Lawn Problems
Q.

“Hard” water and clay soil

Anonymous added on June 6, 2015 | Answered

I live in southern Orange County, CA. (San Juan Capistrano to be exact.) Our water has a very high mineral content. (I call it "hard" because the build-up of lime on my inside faucets and shower doors is SO hard to get off!!!) My first question is: What effect does this have, if any, on my plants (both inside and outside) and my lawn? Do certain plants tolerate this type of water better than others? If so, how can I find out which ones I will have more success with? Secondly, while the soil here is clay (so the cliff swallows can build their nests with it), I have, over the past 25+ years, amended most of it in the flower beds so that it is fairly easy to work with. I've also "installed" lots of earthworms to help in this regard. The soil under my lawns, however, has not been touched. I just planted sod right over the soil. I'm not really very happy with the look of my lawn, though it gets fertilized on a regular basis. I'm wondering if it needs to be aerated. Would you recommend this? If so, is there anything I can put on the lawn after the aeration that might loosen up the clay soil under the grass? Appreciate any help you can give me and this forum to be able to access it.

    A.
    A.Answers to this queston: Add Answer
    Downtoearthdigs
    Certified GKH Gardening Expert
    Answered on June 10, 2015

    Your hard water can also leave deposits on your plants, much like your shower door.
    Hard water really shouldn't be a problem, more issues arise with softened water.
    Here are a few great articles.

    https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/environmental/softened-water-and-plants.htm

    https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/soil-fertilizers/how-to-improve-clay-soil.htm
    https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/lawn-care/lgen/aerating-your-lawn.htm

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