Twitter user Dr. Karl posed this question and experts from The Conversation have given us answers as to why rain can actually be more beneficial in watering plants.
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Nitrogen makes up about 78% of the atmosphere but plants cannot access it directly from the sky as it takes too much energy to turn it into a form they can actually use. Instead, plants can get their nitrogen from other sources, in processes scientists broadly refer to as nitrogen fixation.
Plants can also get their nitrogen from high-energy processes in the atmosphere, like solar radiation and lightning, which is where summer storms come in.
The enormous heat and pressure that lightning generates provides enough energy to break down and convert atmospheric nitrogen into a number of reactive nitrogen species. When mixed with oxygen and water in the atmosphere the resulting rainfall will contain greater levels of nitrates and ammonium.
There is no doubt that natural processes are a lot better at supplying us all with the necessary nutrients that we all need. Of course, there are also other factors that come into play, but generally, what nature gives us would be the best source for what we need.
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