Monday, May 2, 2011

The Important Parts Of Rain Water

I thought I'd share a tid-bit of information with y'all.  I am reading an old book written in the mid-1800's about drainage and run-off on the farm.  I learned a bit about rain water.  "Rain water always contains in solution, air, carbonic acid and ammonia.  The first two ingredients are among the most powerful disintegrators of a soil.  The oxygen of the air and the carbonic acid being both in a highly condensed form, by being dissolved, possess very powerful affinities for the ingredients of the soil.  The oxygen attacks and oxydizes the iron; the carbonic acid siezing the lime and potash and other alkaline ingredients of the soil, produces a further disintegration and renders available the locked up ingredients of this magazine of nutrients.  Before these can be used by plants, they must be rendered soluble; and this is only affected by the free and renewed access of rain and air.  The ready passage of both of these, therefore, enables the soil to yield up its concealed nutriment."

Interesting, indeed.  This would explain why the garden grows so much faster and more lush after a rain verses watering from the garden hose.  Surely there is a modern farm application to this knowledge?

1 comment:

Gorges Smythe said...

And snow contains a wee bit of nitrogen, which is why old-time farmers didn't curse the snow like we tend to at times.