high ph

Dankels00

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i just got a digital ph tester and it turns out my tap water is 9.0, distilled 8.5. not sure how i should test the ph of the soil, could i take some soil and mix it with tap water or the runoff after i water? and assuming my soil has a high ph, how should i lower it, im going to use lemon juice to lower the water but not sure how to get the soil down, just water it, maybe a flush with adjusted water?
 

ZMAN

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that would do it. ph down to 6.5 and go at it with 3 gallons of water per gallon of soil.

but yeah test your run out and it should tell you the ph of the soil
 

shuggy4105

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bicarbonate of soda-raise ph,vinegar-lower ph.amounts vary.only try a small amount then test with ur new ph tester!
 

Dankels00

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thanks guys, i just tested the run off from my soil it says 5.1, does that make sense? i thought the ph of the water should be the same or close to the soil ph, maybe im confused, could someone please verify
 

Elephant Man

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Dankels00 said:
thanks guys, i just tested the run off from my soil it says 5.1, does that make sense? i thought the ph of the water should be the same or close to the soil ph, maybe im confused, could someone please verify
Yikes..not good...what kind of soil? Sounds 'peaty', some soil is made for acid-loving plants. Get some dolomitic lime or crushed oyster shell lime and mix it in with top inch of soil if you cannot transplant...like 1-2 tablespoons per gallon.
 

Dankels00

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hey elephant man, its a professional potting mix from a local nursery. i have some lime but id rather not use it if i could just change it with water. i ran 3 gallons of water that was 6.5 through 1g pots and the run off was 5.7. what should i do?
 

Elephant Man

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You can balance out your ph by using higher ph water in lower ph soil...but it may be a bandaid. Don't fear the lime, already in your soil...just probably not enough.
 

Dankels00

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well the thing thats confusing me is that i flushed one plant with tap water which is 9.0 and the run off was 5.1 then i flushed the other with water that was 6.5 and the runoff 5.7, how does that work. if i use the lime how long will it take to see results and does it work just sitting there or when i water it. sorry for all the questions, ive never dealt with ph before.
 

Elephant Man

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If your soil is setup by design on the acidic side, it will naturally resist ph changes...that is where the lime will help. What kind do you have? I use dolomitic or pelletized...lasts about a month. You can crush a little and water it in but I would probably just mix it in. It will provide a little extra Ca and Mg too...which MJ loves.
 

Dankels00

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ok i see, i have pelletized garden lime, should i mix some up and just add it to the top of my pots? and should i use regular tap water or bring it down to 6.5? thanks for the help
 

Elephant Man

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Yes, just mix in a tablespoon or 2 per gallon into the top inch or so of soil...don't try to hard to mix it in, don't hurt her or anything. If you have room, you can put a little new soil on top. I would go ahead and continue to adjust water ph to below 7 (6.5 to 7 is fine), and continue to moniter soil ph at waterings. It should get much closer to 7 within a watering or 2.
 

Dankels00

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thanks a lot elephant man, after reading that last post something clicked and now i understand how everything works, i should be able to work things out from here on out.
 

Hick

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Elephant Man said:
Yes, just mix in a tablespoon or 2 per gallon into the top inch or so of soil...don't try to hard to mix it in, don't hurt her or anything. If you have room, you can put a little new soil on top. I would go ahead and continue to adjust water ph to below 7 (6.5 to 7 is fine), and continue to moniter soil ph at waterings. It should get much closer to 7 within a watering or 2.
hmmm,...You think lime really works that quickly e'man?...I'm not sure. (I'm not saying it doesn't ;)) I've never tried it as a top dressing. It "should" be mixed in prior to potting to be most effective, for sure.
Here's a li'l ditty I found awhile back on limeing.
http://www.wvu.edu/~agexten/hortcult/turf/liming.htm
..and here's the quote that prompted the question.."because lime moves very slowly through the soil. Research has shown that it it takes up to two years for lime to move two two inches through the soil."
 

Elephant Man

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Interesting link there Hick, thanks. I have heard others say lime on top will do nothing, but I have used this method on a "hot mix" and I actually saw immediate ph correction...a full point from runoff. I can only guess it has to do with the frequent waterings or high soil aeration of containers...I guess. When I watered it in, water on top became cloudy as it hit the soil...I can only guess this means some amount of pelletized is readily soluable, perhaps the 'dusty' part. I have seen many 'topdressing' mixes on the net too that included lime to counter the increased acidity of additions like castings and cottonseed meal. I have 3 kinds here at the lab, dolomitic (pelletized) and oyster shell (powdered) are the ones I use...I have some hydrated for the next time the ex-wife comes around...LOL.

I find it interesting also that they claim in that link that it should last 3-5 years....most reading I have done suggested adding it once a month.:confused:

Hmmm...dunno man. I use it all the time everywhere...mostly because I use RO water though....and hot mixes with little feedings...and because MJ is such a Ca/Mg hog.:p
 

ZMAN

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the ph will always drop in the soil as your roots grow.
 

KADE

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ZMAN said:
the ph will always drop in the soil as your roots grow.
I dunno 100% about the dirty soil world... but in hydro it is completely different.
I'd assume the drop in soil ph would be from salts buildup.... roots themselves are alkaline... so is algae... salts left in a res are acidic... should be the same in soil. But a nice soil mix should self balance itself hick tells me.
 

ZMAN

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i new i was gonna get it backwards.... lol
 

Dankels00

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thanks for all the advice guys, i took your advice elephant man and went with the lime, brought the ph up to 6.7, that was with a couple seedlings i had, im not sure about my mother plant i tested the soil and it siad 7.3 dont know about the runoff because my ph pen already **** the bed, i think, the numbers went crazy and now it just reads 1.8.9 and everything in the display screen is lit up, what a bummer. anybody ever had this problem or have some suggestions on what to do, i could send it back but id rather not take the time if theres a quick fix
 

Elephant Man

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Dankels00 said:
thanks for all the advice guys, i took your advice elephant man and went with the lime, brought the ph up to 6.7, that was with a couple seedlings i had, im not sure about my mother plant i tested the soil and it siad 7.3 dont know about the runoff because my ph pen already **** the bed, i think, the numbers went crazy and now it just reads 1.8.9 and everything in the display screen is lit up, what a bummer. anybody ever had this problem or have some suggestions on what to do, i could send it back but id rather not take the time if theres a quick fix
Good news and bad news.:eek: Sorry to hear about the pen man, I have never owned one, I have a tri-meter:rolleyes: . What brand is it? See if you can snag a picture off of the net of it...
 

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