Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Never Complain About the Weather

It's Raining and I'm a Happy Bunny!

It's so easy to grumble when rain stops play, whether that's actual play, school sports days, outdoor performances, festivals, barbeques or whatever, but crikey the garden needs rain - real rain.

I live in the South East of England, and it's been over two weeks since we've had any precipitation, and even that was just a brief shower.

The grass is parched, the phlox are wilting and the blueberries are shriveled like raisins on the bushes, but the ones that worry me the most are my Carnivorous Plants. They must have a constant supply of water with a very low mineral content, the best source being rain water. I had gathered around 16 litres of rain water in empty drinks bottles stashed in my greenhouse, but it's been so hot and dry that I ran out over the weekend.

The Met Office have been threatening rain and thunderstorms for at least a week, but then they have repeatedly pushed their predictions out, eventually giving up on them altogether as the weather fronts move away.

In desperation I ordered 25 litres of deionised, demineralised water, which is due to arrive today.

Then yesterday evening, this happened...

Rain Potting Shed windows
Rain on the Potting Shed windows

Rain clouds over house
These rain clouds mean business!

The fact that I photographed it shows what a big event it is.

We have a big water butt (*and I cannot lie), but to maximise our rainwater harvest I have also placed four tub trugs round the garden. I can strain and bottle this water specifically for use on the carnivorous plants.

"Umm, so why aren't you using the water from the water butt?" I hear you asking. Well, we drained and moved the butt to a new location earlier this year, and Mr PB decided to fill it from the hosepipe. We've had rain since then, but the mineral content will still be too high to safely water the carnivorous plants with.
"But the water has been sitting around for ages, it'll be fine by now. That's all we do to age water before we put it in our fish tank". Unfortunately it doesn't work like that for carnivorous plants. It's the mineral content that is the problem. Minerals such as Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium Chloride, Sulphate, Nitrate and Bicarbonate are held in suspension, simply 'aging' the water doesn't remove the minerals.

If you live in a low rainfall area - and let's face it, climate change means this will become more of a problem not less, you could buy demineralised water to keep in reserve for emergencies, or invest in a reverse osmosis water filtration system, usually used by people who keep fish and need high volumes of filtered water for tank water changes. Similarly if you are unable to collect rainwater (maybe you live in a flat/apartment), these really are your only options for watering your carnivorous plants.


Demineralised water and deionised water (aka DI) are produced in different ways, but have very similar levels of purity, they are not to be confused with distilled (boiled) water which should be avoided as the boiling process can actually concentrate the mineral content rather than reducing it. You need to look for water with a mineral content of less than 50 parts per million (50ppm). Double check what you are buying before you buy it, some people mistakenly used the term DI when they are selling distilled water...all three methods do begin with a 'D' I suppose!

Well it rained all evening, overnight and well into the morning, giving me around 45mm in each tub's not much, but it all helps.
Pumpkin Becki

*Funny pop culture reference


  1. I'm with you on the rain/sun mix. Even I was glad to see the rain and I'm the most vociferous whinger about grey skies! But mainly, I just wanted to say- thank you for referencing Sir Mixalot!

    1. Lol! You're welcome :D And as Pharrell Willims says "This rainy day is temporary, the contrast is why we got 'em :) ...but we need to treasure them too.