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Just Right Xtra coco - No need to adjust ph

A

accid

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Hi All,

I found this article from General Hydroponics which states that if using Just Right Xtra coco soil:

"Adjusting pH is not necessary with any nutrients".

Prior to this statement it states:
"Our ph in this mix is 7.01 which are perfect to keep the bacteria and fungi from destroying or decomposing. There is no need for adjustment of your pH of any nutrient you add to this mix."

"We suggest no nutrients for a couple weeks. When you wet this mix with de chlorinated water the runoff will be around 1300ppm which is hot and will aid in Germination of any seeds or cuttings."

hXXp://www.ncwgs.com/just_right_xtra.php

I am currently using this soil but have been adjusting the ph to 5.8 (as it is a soiless soil thus needs to be treated like hydro). I'm using distilled water and Im a bit confused as to whether or not I should be using adjusting the ph (comes 7.0 in bottle). Any help would be great. Seedlings are looking a little yellow after two weeks of sprouting.
 

Hushpuppy

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I am not too sure but I am thinking that the purpose of the coco brand here is a true soil replacement, so lowering the ph for hydro shouldn't be an issue. The only thing that concerns me is the "1300ppm" material in the coco. That is like prenuted soil in my mind which is a no-no for seedlings. The yellowing you are seeing may be overnuting. I normally start my seedling in very neutral material like the coco tek from GH, and then I don't feed them until I see vigorous growth and the seed leaves yellowing off.

Now is the yellowing only on the little "seed leaves"(cotyledons)? or is it the typical yellowing around the very tips of the standard leaves, or a universal yellowing across the standard leaves? If it is the cotyledons yellowing, that's normal. If it is the leaf tips of the standard leaves, that overnuting, if its the the universal yellowing that means they are hungry and need feeding.

I don't trust any kind of prenuting of soil or soilless mediums for hydro use as you don't know how they have it set up or if the nutes are already chelated and available to the plants. If the nutes in the coco aren't chelated, which may be the case here since this medium is angled more for soil type growing, then it will not be available to the plants without microbes to chelate it and make it available. I like knowing exactly what I have in my medium for my plants. The bad thing here is that you don't know if this nutrient suppliment will ever be available or if running it in hydro actually will flush it out of the coco and into your rez.
 
A

accid

Guest
Thanks for the very thorough explanation. Just to be clear, I am not running a rez. I put Just Right Xtra in pots and grow the plant in this medium. As you may know, this medium is a "soiless" medium so i water it with a ph of 5.8. However, after reading what GH wrote about not having to adjust the ph it just makes me wonder if this is true or not?

I have included a photo of 2 of the plants, but they all look like this. Again, this is week 2 and I have watered with Fox Farms Big Bloom with the water phed at 5.8. Whats your thoughts on this diagnosis? Thanks a bunch for your help.

Also, if anyone els ehas any input on this soil and its claim that you do not need to adjust the ph of the water/nutes when watering with this soiless medium, that would be helpful. Thanks!

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Hushpuppy

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That looks more like nitrogen deficiency to me. From how it sounds then, you are not using this as a hydro setup but like a soil setup correct? If that is the case then you need to give them some nutes that have nitrogen in them and not adjust the ph down to 5.8 as that is the ph for hydro. PH of 7.0 is the best for soil type grows. You need to leave the PH neutral and add some mychorrizae to the soil. The problem sounds like the nutrients in the coco are not chelated because there is no microbes in it(or they haven't been active long enough to chelate the nutrients held in the coco). Are you intending to run this as an organic grow? If so then as I said earlier you need to get some "Myco" as that is an essential microbe for organic grows. There is also some other microbes that you can get to put into the soil to break it down, but you will also have to get several soil ammendments to add to it.

Are these in their final containers? or do you intend to transplant into bigger containers? If you don't intend to transplant then you will have to look quickly at getting some organic tea to feed them or get some GH 3part nutes and not do organic as that soil is not ready at all to support the plants as it is now. You said that you are giving them Big bloom but it is far too soon for that. They need a grow nutrient at this point that has both a macro nute setup of like 7-3-4 or 14-6-8, and also includes micro nutrients.

If you do intend to transplant them to bigger containers then you can mix up some amendments and microbes into the coco so that you can stay organic, but you still need to get you some organic tea and make sure it is PH7.0 and feed the kiddies right away. The reason I give the 2 options for feeding is that in organic grows the microbes are key and if you set up with them then dump a bunch of chemical nutes into the soil, you will wipe out the all important microbes and end up right back where you are now.

So you have to decide now if you want to go organic or chemical as you can't do both. If you choose organic(and no I don't believe one is better than the other. More a matter of personal prefference IMO). but you should check out the organic stickies. I can't remember which thread they are in but there is some really good information on adding soil amendments to get the proper setup for soil/organic growing. I hope all this makes sense and helps :) :)
 
A

accid

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Hushpuppy, because this is coco coir soiless medium, I am suppose to adjust the ph to 5.8. I have grown in this medium in the past and have adjusted the ph to 5.8 throughout and it has been great. As you may know, coco coir absorbs the water and nutrients that is fed to it thus acting like hydro and is suppose to be treated like hydro.

My very first time growing in this stuff i phed at 6.8 all the way through and that was a disaster. I called my local grow shop and he confirmed that I am suppose to ph at 5.8 - 6.0 tops. There is a difference between soil medium and coco coir aka "soiless" medium. Ive done some research on the net about coco ph and it all seems to point to 5.8-6.2 ... 6.8 - 7.0 being a bit way to high. Im not implying that you are wrong or anything, but im just curious about all this as this is the first time im having these issues.

I intent to transplant them to bigger pots in about a week or two but their growth has been limited in the first two weeks. Just Right includes mychorrizae in the medium mix. Big Bloom has 0.1 - 0.3 - 0.7 Is that to early to give? According to the charts of fox farm guide, it says you can give it as soon as seedlings. Please advise.
 

Hushpuppy

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Unfortunately I am not versed enough in this to be accurate. I am going on previous knowledge of soil versus hydro. I knew that the lower ph works best for hydro but didn't realize that it also is best uniformly for coco in all situations. I also didn't know that the coco had myco in it, that changes everything a bit. The problem is that It has been my understanding that the microbes don't do well in that low of ph which is why soil uses ph closer to neutral. I am sure it soesn't hurt to use the big bloom for this situation as you are assuming that the prenuted coco is set up enough with the macros from the start that you can boost with the big bloom.

That leaves us in a bit of a quandry as the plants look like they are suffering from a lack of nitrogen or nitrogen lock-out, but I am not sure why unless the myco either didn't get put in the coco at the manufacture or something killed it. But again this is educated speculation. It doesn't really look like overnuting but at the same time it has been my understand from both knoweldge and experience that you shouldn't give any nutes to seedlings for the first at least the first week and only small amounts for the second week of their lives as they can't handle much. It is possible that this is advanced nute burn. How long have they had yellowing like this? and did it start out right at the tips and edges of the leaves and work in or was the yellowing appearing more uniformly accross the leaves?
 

Hushpuppy

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I just went to the site that you posted and according to that you should leave the soil at 7.0. And it is well amended with nutes and doesn't need anything for a couple weeks but straight water. The problem is that you said that you tried it before at 7.0 and it crashed. I do know this much, MJ is different from other flowering plants and sometimes doesn't tolerate much nuteing for the first 2 weeks. I am honestly not sure if you have burned them or killed off the microbes with low ph and are starving them. I am sorry that I am of very little help at this point. :( There are 2 things that you could do at this point. You can either leave them, cut off the big bloom, and see if they recover, or you could make up a foliar feed of mild nutes and spray the leaves onec in the morning and once at night. If they are deficient, the foliar spray will begin to show up in the leaves starting to recover where the necrosis hasn't happened yet. If they are overnuted it will kill them. If leaving them alone and they are starving they will die, if they are overnuted they may still die or they may slowly catch back up. IDK, sorry :confused2:
 
A

accid

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The Just Right Xtra comes with Mycorrizae mixed into the bag. So checked the run off and it was at 5.5 - 5.6 ph run off with a ppm of 700. I flushed them with 6.0 ph with a ppm of 270-300. I think that ppm is a bit low for 2 week old seedlings but I'll find out soon enough. This batch has been a complete disaster unfortunately =(. This has been very frustrating.

The yellowing began right from the start of seedling. I placed the germed seeds in those small coco tek packs that expand when you add water. Then placed those in the Just Right Xtra. The Big Bloom is made up of earthworm castings and bat guano. When I flushed them I added big bloom to the water and figured this would be helpful.As of right now I am a going to wait and see what happens.
 

Hushpuppy

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Hmm. That sure sounds like the PH or something was out of whack and they weren't getting any nutes from start to finish. I use the coco tek from GH and I set my seedlings in it as soon as they germ and I have no trouble. I don't give them anything but water with a little clonex in it to allow me to adjust the ph to 6.5. I do this for 1-2 weeks until I see them start to take off. At the point that I see good vigorous growth I start mixing my nutes to about 300ppm with some root growth formula(Root66), and some "Micro" and "grow". Adjust my ph down to 6.0, and off they go. I do however start mine off in 8oz plastic cups with drainage holes in the bottoms, but I doubt that really makes any difference here.
 
A

accid

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They are recovering rather well. I believe the culprit was lack of calcium. When i made those adjustments I added calmag and I want to say that i am pretty sure that was the problem. The soil"less" medium Just Right Xtra does not come with dolomite hence when you add your phed water to the soil, the ph drops due to lack of calcium. Lessen learned. For all those in the future that run into this problem be sure to add dolomite lime to your soiless mix or use calmag at EVERY watering starting at seedling.

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions and trying to resolve this issue with em Hushpuppy. Its appreciated.
 
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At that stage of their growth, they should not need any nutes. I truly would be really surprised if they could be deficient in anything at that age--I can keep mine in plain water (ppms of 50) at that stage (and for a week or 2 longer) with no ill effects. I suspect pH problems or overnuting, not lack of any nutrient.
 
A

accid

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Yeah, I believe the lack of calcium causes the ph to get to low. As i stated when i checked the runoff it was at 5.5. The calcium in the calmag buffered the soilless mix and its maintaining the 6.0ph. The new leaf growth is green. Looks like its making a come back. This will slow the entire process down by about two weeks.

For all those who are using Just Right Xtra, be sure to either add dolomite lime to the medium or water with 5ml of calmag per gallon of water then adjust ph to 5.8-6.0. Also, it should be noted that I am using Fox Farms nute line through this grow. It works very well, just be sure to use sledgehammer to flush out salt build ups every 4 weeks.
 

Wetdog

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If it is adjusted to a pH of 7.01 and you are adding dolomite which will buffer it to ~7.0 and they further tell you to not adjust the pH of anything going in, why are you insisting on a hydro pH?

Soiless does not automatically = hydro. Simply means there is no dirt involved.

You are overthinking this, the word soiless.

I've used a soiless mix of my own for close to 40 years and have never treated it like hydro pH wise. Peat based rather than coco, but still.

Listen to the manufacturer. They tell you 7.01, go with it. Do the 5.8 for rockwool or hydroton, real hydro.

Wet
 

Hushpuppy

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There is one thing about the coco that I have read as well that involves the calcium and magnesium exchange in the coco itself. I can't remember the particulars to it but I remember that you do have to use a considerable amount of cal/mag initially or some other source of it until the coco balances itself out so that it doesn't starve the plants of it and throw off the PH. Sounds like you have sorted out at this point though. Hopefully you have the solution and will be able to avoid it in the future. :)
 
A

accid

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I initially tried 6.8ph when i transitioned from FFOF to Just Right Xtra, that did not work well at all. I then ran into this guide:

hXXp://forum.grasscity.com/coco-coir/620656-askeds-coco-guide.html

I started using 5.8-6.0 since then and it has solved all my problems. In addition to that guide I researched some more and found that this "soil" and coco coir itself basically acts as a holder of water (and the nutrients that are within them). Hence it is similar to a hydro grow which is why it is advised to use 5.8.

Its been my experience with this specific soil that 5.8 works best. I spoke with my local shop about "not adjusting the ph" and they told me not listen to that sales pitch. In addition, he informed to go with a 5.8 - 6.0. I understand that soilless is not exactly the same as hydro.

What 'soilless' mix did you use that you phed at 6.8 - 7.0 ? Quite interesting. Perhaps I should try upping the ph from 5.8 to 6.2 ...hmm.

Regardless, these seedlings are recovering well thanks to the calcium addition. I use distilled water.
 

Wetdog

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It's a basic peat/perlite/EWC mix for organic. Peat/perlite/fir bark fines for chems and a couple other variations for different stuff.

I don't pH anything, never have. The mix is limed and that's pretty much it AFA pH goes. You get your soil/mix pH right and it becomes a non issue.

Wet
 
A

accid

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Wet,

I did not add dolomite to the medium. the medium does not come with dolomite either. As far as calcium goes (as you know dolomite is calcium), the company says about Just Right Xtra "It also contains trace amounts of calcium and magnesium". Which implies it contains very little. Most companies presume people will use tap water which contains calcium and magnesium.

If someone is using RO or distilled water, they contain no calcium or magnesium. I know for a fact distilled is 0000 ppm. I cant speak about RO but im almost sure its nothing or under 50ppm. Perhaps someone can clarify that.

You stated taht you "don't ph anything and that you never have". Do you even own a ph/ppm meter? Kinda odd not to ph anything and to never have done so as ph is important but perhaps you are highly experienced so you have become accustomed to measurements.

Kudos to you!
 

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