Harvesting rainwater has been growing in popularity over the years as people become more conscious about water conservation and recognize the added nutritional value rainwater brings to plants (it really is better for them than tap water).
As I write this, I’m looking out my window at a fresh layer of snow on the ground. Winter is here, and for those in colder climates, that means rainwater harvesting isn’t possible right now. But what about all that snow?
Using Melted Snow
While everyone agrees that rainwater is your best choice to use for your plants, there isn’t the same consensus regarding melted snow.
While some speak very highly of it and their plants’ health, others claim that differing chemical makeups between rainwater and melted snow mean the latter isn’t as beneficial. But in my research, no one says that using melted snow is bad for your plants, so I don’t see any reason not to at least give it a shot and see how your houseplants respond.
Harvesting and Melting Snow
1: The first things you’ll need are buckets for the snow. You want them to be big enough to be able to pack in a reasonable amount of snow, but not so big that you won’t be able to lift/carry them when they are full of snow – and eventually water.
When filling the buckets, find the cleanest snow you can. Yes, that means avoiding yellow snow. But it also means not using snow near roads, as the salt used by cities to melt ice has chemicals that you don’t want to feed your plants.
2: For this next step, all you need is space and time. And I don’t mean that in the grand theory of the universe, Stephen Hawking, kind of way. You need somewhere in your house to put the multiple buckets packed with snow for a couple of days while the snow melts (melting time will depend on how much snow you collect and how warm you keep your house).
3: Once the snow has melted, the next step is transferring the melted water into storage containers – preferably ones that you can also use as dispensers of the water to the plants (watering jugs, cans, etc.).
When pouring the water into the jugs, use a strainer to catch any pieces of debris that may be there. Do this in the shower or a bathtub in case there is some spillage.
Ready To Water
And there you have it. Melted snow water all ready to use on your houseplants as needed. Then refill the snow buckets before you run out of water, and you can keep a steady supply available all winter long.