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Thread: Dishwater on garden?

  1. #1
    Member 1stimestar's Avatar
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    Default Dishwater on garden?

    Can I? It's pretty "used up" by the time I get done with dishes. I use Palmolive. Would it hurt my garden? Would one of the green dish detergents? Do those work ok, on dishes?
    Alaska, the Madness; Bloggity Stories of the North
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  2. #2
    Member Alaska Grandma's Avatar
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    I know what it is like to want to recycle water

    But never have tossed dish water straight on the garden before. I would think some of that organic/biodegradable soap would be OK...But don't just take my advice.

    I have made a small garden plot out of an older (2 years not using it) slop dumping spot and it was really good for a few years without adding much of anything to the dirt.

    I also have a grey water drain pipe that I use in the kitchen for the summer months (yay, no slop bucket under the sink). It funnels down in to a semi open small pit. Around that area the raspberries have taken root and are going to town as well as some new willow trees...So some things will do just fine and actually thrive!

    Sorry I couldn't offer more help,
    Grandma Lori
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    He wouldn't have given us grandmothers. ~Linda Henley

  3. #3
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    the primary component of soap is phosphates, which will be a good source of phosphate for your plants (an often limiting nutrient in AK).

    i don't think it will hurt your plants as long as you go easy on the soap. Especially if you dilute it 2-3 times with fresh water it will be great for your plants. what I did before I made my pond is run the sink's gray water into a 30 gallon trashcan till half full, fill the rest with freshwater, then water with that. Plants were happy as can be, as much of the "gray" in the water, including the soap, is rapidly filtered out by the soil particles and then slowly becomes available for the plants.

    Seedlings are extra sensitive so make sure your water is extra diluted. Also, if you wash something extra greasy I would keep it out of the garden. In the end the quantity of nutrients you are conserving is not much, but if you haul water then your time hauling water will sure decrease.



    A better use of gray water is to keep your compost pile moist, as the microbes there will have no problem dealing with concentrated soap phosphates. Heavy-used dishwater is probably a bit concentrated to water plants directly, so dilute, dilute, dilute.

  4. #4
    Member Alaska Grandma's Avatar
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    Interesting.

    Thanks for the info.
    Grandma Lori
    If God had intended us to follow recipes,
    He wouldn't have given us grandmothers. ~Linda Henley

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