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Guest Matt Beighton

Is Old Rainwater OK?

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Guest Matt Beighton

Hi guys, first time posting here. I have built a small bog garden (pic below) and due to a lack of rainwater recently my newly installed butt remains bare. As a resort I have set up my bog using distilled/de-ionized water from BnQ and rainwater taken from my grandparent's butt. My main concern is that the butt water has been there for weeks, maybe months, and so will the old water be bad for the plants? I know rainwater is supposed to be best, but is there an expiration date so to speak for it!

Any help is appreciated.

5793852765_fe1942a04f.jpg

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It really depends on how well the water has been protected from falling leaves and other detritus. For the most part it should be safe for a long time, as far as plants are concerned. Rotting vegetaton can add nutients to standing water which encourages bacteria. This should not be too bad for plants, but not good for humans.

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Guest Matt Beighton

It really depends on how well the water has been protected from falling leaves and other detritus. For the most part it should be safe for a long time, as far as plants are concerned. Rotting vegetaton can add nutients to standing water which encourages bacteria. This should not be too bad for plants, but not good for humans.

Thanks for the advice. It was mostly clear of any debris, I filtered it through some fabric to remove any smaller particulates. Fingers crossed the plants don't keel over!

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check the use by date on the underside of the butt

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Guest Matt Beighton

Your bog looks wet enough for a few days yet?

Hopefully it should be, but that was done using the old rainwater and de-ionised water. Not forecast any rain here for another week, though knowing England that means we will get a load tomorrow!

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Guest Matt Beighton

check the use by date on the underside of the butt

Sorry to double post (not sure if that is frowned upon here) but...

:sarcastic_blum:

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This is something I have wondered about as I collect water off a gutter from the garage roof and sometimes it comes through with a greenish colour (particularly when there has been a lack of rain. I discard this water when I get a chance to get clear water but I am sure there will be nutrients in the greenish water. I still use it as my guess is that it is better than tap water or drying it out.

Anybody know whether this is a good idea?

Cheers,

Tom

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I store my rainwater for 3 or 4 months some years due to lack of rain and would happily use old water.what you don't want is a butt which is half full of leaves which makes it smell like rotten eggs, still I would rather use that than tap water.

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As gardenofeden said rainwater can be stored for months. An good idea is to have the water stored in closed, non transparent containers to avoid algae grow and to fall something in.

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Is the algae so bad? I have a large plastic trug thing outside that I'd been mixing peat and perlite in last year. A load of old pots thrown in there too. It's fool of water but slightly (and I mean barely) green with algae. Is this OK to use? The amount of rain we've had has been unreal so it's regularly topped up.

Edited by Richard Bunn

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I realised last night whilst stealing rainwater from a neighbour's broken guttering, that through laziness I have been storing some of my rainwater out of the cupboard that I usually use. I am pretty sure that the small amount of sunlight the bottles were getting will have been the the reason for the green tinge.

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Just take the lid of the water butt and look inside,the water should be nice and clear. If it stinks it's stagnant don't use it, if it doesn't stink it's fine. It's common sense not to allow leaf debris etc, to get into a water butt.

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