Keeping the pH level in soil


#1

A question from a fellow grower:

I have one question for you. How do you keep the ph of your soil within range? I have problems with my soil being too acidic, then too alkaline. Let me start from the beginning. I bought on of those cheap ph testers, the liquid kind by Gen Hydroponics. With it comes the solutions to either bring it up or down in ph, and the test solution, with a test tube. Now the problem I have is that there are no instructions on how much to use to bring it down or up, so you have to continually adjust the water (in this case, i use blueberry seltzer water, which is very acidic), which I try to bring down to a proper ph with ph down, right in the bottle, along with regular bottled water, which is very alkaline. I usually try to do the whole bottle of seltzer water at once to make the ph is in range. So this causes the ph to fluctuate up and down. In fact, I lost my last plant to ph problems just three weeks before harvesting. I only got about 1 1/2 ounces of smoke. The quality was ok, but there was no blueberry smell or taste. Right now I am using store bought soil. The last time I used HAPPY FROG soil, which not only had fertilizer in it, but good bacteria and fungus. I can’t seem to keep the soil at a correct ph. Right now, the soil is between 5.5 and 6 on the ph scale. But I have to use so much of that crappy ph down that it isn’t worth buying the crap. I was wondering if there was another way to try to keep the ph at a consistent level. I noticed that Happy Frog was pretty good at keeping it at a good level, but I couldn’t get it during the winter months. I like using the blueberry seltzer water, if your interested, to enhance the taste of the plant. I notice that when I pull off some of the large fan leaves, which I do to stimulate side growth, and bit into the stem, you can taste some of the blueberry. My last plant was ridiculously thick and bushy when I did this along with low stress training. I also used raspberry syrup, a small amount in the water. The plants seemed to like the sugar in this and it turned the stem and leaves red. I also used molasses during flowering which seemed to help. Again, I was wondering if there was something I can do to keep the ph in check so what happened last time doesn’t happen again. I appreciate your help.


#2

Either look into ordering ph perfect solution, or the main nutrients a cannabis plant needs, if you need a reference I posted a cheat sheet of nutrients in the girl scout cookie thread, which ordering flora gro and using CaMg+ will balance things out and keep on steady, and also as for the soil testing in guessing it came with coloured strips to determine ph of water when finding the right mix since there were no instructions


#3

As mentioned "PH Prefect Nutrient work great - PH level in soil is really not a big issue be it (soil) acts like a buffer, hydro growing it’s a necessary thing . put your efforts in learning about bloom bosster and when to use them in the flower stage (early, middle, late)


#4

But just cause it’s in soil doesn’t mean it’s inevitable to happen lol, I get a plant here n there that go through ph problems, but I do agree soil is less of a chance to through ph off, simply because it already has the nutrients the plant can take and is more like a buffer, unless soil is used up and old, so if any thing ph has to be dropped in soil more often than not, granted its been a while since I’ve had a ph problem


#5

Regular bottled water? Regular bottled “drinking” water is usually only around 7.5 pH which isn’t that bad at all and has very little alkali minerals in it and it wouldn’t change your soil much at all and might not even need any pH adjusting for use with soil.

Bottled “distilled” or “demineralised water” from the store is generally neutral with a pH of 7, and if used alone in some soil mixes heavy with peat, the soil will begin to become acidic without some alkali minerals to balance the normal acidifying process as organics in the soil decompose. In this case you want to add a cal-mag supplement of about 150ppm or 0.3 EC with regular watering, or maybe sprinkle a garden lime on the surface of the soil before watering.

Blueberry seltzer water is probably your main problem, I’d never use seltzer water in the soil, as foliar spray maybe. The CO2 in the seltzer water would not really be good for the roots, and as you stated, it is also acidifying. CO2 is needed at the leaves and O2 is needed at the roots. I’d stop using the seltzer water in the soil first and foremost.

If you really want to add a blueberry falvor to your harvest, try an actual blueberry strain and perfect your curing technique to bring out the blueberry flavor, or add blueberry coolaid or something non-acidic and that doesn’t have Co2 carbonation in the liquid, I’ve heard of people adding concentrated flavor drops, the kind that you can make homemade hard sugar candies with, to their water to add a flavor to their plants.

Happy growing,

MacG


#6

Thanks @MacGyverStoner, I think we needed a more experienced person here


#7

Rain water is free , get you a 5 gallon bucket and catch some rain water , it’s easy to ph and it’s sometimes balance at the right ph due to evaporation from lakes and rivers , but this is what outside plants thrive on and so should your plants as well , but again MacG advice is way better than mines , he is who taught me my know how’s and my donts , you want go wrong with the science officer suggestions , but I used rain water and I store it in room temperature and it’s much easier to ph than well water or tap water , it don’t flow through pipes , it falls from the natural clouds from evaporation , and plants seems to love it , just my opinion I’m no expert but rain water does work wonders and easy to manage far as Ph ?