then a drip coffee maker to distill it. Hopefully I'm getting most of the chlorine out. At least I can't taste it anymore. Unfortunately, that doesn't help my plants. I can't filter enough to get water for all of them. Since I'm on a budget a reverse osmosis system is completely out of the question. Until I can find a couple of very cheap or free barrels I'm using 5 gallon buckets to catch rain water.
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Chlorine in the garden Empty Chlorine in water

Post  tomperrin on 4/16/2012, 3:19 pm

I learned how bad chlorine in the water was when my lawn and trees went sour because I used the backwash from the pool. Now the backwash goes on the gravel driveway where it can kill the weeds. Fortunately we use well water from a tap that bypasses the water softener.

I think you could use chlorinated tap water by exposing it to the air for a couple of days. The chlorine should clear. You can take a water sample down to your local swimming pool supply place and they can test it for you.

We think it's also a good idea to invest in a couple of rain barrels this year, as the lack of snow cover indicates we may have a drought. In addition to being good for washing your hair, saving rain water is a good thing to do if there is any chance of drought. Make sure your rain barrels are covered to keep the mosquitoes out. If you drop some real silver in the barrel, that will be an effective anti-bacterial agent. I think some junk silverplate tableware would do just fine.
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Chlorine in the garden Empty Re: Chlorine in the garden

Post  plantoid on 4/16/2012, 5:54 pm

@HereIGrowAgain wrote:Chlorine is a big concern of mine although it has nothing to do with compost in my case. The water where I live is very heavily chlorinated. I wont drink it or cook with it straight from the tap. I run my water through a Brita filter and then a drip coffee maker to distill it. Hopefully I'm getting most of the chlorine out. At least I can't taste it anymore. Unfortunately, that doesn't help my plants. I can't filter enough to get water for all of them. Since I'm on a budget a reverse osmosis system is completely out of the question. Until I can find a couple of very cheap or free barrels I'm using 5 gallon buckets to catch rain water.

Can you draw off water for your plants and store it in an open top barrel for 36 hrs or more ? This will let the chlorine out . You might need a mozzie net over the top to keep them & other bugs out
.
Just don't go drinking it incase there is any bacterial buildup in the barrel after being in use for a couple of months .
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Chlorine in the garden Empty Re: Chlorine in the garden

Post  Daniel9999 on 4/16/2012, 8:38 pm

You can also purchase a filter such as this one for your garden.

RV water filter

You can find them online, in outdoor camping/hunting stores, and places that sell RV accessories.

They connect very easily to your average garden hose and you can find fairly affordable models by shopping around.
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Chlorine in the garden Empty Re: Chlorine in the garden

Post  HereIGrowAgain on 4/17/2012, 6:32 am

Until I can afford a filter I'll keep putting water out in a bucket. Thanks for the suggestions.
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Chlorine in the garden Empty Re: Chlorine in the garden

Post  camprn on 4/17/2012, 8:45 am

I use chlorine treated city water. This photo from from the beginning of July 2011.
Chlorine in the garden 01812

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Post  Unmutual on 4/17/2012, 9:05 am

I use (over-chlorinated) city water for my drip irrigation system. While the plants do indeed grow, I've noticed how fast they grow after a good rain too. Nothing beats rain water.
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Chlorine in the garden Empty Re: Chlorine in the garden

Post  camprn on 4/17/2012, 10:32 am

test

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Chlorine in the garden Empty Re: Chlorine in the garden

Post  Gena575 on 4/17/2012, 1:39 pm

@HereIGrowAgain wrote:Until I can afford a filter I'll keep putting water out in a bucket. Thanks for the suggestions.

Many municipal water sources now use chloramine instead of chlorine. Chloramine is chlorine with ammonia added. Chloramine doesn't dissipate like chlorine does in an open container. The stability of chloramine is why places are moving to using it over chlorine. Garden pond water conditioners or aquarium water conditioners would be an effective removal tool, I'd think. If it won't hurt fish, I don't see how the minute amount used would harm plants. I used Seachem's Prime when I kept aquariums. IIRC 1ML treats 10 gallons of water.
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Chlorine in the garden Empty Re: Chlorine in the garden

Post  Hoggar on 4/17/2012, 2:05 pm

Here is a link to a Drip Irrigation discussion about filtering Chlorine out.

Chlorine free Drip Irrigation
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Post  HereIGrowAgain on 4/17/2012, 2:56 pm

Maybe I'm just paranoid about my water. I've never lived in a place where the water smelled and tasted like water from a swimming pool. It's very strong with some days worse than others. I have noticed that on the worst days no kind of soap will foam not even shampoo. It's very peculiar. It just makes me feel that it couldn't be good for plants.
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Chlorine in the garden Empty Re: Chlorine in the garden

Post  camprn on 4/17/2012, 3:11 pm

@HereIGrowAgain wrote:Maybe I'm just paranoid about my water. I've never lived in a place where the water smelled and tasted like water from a swimming pool. It's very strong with some days worse than others. I have noticed that on the worst days no kind of soap will foam not even shampoo. It's very peculiar. It just makes me feel that it couldn't be good for plants.
If it is that overwhelming with fumes, perhaps a call to the water department/ treatment plant or the town manager is in order. There could be a good reason for it... or maybe something is wrong. Shocked

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Chlorine in the garden Empty Chlorinated water

Post  tomperrin on 4/17/2012, 3:25 pm

@HereIGrowAgain wrote:Maybe I'm just paranoid about my water. I've never lived in a place where the water smelled and tasted like water from a swimming pool. It's very strong with some days worse than others. I have noticed that on the worst days no kind of soap will foam not even shampoo. It's very peculiar. It just makes me feel that it couldn't be good for plants.

That's not normal. I suggest testing it before you talk to your water people, just so you have hard facts to confront them with. Your local pool supply establishment should be able to assist.

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Chlorine in the garden Empty Re: Chlorine in the garden

Post  BrotherNorm on 4/18/2012, 8:48 am

There may be some confusion on the use of chlorine in municipal drinking water. Although some municipalities may still be using chlorine the vast majority have switched to using chloramine which is totally different than chlorine. (if you want the chemistry part there are many online sources) :scratch:

The reason why municipalities have switched is because chlorine is not a stable disinfectant if it sits in the pipes for any length of time, chloramine is.

To know for sure which your municipality is using all you need to do is get a copy of the water report from your local department of utilities. Many are on line and publicly accessible.

cheers,

Chlorine in the garden 3170584802


Last edited by BrotherNorm on 4/18/2012, 8:57 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Had to change a word.)
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Chlorine in the garden Empty Re: Chlorine in the garden

Post  TN_GARDENER on 4/18/2012, 8:57 am

I haven't done any experimenting (frankly, it's not a big deal in my book), HOWEVER, there is a local "pick-em" farm that swears the plants he waters from his rain barrels grows "better" than the ones that get watered through the hose. I didn't audit his "study" but there was a noticeable difference in plant appearance between some of his plants that he was experimenting with (all of his looked real nice, but the rain barrel watered plants looked great). FWIW

I try to use the rain barrel water when possible, but that's mainly because of convenience and because there's no additional cost for that water (heaven knows my rain barrel setup isn't/wasn't "free").
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Chlorine in the garden Empty Re: Chlorine in the garden

Post  BrotherNorm on 4/18/2012, 9:10 am

TN_GARDENER,

Your local farmer may be correct, especially if he has an old house with old plumbing. One of the down sides for old houses with very old plumbing is that chloramines increases the lead count in the water. Chloramines extract the lead present in old plumbing.

Additionally and without looking at the water report for his area there may be other factors involved that would contribute to less than satisfactory crop growth by using city water vice rainwater.

I use rain barrels as well. It's falling out of the sky which means it's free so why not.


Last edited by BrotherNorm on 4/18/2012, 9:13 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added additional information.)
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Post  countrynaturals on 3/22/2019, 7:25 pm

I have never filtered the city water I use for irrigation, and my plants seem to do just fine. Am I missing something or do I just have plant-friendly city water? study
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Post  Dan in Ct on 3/23/2019, 7:38 am

Quite possibly, your water has nil to no chlorine when it reaches you. Chlorine can have an adverse effect on the soil microbiology as that is why it was added to the water in the first place. Plants do need trace amounts of chlorine. I do harvest rain water and its 5.6 pH to water my plants, my well water is in the low 8s, no chlorine and in a drought situation will use with no worries. If you are worried or doubtful have your water tested but grandpa said don't go fixing what isn't broke and try not to slow down anything that seems to be running. It is always good to review methods and practices, to learn something you didn't know and quite possibly use newly acquired knowledge to achieve a more bountiful harvest.
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Post  countrynaturals on 3/23/2019, 10:18 am

Thanks, Dan. I already learned something. So, it's not the plants that don't like chlorine -- it's the microbes. I think it's time for some more research. geek
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Post  bigtoad on 3/23/2019, 10:41 am

This is a neat thread!
My city uses chloramine and I add a dechlorinator (sodium thiosulfate) every time I add water to my aquarium or my biological filter would be wiped out.  My setup has been going 7 or 8 years strong now.  I assume chloramine would affect the soil microbiology in the same fashion, but it never even dawned on me until I saw this thread.
I do notice my garden plants look so much healthier after a rain, and my seedlings are given old aquarium water exclusively until they go out in the garden.
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 3/23/2019, 10:59 am

Interesting, I have never given much credence to this idea but I did just call the water treatment plant and we use chlorine here.  I do set water out in jugs for my seedlings and houseplants, but I use the hose for my gardens and containers.  I have never seen any issues.  I do think rain gives a better “drink” to plants for sure, but along with being chemical free for the most part, it is a slower, deeper watering.
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Post  OhioGardener on 3/23/2019, 2:30 pm

Briefly watering plants with chlorinated water will probably not greatly affect the plants, but it will kill some/many of the microbes that help keep the plant healthy. Microbes are on the plant leaves as well as in the soil around the roots.

In Teaming with Microbes, Jeff Lowenfels addresses how chlorine kills the microbes in the soil, such as this statement in the section about making compost tea:

"All recipes, however, start with the basic ingredients, the first being chlorine-free water. Rule #12 is very important: compost teas are very sensitive to chlorine and preservatives in the brewing water and ingredients. It is vitally important that none of the ingredients you use contain any preservatives. This makes sense. After all, these chemicals are intended to kill or discourage microbial life. If you are served by a water system that uses chlorine, you will need to fill your brewing container with water and run air bubbles through it for an hour or two. The chlorine will evaporate, making the water safe for microbes. Carbon filters and reverse osmosis water systems also work well to remove both chlorine and chloromines, and are particularly useful if you need large quantities of water. As a general rule, a carbon filter containing one cubic foot of carbon will filter four gallons of water a minute."
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Chlorine in the garden Empty Re: Chlorine in the garden

Post  countrynaturals on 3/23/2019, 5:56 pm

It appears that chlorine filters range in price from $4.95 to $770. Shocked Anybody have any recommendations?
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Post  OhioGardener on 3/23/2019, 6:04 pm

@countrynaturals wrote:It appears that chlorine filters range in price from $4.95 to $770. Shocked  Anybody have any recommendations?

These are the ones that John Kohler of Growing Your Greens recommends. The difference in the filters he offers is based on the volume of water they are designed to filter. I have well water, so don't have personal knowledge of them, though.

Boogie Brew Water Filters
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