Rain, Nature's Fertilizer


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Every since I was a kid I have noticed that plants would grow at a steady rate when watered with the hose, then when it rained, they would suddenly grow really, really fast for a couple of days, then return to their previous growth rate.

I've been told that the rain contains nitrogen, and if there is thunder and lightning there is even more nitrogen, so that means that rain is actually fertilizing the ground for us. I am hoping we get some good rain here this year.
 
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Every since I was a kid I have noticed that plants would grow at a steady rate when watered with the hose, then when it rained, they would suddenly grow really, really fast for a couple of days, then return to their previous growth rate.

I've been told that the rain contains nitrogen, and if there is thunder and lightning there is even more nitrogen, so that means that rain is actually fertilizing the ground for us. I am hoping we get some good rain here this year.
Actually rain is nothing but combined hydrogen and oxygen molecules and has no nutritional value whatsoever. All it is is water, h2o. What does happen is that the rainwater droplets mix with ground pollutants, for instance dust in the air. What ever minerals or elements which are in those microscopic dust particles mix with the rainwater droplets it falls back to earth and thus adds nutrition back into the soil. Most rainwater which falls doesn't contain much nitrogen unless there is lightning involved. What happens is lightning reacts with the nitrogen and the oxygen in the atmosphere and turns it into nitric acid where it combines with the rainwater droplets and falls to earth thus adding nitrogen to the soil
 
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I live in a big city, so I'm pretty sure that the rainwater here isn't very clean. It doesn't make plants grow faster. Homemade compost makes a much better fertilizer;)
 
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Being in Texas, where water is at a premium, we collect rainwater in large containers and use it for the vegetable gardens and to water our hens. My take on the rainwater vs. city water is that the rainwater doesn't threaten plants with flouride, chlorine, and perhaps other chemicals.
A good rain soaks all the soil around a plant, so there isn't the "wicking effect" that you get when just the plant is watered.
When we lived in upstate NY, we learned to throw lettuce seed on top of the snow, and when the snow and its nitrogen content melted, the seed went into the soil and had a boost from the snow's nutrients.
 
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I would have to say the same thing as Claudine. I live in the city, and pollution here is very bad. When it rains, some of our plants die. Well, I am talking about when it suddenly rains. But, when there is a steady downpour (two days or more), the plants become healthier. I think sudden downpours are more like acid rains.
 
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I'm sure air quality has a lot to do with it. I grew up just outside Portland, and the air there is quite clean, now I live in Southern Oregon where it is even cleaner. We did have some really impressive thunderstorms this summer here. That's when I was told that the lightning makes more nitrogen for the soil, so I am very glad we got those.
 

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