Forum home Plants

Mains water - Can I add vinegar?

steveTusteveTu Posts: 2,596
This may sound absurd to a gardener...my water butt is running out, so I will have to water from the mains. But I have certain plants that are more inclined to the acid than the alkaline from what I can gather. So is it sensible to add vinegar to the mains water for these plants? And if this isn't as absurd as it sounds, how much per gallon (assuming a 5% vinegar)?
UK - South Coast Retirement Campus (East)
«1

Posts

  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Posts: 35,832
    edited June 2019
    Morning steveTu. I would not worry about doing anything to your tapwater. Which acid loving plants are you worried about? I water my rhododendrons from the tap if needed and there has been no detriment to their growth or flowering.
    It would be kinder to perhaps use 'spent' tea bags soaked in water if you have any real calcifuges. Have you tested your tap water to see what pH it is?
    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • steveTusteveTu Posts: 2,596
    Now knowing the ph of the water would have been sensible wouldn't it? I even did chemistry at school... Sometimes I worry myself.
    We're on chalk filtered chlorinated mains water down here, so I just assumed it was alkaline.

    I have acers, rhododendrons, hydrangea (pink at the moment).

    I think I should get myself an acidity monitor...
    UK - South Coast Retirement Campus (East)
  • BobFlannigonBobFlannigon Posts: 619
    Steve, I wouldn't worry about it! I think you know your tap water is going to be around 6.5-8, I'm not sure knowing exactly what it is will affect your decisions? It's probably not even a constant value. 

    LadyBird is right, short term use of tap water on acid-loving plants will be fine; it's more likely that you'll just do harm by adding vinegar.


  • steveTusteveTu Posts: 2,596
    Thank you both. Now I'm getting more into gardening I'm just paranoid about doing the 'wrong' thing and killing the plants that my wife lovingly tended!


    UK - South Coast Retirement Campus (East)
  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Posts: 35,832
    steveTu. You will be absolutely fine with the plants you've mentioned. If you ring your water supplier you will be able to ask about the pH of your water. If those plants have been in your garden for a while and are doing well then there is little need to worry.
    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • HelixHelix Posts: 631
    Sometimes if you look at your water bill online at will give you the analysis of the water which shows the pH level.  However most tap water is pretty neutral deliberately.

    What’s also good to use is the water you've boiled veg in - once it’s cooled!

    When our butts run out we use everything - bathwater, shower water, left over tea....anything liquid.  The plants do ok. 
  • You can find out the pH and much more information about your tap water from your water supplier.

    For example Severn Trent Water here:
    https://www.stwater.co.uk/my-supply/water-quality/check-my-water-quality/
  • steveTusteveTu Posts: 2,596
    The water here (South East Water - so take anything they say with a pinch (bucket) of salt) is 7.8max - normally between 7.2/7.5 - so only just into the alkaline anyway.

    Sorry to have disturbed you all!


    UK - South Coast Retirement Campus (East)
  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Posts: 35,832
    You haven't disturbed anyone steveTu. We all come on here to get advice and reassurance about anything connected to gardening and often other subjects too.
    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • Joy*Joy* Posts: 571
    Because I have the same problem, my acid loving plants get an occasional treat of a weak feed with Miracid. Last year I bought a blue hydrangea which had to be given hard tap water as there was nothing else. I just bit the bullet and accepted that this year it would be pink. I'm shocked and pleased to say that it's still blue.
Sign In or Register to comment.