To water or not to water?? #722521 - Ask Extension

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To water or not to water?? #722521

Asked September 10, 2020, 6:07 AM EDT

  Water not tested yet but it's a deep well and surely hard water.  Losing  battle acidifying water and watering by hand. Like to put in an irrigation system in a couple beds. Better to water with the hard water, or have plants get way to dry???  These are newly establishing plants. Will be transplanting these 12 bushes in the fall to better soil (peat/pine bark fines), so should be fairly acidic but how much would hard water drip irrigation raise or effect ph

Windsor County Vermont

Expert Response

Hard water is a concern, but not short term. You can use acidifying fertilizer and/or sulfur. To compensate over the long haul.
Given this is just for a few more weeks I think you should water the. So they are healthy to transplant. 
Mark Longstroth Replied September 10, 2020, 4:55 PM EDT
Nice thank you. My tester arrived from amazon broken so ph still unknown .. so I'll probably go ahead  and build 3/4" pvc drip irr. And water next year twice a day or as needed with my hard water. With a growing media of just peat and pine fines nearly to the composted consistantancey,  would you start out with both sulfur and acidifying fertilizer or just the fertilizer.  Wish I could give you my water ph #,  but am sure it will be wanting to raise my soil ph #?
The Question Asker Replied September 11, 2020, 9:43 AM EDT
Yes we have a lot of lime in our well water here and those who use well water often have a problem. I would start just with the fertilizer. Calculating how much sulfur you need depends on the soil. I have something for commercial growers posted online https://www.canr.msu.edu/uploads/files/Lowering_Soil_pH_with_Sulfur.pdf  I also have one for individual plants if you want to email me I will send to you. We can only attach pictures in forum
Mark Longstroth Replied September 14, 2020, 2:53 PM EDT

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