When growing cannabis plants, one of the key elements to bear in mind is the quality of the water being used for watering. When you’re investing a lot of money in your growing operation, you don’t want to make the mistake of using the wrong kind of water which could, in the end, lead to problems that could easily be avoided. Water is key to transporting oxygen and nutrients through the plants. If the water is poor quality, the plants are unable to obtain the nutrients they need, thus storing up future issues.
Using Tap Water To Grow Weed
While using tap water isn’t a problem for a lot of growers, the success of using it depends very much on where you live and whether or not the water is of an appropriate quality. If your unfiltered tap water has a pH level that is reasonably neutral and if the ppm of total dissolved solids is less than 140 you could find that using it directly on your plants will cause no problems at all.
Some of the common problems linked to tap water include:
• Calcium or lime affecting the pH of the water, making it too acidic
• Excessive impurities such as dirt and other elements which dissolve in the water to create nutrient deficiencies in the plants.
• Chlorine in the water.
The good news is that in many cases a good quality filter will ensure that the tap water is clean enough and safe enough to use on your plants, removing all of the impurities that can toxify them.
Reverse Osmosis Filtration
Reverse Osmosis is a filtration system which is known to offer the best chance of high quality clean and safe water. There are many excellent reverse osmosis systems which are available from home improvement stores and which come in at a relatively reasonable price, with only one filter change each year. Standard models are capable of filtering as much as 50 gallons of water every day, resulting in no impurities and a pH of seven.
On the downside, reverse osmosis can waste quite a lot of water, yet there are still ways to combat that problem by using a permeate pump as part of the filtration system. This reduces the amount of water lost by up to 85 percent. These pumps are simple to install, use no electricity and can be fitted without any tools in the majority of cases. These pumps are cutting edge, using the energy produced by the waste water or brine water from the reverse osmosis unit to essentially force pure water into the reservoir. This means there is no need for a hydraulic shut off valve.
Distilled water is an excellent choice in certain cases. Mountain water or natural spring water may be used, however the ppm will not be 0 in these cases as there are impurities contained in these water types. Some growers believe that distilled water use can actually increase the rate of growth of your cannabis plants, although it is not yet proven whether or not this is the case. Regardless of the facts, if you are growing your plants in an area that has hard water, you will probably want to think about using distilled water when watering your plants since hard water contains elements which can prevent the plants from feeding effectively on their other essential nutrients. You can purify your tap water by simply boiling it and then allowing it to stand and cool. Another alternative is to purchase bottle water from a supermarket, however you need to check that it is either distilled or RO, otherwise you shouldn’t use it.
One thing to bear in mind is that you should never use water which has been filtered with a carbon filter. A cheap home filter such as a Brita model will not help since they are not powerful enough to filter the impurities from the water effectively and that means that these harmful metals and impurities will cause damage to your plants.
Impurities In Water
Water is very rarely pure, with groundwater picking up minerals during its travels through the stone and earth on its way to our taps. Even bottled water isn’t pure since it has had minerals added to it to improve its flavor, and municipal supplies add a range of substances such as fluoride and chlorine. Determining the makeup of the minerals in your water is impossible without obtaining a report from the water supplier or having it professionally tested, and this is why a small reverse osmosis system is the best solution for removing virtually all of these dissolved solids from the water to bring the TDS total down to almost 0 ppm.
What About Water pH?
The alkalinity or acidity of fluids is measured in terms of their pH value, with acidic water having a low pH and alkaline water having a higher one. When the pH value is 7, this means that the water is neutral, which is the ideal situation when being used for growing cannabis since marijuana is known to grow best between a very narrow margin of pH 6 and pH 7. When the pH range of the water is even slightly off, the plant is unable to take up all of its essential nutrients and that means that it will develop deficiencies. For example, if the water is too alkaline, the plants are unable to take up iron, and low pH values cause problems with the absorption of magnesium and calcium. Filtering the water will not adjust the pH values enormously, however if your water is just slightly over or under the optimal range, that filter can make just enough difference to benefit your plants enormously.
If you’re concerned that you don’t know how to water your marijuana plants properly, one solution is to just buy your cannabis online. Quality suppliers like Green Panther have a huge selection of sativas and other quality water grown strains.