Why does tap water prevent plant growth?

by Value hunter  

Why does tap water prevent plant growth?
Why is tap water no longer any good for healthy plants?

Last year, my tomato plants reached the dizzy heights of 5-6 foot tall and gave me fruit right up until late October.
They were grown in the greenhouse and watered with water from an outdoor storage container, ie, rain water.

This year, I have only been able to water them using tap water.
They took an age to start growing, when I finally got some seeds coming through, I split them all up into large pots.
I had one seedling left over, so I planted that in my border, on the off chance that I might be able to grow a tomato plants outside (I have never been able to before).

The hot weather vanished as soon as the hosepipe ban came into force and along came the heavy and persistant rain.
I continued to water the plants in the green house using tap water.
The greenhouse tomato plants are scrawny, weak and yellow leaved at between 1-2 foot tall, there are a few flowers and a couple of little tomatoes starting to grow but nothing on the scale we had last year.
In contrast, the one seedling I planted out by my peapods as a test, has shot upwards and outwards. This has been left to the rain to keep watered.
Not only has "Sydney" got more than 30 flowers on him, a quick look underneath the main leaves reveals already fruit is growing.
His stalk is almost an inch thick, compared with the greenhouse plants of less than a centimetre, big deep green leaves with not a yellow leaf in sight.

I also planted out in borders this May, lettuce, beetroot, carrots, potatoes and some sprouts. (May and June were hot dry months here, so these were watered regularly with tap water).
I have had not one single lettuce, carrot, beetroot or sprout come up!
Not until a week of heavy rain in early July did the potatoes start to show, after three weeks of more rain they have filled my grow box.

I ran a test last week, planting some lettuce and sweetcorn seeds in the greenhouse.
I watered one half with tap water and the other half with rain water out of a standing container.
It took just three days for shoots to come through, when watered with rain water - those watered using tap water haven't had a single one come through in six days.

So what exactly is going into our tap water? If it prohibits plant growth, what is it doing to animals and humans?


Comment from: Jobes [Visitor]
There is summat up with tap water. I don't spoil my dogs, but even they wont drink it, preferring rainwater or cheap springwater bought from the shops!
25/08/10 @ 20:53
Comment from: [Member]
Value hunter
our cats are the same Jobes, they drink out of the rainwater bucket for the birds. I wonder if it's something to do with flouride?
26/08/10 @ 01:13
Comment from: wilf [Visitor]
Ask yhe water board wotsinit?...No problems in M38
30/01/15 @ 18:01

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