Learning Center

Hard Water vs Soft Water in Lawn Care

Posted by Nate Bahler on Jan 8, 2021 10:48:26 AM
Nate Bahler

How does hard water or soft water affect my soil/lawn performance?

Water that is too hard and water that is too soft can be equally damaging to a lawn. What’s the main difference between the two? Hard water contains minerals and soft water does not. 

With hard water comes nutrients that are beneficial to a lawn, whereas soft water contains no nutrients for your lawn - just salt. 

Rain water is soft. When it travels through the ground before reaching treatment facilities, it picks up minerals along the way in the process of becoming hard water.


Hard water usually contains magnesium and calcium which can be good for your lawn but in large doses it can put your lawn at risk of Chlorosis. This is a condition that can turn your grass yellow.

Soft water has only one nutrient - salt.  Watering your lawn with soft water may wash away minerals and nutrients from the top soil which can make it harder to maintain healthy grass.

Watering your lawn with hard vs soft water

Watering Your Lawn with Hard Water:

Hard water contains Magnesium and Calcium which are great for a lawn because they counteract sodium build up that comes with soft water irrigation. 

  • Fertilize: Fertilize lawn with a nitrogen fertilizer.  

  • Aerate: Aerate soil to improve the natural life cycle of the soil allowing it to absorb and balance the nutrients content you get from rain.

Watering Your Lawn with Soft Water

  • Gypsum: Use a liquid fertilizer containing Gypsum.   Using this twice a year will help wash away the sodium deposits.

  • Faucets: If you use a water softener and can avoid using the softener on your outdoor faucets, we recommend doing so.

    • Watering with too much soft water will cause a sodium build up. If this happens, your lawn will need to be leeched by watering heavily to wash away salt build ups.

Green Meadow Irrigation Topics:

Learning Center Articles 

Green Meadow Youtube Channel Request a Free On-Site Estimate with Green Meadow Lawn Care

Since 2007, Green Meadow Lawn Care has provided homeowners throughout the greater Tolland, Connecticut area with premium fertilization programs, tick control, mosquito management, seeding & aeration and tree & shrub care. 

Visit our Learning Center to find out more about how our services can help you or visit our Youtube Channel to view more in our Learning Center Series.

To speak to our Customer Service Manager, please call Dave (view Dave's video bio here) with any questions. Dave has been in the industry for 30 years and is always happy to help with his expert advice.  


Top Learning Center Articles