Could soapy water fertilize the soil?


Old 06-03-06, 05:16 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Long Island NY
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Could soapy water fertilize the soil?

While browsing the “Wells, Sump Pumps, & Septic Systems” forum once, I came across a posting that said, this guy was pumping his washing machine waste water onto his garden and he was enjoying plants that grew in a very healthy and fertile soil. Is this true? Can laundry detergent and soapy water be good for plants?
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Old 06-05-06, 12:59 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Where the cows roam, CA
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Probably because the soapy water killed the (any) bugs. Soapy water is good to kill aphids, mealy bugs, mites, etc. I wouldn't recommend using soapy water as a fertilizer.
Old 06-05-06, 01:06 PM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: North Carolina
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i'd be willing to bet it was the abundant water supply that made the difference. there definitly is something to the soap aspect. i had a nurseryman include a weak mixture of murphey's and water that he wanted me to pour in the planting hole.
Old 06-05-06, 03:25 PM
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Soap contains phosphates and nitrites (or is it nitrates), which makes things grow. This is why they aren't allowed in rivers and streams. Bad for fish, good for plants.

I tend to think it was the regular watering though, rather than the chemical content of the water.
Old 06-06-06, 01:23 PM
Join Date: Aug 2000
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Using untreated grey water in your garden means you may need to cut back on the amount of fertilizer you use because of nitrogen and phosphorus content. Untreated grey water should not be used directly on edible plants due to possible contamination.

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