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Hardness, Mg, and Ca; K

>> What you REALLY want to know
>> is the concentration of calcium, magnesium and potassium in your water.
>And exactly WHY would a "general hardness" test kit NOT tell you the
>concentration of ca and mg in the water?

It will tell you the sum of Ca and Mg. But plants have different
requirements for the two, and it would be best to know each separately.

>> Potassium in particular is NOT measured at all.
>Why do you include K in a discussion of hardness?  Are you confused as to what
>hardness means?

Maybe it's NOT a discussion of hardness. Maybe it's a discussion of ionic
species in the water, and why "hardness" does a poor job of measuring
these. But K+ is quite important to plant growth and it's worth knowing the
concentration of it.

Michael Schmidt
California State University, San Marcos
San Marcos, CA