Sorry about being so late…But here is a few things to look at OK?
Raising or Lowering the pH in the Soil Mix
Now there is alot of info here so copy and paste to your file for future referance ok
Growing in soil and adjusting pH levels
A lot of gardeners have trouble with the pH of their soil. A high pH can lock out
needed nutrients and mimic other problems like Fe and Mg deficiencies. The biggest
mistake new growers make is to try and correct pH problems too quickly. The first
step in determining if high pH is the real problem, is to pick up a good pH tester.
Don’t be afraid to shell out the cash for a good one, it’s well worth it!
Here are some recommendations: (All sell for under $100.00)
Milwaukee makes two styles of hand-held pH meters. A small “pen” called the
Sharp and the larger Smart Meter. Both are easy to use. The Sharp pens are
splash-proof (although not totally waterproof), and have a large easy to read
display. They also have a detachable, replaceable probe.
Oakton – Same type of pH tester as Milwaukee makes, but it’s made a little better
imho. These are totally waterproof. (It floats.)
Shindengen ISFET pH Meters are state-of-the-art pH pens and work with a totally
different method of measurement. This pen uses a solid state Ion Sensitive Field
Effect Transistor (ISFET) instead of the fragile glass electrodes used by
traditional pH pens. They have replaceable tips that change from opaque to clear
when they need to be changed.
What is pH, and what do the terms acidic and alkaline mean?
The acidity or alkalinity of the soil is measured by pH (potential Hydrogen ions).
Basically it’s a measure of the amount of lime (calcium) contained in your soil,
and the type of soil that you have. A soil with a pH lower than 7.0 is an acidic
soil and one with a pH higher than 7.0 is considered to be alkaline. A pH of 7.0 is neutral.
Adjusting your soil pH :
Once you have determined the pH of your soil with a good tester, you can amend the
soil if needed to accommodate the plants in your garden using inexpensive materials
commonly available at your local garden center.
Adjust soil pH slowly over several days time, and check pH often as you go. Radical
changes in pH may cause osmotic shock damage to the roots.
Raising soil pH : (to make it more alkaline)
It is generally easier to make soil mixes more alkaline than it is to make them
more acidic. The addition of dolomite lime, hardwood ash, bone meal, crushed marble,
or crushed oyster shells will help to raise the soil pH.
In soil: add dolomite limestone to the soil; use small amounts of hydrated lime.
Raising hydroponic pH : (to make it more alkaline)
In hydroponics: use potassium silicate, provides silicon at an effective doseage.
In bioponics/hydro-organics: add small amounts of sodium bicarbonate or lime.
Lowering soil pH : (to make it more acidic)
If your soil needs to be more acidic, sawdust, composted leaves, wood chips,
cottonseed meal, leaf mold and especially peat moss, will lower the soil pH.
bloodmeal/cottonseed meal during vegetative; bonemeal during flowering.
Lowering hydroponic pH : (to make it more acidic)
In hydroponics: use nitric acid during vegetative; phosphoric acid during flowering.
Stabilizing pH with Dolomite lime
The best way to stable PH is by adding 1 ounce of Dolomite Lime per 1 gallon of planting soil.
Dolomite Lime is available in garden nurseries. Buy the fine Dolomite powder
(There may be several kinds of Dolomite like Rough, Medium, Fine)
Dolomite Lime has been a useful PH stabilizer for years, since it has a neutral
PH of 7 when added to your soil it stabilizes your soil at PH 7.
Mix the dry soil medium and dolomite together really well, give the mix a good
watering then after the water has had chance to settle and leech into the soil
a bit give the mix a really good stir. Then water the soil/lime mix and give it
Best plan is to mix fine dolomite lime into your mix before planting. Fine Dolomite will help stabilize
your pH; however, if the ph becomes unstable or changes, you can then use Hydrated Dolomite Lime. Add some
of the hydrated lime to luke warm water and give it a good stir then water your plants with it. Give the plants
a good watering with this hydrated lime added and your PH should fall or rise back to 7
Dolomite lime is also high in two secondary nutes that can often be overlooked by fertilizers; dolomite
is high in both (Mg) Magnesium and (Ca) Calcium
Knowing What Your Plants Are Eating and How Much
They Can Handle
October 20, 2016 by Devin Martinez
One big question growers ask is “Why are my plants
suffering even though
I used all the right nutrients, feeding cycles,
lighting cycles, and adjusted
temperatures and conditions to their absolute
That’s because their pH and PPM levels are off,
making it difficult for your
plants to eat. pH refers to potential of Hydrogen
ions in your water, which
will determine if your water is too acidic or has
too much alkaline in it.
PPM (parts per million) refers to the concentration of minerals and soluble
matter in your watering solution.
Correct pH and PPM levels are the backbone of any grow,
and will be the
difference between a healthy grow and a huge waste of
time and money.
Simply put: the right pH level will create an environment
where your plants
can absorb nutrients quickly and easily, leading to a
Nutrient-rich water is filled with elements that are
helpful to your plants.
However, if those elements can be broken down properly
those same elements
can harm your plants.
pH levels is important to understand because the right
level will determine
the quality of helpful bacteria in your water that help
break down elements,
helping the metabolic rate of your plants. How? In two
When pH levels are too low (pH level of around 5 of lower), heavy
metals like iron and aluminum change and can become toxic
to your plants ?
If the pH level is too high (pH level of around 6.5 or
elements like calcium and phosphorus can’t be broken down
will hinder the growth of your plants
This change in properties is due to how acidic your water
is or is not.
You’ll want your plants’ nutrients to be a little acidic
otherwise they can’t
break down, but too much acidity and your nutrients can
So remember: pH too low= toxic to your plants, too
high= growth decrease.
That’s why you want to have the perfect level of acidity
in your water,
which will be around 5.5-6.0
Typical pH Levels ?
3.5 and below: Root Damage ?
4.0-4.5: Poor Nutrient Uptake ?
5.0-5.4: Good pH Level ?
5.4-5.8: Perfect pH Level ?
6.0-7.0: Acceptable pH Balance ?
7.5-8.0: Poor Nutrient Uptake ?
8.5 and Above: Root Damage
Note: Soil grown plants tend to need a little bit higher of
a pH than hydroponics
because soil retains and releases certain elements to your
plants at different times.
However, both hydroponic and soil pH levels should stay
within the same optimal range
of 5.5-6.0 pH.
PPM (Parts Per Million) refers to concentration of the particulates in your feeding
From minerals found in tap water to natural elements found in your nutrients, your
job is to make sure that the PPM levels in your water
solution are on point so you’re
not under- or over-feeding your plants. While it’s an easy
concept to understand on
the surface, it’s a little more complicated when you have
to adjust elements.
Now, pH plays a huge factor in PPM levels because even
though you may have the correct
PPM reading, some of the particles- and the concentration
of those particles- can be
harmful for your plants.
For example, let’s say your plants need to be at a PPM
level of 700. You mix your
solution and you get a PPM reading of 700 but your pH is
around 4.5. That means that
the majority of the available food for your plants is
likely to have lots of heavy
metals in it, which will quickly toxify the plant. You’ll
need to adjust the pH level
of your solution to make sure you’re not toxifying your
“But won’t that throw my PPM levels off because you’re
adding particles to your feeding
solution?” It can, and that’s what’s so tricky about PPM
and pH levels: When you adjust
one you usually have to adjust the other, which can be
simple or a huge pain depending
on the water and nutrients you’re feeding your plants.
Common PPM Readings
These readings reflect the PPM your water should have at
a given stage of growth
? Seedlings: 100-250 (nutrients aren’t really
needed here, hence there’s not a
lot of particles needed)
? First Half of Vegging Cycle: 300-400 (this is
usually after you transplant,
which still don’t require many nutrients)
? Second Half of Vegging: 450-700 (you’ll start giving your plants more nutrients
at this stage)
? First Half of Flowering: 750-950 (your plants will be eating more as they grow,
so they’ll be taking in more nutrients)
? Second Half of Flowering: 1000-1600 (this is when your plant’s eating the most,
especially if you give it additives)
? End of Flower, Entering Harvest: As close to 0 as possible (this is when you’ll
be flushing your plants, so you don’t want there to be a lot of particles left over)
Adjusting pH Levels
When it comes to feeding plants there’s two ways of looking at it: homemade or store bought.
Same goes with balancing your pH: you can either purchase a pH buffer from a store or you
can use ingredients you can find around your home or in the grocery store– but both come
with their advantages and disadvantages.
Homemade pH Buffers
? Advantage: If pH levels are low you can use a little citric acid or even white
vinegar to help bring your water’s pH down. When you need to raise your pH levels you
can use a little bit of baking soda in your solution and bring those readings back up.
This will cost you less than picking up a buffering
The issue with using these solutions
is that they don’t work for
very long. You’ll find yourself having to add a little
lemon juice every other day, then
having to use a little baking soda to even things out.
Moreover, we’ve also heard of
growers using these ingredients and seeing severe spikes
in pH, which if not handled
properly and quickly and bring your grow to a halt.
Premade pH Buffers
Most hydroponic companies out there
will have pH buffers, usually
called . They’re much easier to use than citric acid or
white vinegar mixes. They’re
designed raise and lower the pH of your water while
keeping your water’s pH levels
balanced for longer than it would be without them.
? Disadvantage: As we’ve always mentioned, easier
usually means more expensive.
These solutions usually won’t cost you an arm and a leg,
but they’re definitely something
you can’t simply make at home and will cost some money.
Adjusting PPM Levels
Before you start adjusting your PPM levels, you’ll first
want to make sure your tap water
is ready to feed your plants. That means you’ll want to
adjust the PPM of your base water
before you start feeding it to your plants Now, any time
you add anything in to your watering
solution, you’ll be adding more particles in to it, so
keep an eye out on your PPM levels at
? To rid your water of too many particles you
can use things like a carbon filter or a
reverse osmosis machine to clean your water. However,
many growers agree that most tap water
has helpful minerals (like calcium and magnesium) that
actually help plants.
? During and after the vegging stage, your plants
will want more out of their feedings
so filtering isn’t really necessary. That’s why we
recommend only using filters at the
beginning of the plants life when low PPM readings are
For a quick fix when PPM’s are high just add a bit
of fresh water with a good pH
level and watch them drop. Filtered, pH’ed water is great
when things get a little too
much in your reservoirs.
When readings are low it’s usually time to feed
your plants. When you add nutrients
to your feeding solution your PPM’s will go back up, and
when your PPM’s and pH’s are in
balance your plants are going to be happy and healthy.
Just remember that these readings need constant
adjustment, so if you haven’t been
keeping a close eye on your plant’s PPM and pH levels
there’s not better time to start than now.
Re-printed with Permission from Jorge Cervantes;
EC Hanna Eutech Truncheon CF
ms/cm 0.5 ppm 0.64 ppm 0.70 ppm 0
0.1 50 ppm 64 ppm 70 ppm 1
0.2 100 ppm 128 ppm 140 ppm 2
0.3 150 ppm 192 ppm 210 ppm 3
0.4 200 ppm 256 ppm 280 ppm 4
0.5 250 ppm 320 ppm 350 ppm 5
0.6 300 ppm 384 ppm 420 ppm 6
0.7 350 ppm 448 ppm 490 ppm 7
0.8 400 ppm 512 ppm 560 ppm 8
0.9 450 ppm 576 ppm 630 ppm 9
1.0 500 ppm 640 ppm 700 ppm 10
1.1 550 ppm 704 ppm 770 ppm 11
1.2 600 ppm 768 ppm 840 ppm 12
1.3 650 ppm 832 ppm 910 ppm 13
1.4 700 ppm 896 ppm 980 ppm 14
1.5 750 ppm 960 ppm 1050 ppm 15
1.6 800 ppm 1024 ppm 1120 ppm 16
1.7 850 ppm 1088 ppm 1190 ppm 17
1.8 900 ppm 1152 ppm 1260 ppm 18
1.9 950 ppm 1216 ppm 1330 ppm 19
2.0 1000 ppm 1280 ppm 1400 ppm 20
2.1 1050 ppm 1334 ppm 1470 ppm 21
2.2 1100 ppm 1408 ppm 1540 ppm 22
2.3 1150 ppm 1472 ppm 1610 ppm 23
2.4 1200 ppm 1536 ppm 1680 ppm 24
2.5 1250 ppm 1600 ppm 1750 ppm 25
2.6 1300 ppm 1664 ppm 1820 ppm 26
2.7 1350 ppm 1728 ppm 1890 ppm 27
2.8 1400 ppm 1792 ppm 1960 ppm 28
2.9 1450 ppm 1856 ppm 2030 ppm 29
3.0 1500 ppm 1920 ppm 2100 ppm 30
3.1 1550 ppm 1984 ppm 2170 ppm 31
3.2 1600 ppm 2048 ppm 2240 ppm 32
There are three conversion factors which various
manufacturers use for displaying ppm’s…
USA 1 ms/cm (EC 1.0 or CF 10) = 500 ppm
European 1 ms/cm (EC 1.0 or CF 10) = 640 ppm
Australian 1 ms/cm (EC 1.0 or CF 10) = 700 ppm
Hanna, Milwaukee 1 ms/cm (EC 1.0 or CF 10) = 500 ppm
Eutech 1 ms/cm (EC 1.0 or CF 10) = 640 ppm
Truncheon 1 ms/cm (EC 1.0 or CF 10) = 700 ppm