I’m board and wanted to learn something today. Why I haven’t looked this up before is beyond me.
The one thing I’ve Learned this year is that Ph is the overall most important thing I have to have right. And the only way I can find to do that is a good digital Ph meter. ( not the most expensive but not the cheapest eather)
Proper Ph allows a plant the ability to take in what nutrients it needs.
I’m board and wanted to learn something today. Why I haven’t looked this up before is beyond me.
Nice little chemistry lesson that affects all aspects of our lives, even though most don’t always know that!!
There go an interesting lesson on Ph and that hideous hand model obscuring the most important fact.
I would hire an assistant but all funds go back to the grow tent up grade jar.
And my wife said no . Well not in those words . But I’m a round about way.
My favorite saying lately has been monitor Ph like it’s on parole. And it’s true Ph is a cimanal fresh outta prison ready to reak havick on our plant. And you must control it or else.
I want a laughing smiley face for that!!
Funny thing is you got me thinking about Ph earlier today and I spent some hours watching U tube vids on Ph and PPM
Now I gotta order a PPM meter
Yeah it’s crazy how that works , I have a cheap ppm meter. But I’m saving for the blue labs combo kit ph and ppm both water proof. Maybe for Christmas.
Here something to read over…lol
One of the first signs of having a slight ph problem is, your plant having part of the leaves kind of twisty, spotty with brown, yellowish, red spots within each other.
Sometimes they don’t have to have all the colors, they could just be spots that have yellowish brown, or just reddish brown and can happen anywhere on the plant. Mainly starts on big fan leaves then goes to little leaves.
When this happens you need to check your soil ph, water ph before and after adding your nutrients. One of the biggest causes is adding nutrients like earth juice; they take the ph down quite a bit. Also can happen when you add bone and blood meal to your soil, that will throw the ph off as well, so it’s smart to test the mix before putting your plants into the mix. After the spots happen you will soon see nutrients being locked out, when that happens DO NOT ADD ANYTHING TO FIX THE PROBLEM UNTILL YOU GET YOUR PH FIXED!! Reason why is, because the plant isn’t absorbing that nutrient, by adding the nutrient it is deficient in, you are causing it to have a build up in the soil therefore can cause that nutrient to become toxic to the plant, because of buildup, to much buildup of certain nutrients will lock out other nutrients. In order to fix the problem you will need to first fix the ph and then if the soil is deficient in nutrients you can add it to fix the problem. A digital PH tester is the best tester to use as they are the most accurate. If you can’t afford a digital ph meter, then your best bet is to get ph testing papers. DO NOT get soil testers, those are the cheapest junk I ever seen and do not give good readings, so you cant rely on one of those. There are a lot of good ph testers out there, one of them is hanna. That is the one I use and is the best money ever spent! Vast majority of problems with soil ph comes from the soil if it has additives like peat moss, which is HILGY acidic… and or the water you are using, as well as nutrient deficiencies from using the wrong ph for watering. You want to be careful when adjusting your ph, doing this over a week is the best idea, to fast will cause shock to the plant. If you can’t get a hold of a ph tester or ph test papers. If you have some dolomite lime, its always better to use it in soil rather than every time you water, imo and from others (Uncle Ben) That it really doesn’t stabilize as many people think it does, Soil pH and micronutrient availability are interrelated. Don’t Use to much lime to decrease the soil pH to a point where micronutrients can’t be unavailable to plants. The micronutrients affected by pH include iron, manganese, zinc and, not as often copper. The problems when you apply to much lime can make it harder to correct your ph than what you would have when you didn’t add as much lime. You can always add more lime, but if you add to much you can’t remove it if you put to much lime in the soil. With great soil moisture, lime will work immediately and pH will start to change over a few months. However, it can take up to a year for the real benefit of lime to work. As the soil pH rises, the time it takes for lime to react decreases due to lower levels of soil acids. If you need to change your ph when its to high, if you choose to use lime it will not help as much as you think in lowering your ph, it would need alot of lime to lower your ph to a point where it would cause a toxcicity to the plants so look else where to use something to lower your ph rather than using lime.
So here at the bottom is a list of some buffers that are good to go with when raising and lowering ph!
Here are some ph buffers when your ph is too high: Use these SOIL PH Adjustments to lower your ph: sawdust, composted leaves, wood chips, cottonseed meal, leaf mold and peat moss. Sawdust, composted leaves, woodchips and, lemon juice, PH DOWN.
Hydro PH Adjustments: PH Down (vinegar and lemon juices are good for soil, but not recommended for hydro use) Phosphoric acid during flowering and Nitric acid for vegtative growth.Thanks goes out to syko2 for that one! (Only quality PH buffers should be used to adjust ph and be sure the buffer and nutrient work’s well together.)
Here are some that will raise the ph: use these SOIL Adjustments when your ph is to low: PH UP, dolomite lime, hardwood ash, bone meal, crushed marble, or crushed oyster shells, potassium hydroxide <— Thank you Uncle Ben!
Hydro Adjustments: PH UP,lime,potassium hydroxide and potassium sillicate .(Only quality PH buffers should be used to adjust ph and be sure the buffer and nutrient work’s well together.)
Thanks @garrigan62 I needed that.
I got more if ya want it
Yes sir , can’t stop learning . Thank you
@garrigan62 why is there a piece of cake by my name?
I have no idea…but i will find out for ya ok?
just give me a few
It’s your anniversary of the day you joined ILGM
Thanks @garrigan62 and @ntmaremach
@garrigan62 I’ll take all the information you got on ph , seems to be the key to unlocking my plants.
@bonnie1 scroll down from here and read what @garrigan62 sent me on ph
I know it’s a lot of info to read , but it’s really helping me understand a lot and I hope it will do the same for you.
@garrigan62 wow I new ph was important but ppm is right there to with ec. More to learn,
Ok then you got it my friend…get you file ready…lol
Note: Blood Meal, Dried Blood, Guanos, Kelp Meal, Cotton Seed Meal, Peat Moss, Sulfur and fish meal are all acidic and can bring your ph down, so if you add these please monitor your ph when using those.
Note: Bone Meal, Rock Phosphate, Wood Ashes pretty much all ashes, Shellfish Compost and Crab Meal are all alkaline and can make your ph go up, so if you add any of these please monitor your ph.
Part 1 of 2
Guide for growing on coco
Growing cannabis is a hobby that more and more people pursue. Everybody can have great results if you adopt a professional attitude as grower. A good crop depends on the commitment and cleverness of the caretaker.
This guide focuses on the growth of skunk and indica kinds, varying from 7 to 10 weeks flowering phase.
There are various methods to grow professionally, but we have found that this is the simplest method to yield results over the gram/watt. We know from experience that if the beginner is serious and meticulous and visits the shop once every two weeks for half an hour to catch up the first harvest will yield premium quality and premium production. Failed harvests due to mistakes in the growing method are rare, but are caused by, for example, unreliable equipment, low-quality products, nonchalance, and by insect plagues.
There are two differences:
- Coco in pots
- Coco in slabs
The advantage of growing in pots is that you can move the plants during the harvest. Since one plant grows faster than the next it is easy to sort them according to length and order them in such a way that they catch as much light as possible. Coco slabs only offer advantages such as less work (primarily in larger areas) and less waste, and even higher yields if you use a water system. This guide only discusses the first method. For growing on slabs, go to Growside Maastricht V.O.F… We only explain the method of growing and not the layout of the room. Visit the shop for advice on how to do this, because the layout requires special attention, for example isolation, ventilation and power supply.
Coco in pots
In order to reduce the harvest time as much as possible to prevent the development of problems we use a 4-litre pot of lxbxh is 15x15x20cm. Citral, Peacemaker, White Widow, Snowball, Santa Maria or other white weeds barely need to be given growing time (18 hours light or more) if the climate is really damp the first two weeks. A K2 or a Top-44 for example, are slow growers that can take at least five days of growth.
Since the plants do not or barely get the time to grow, they will yield a maximum of 25 grams on average. That means that at least 24 plants must be placed under every 600w lamp in order to yield 600 grams per 600 watt HPS lamp. Because the artificial light is less powerful than the sun the intensity of light greatly decreases if the distance between lamp and plant becomes a bit bigger. For that reason a short plant usually has long full flowers from top to bottom and a long plant may look deserted of flowers especially at the bottom. A larger plant (larger than 75cm) does not yield more than a smaller one and is unmanageable.
Ordering and comparing pots
A big advantage of growing with pots is that you can move the plants and can look per plant if it needs water or not. Especially the first three weeks there can be large differences between the plants, which are caused as follows:
The cuttings you start with are different. It is possible that one has grown 15 cm after 5 days and has already used a lot of water while another is still as small and damp as in the beginning. If you water all plants while some of them are still wet you drown the plants that were already small while the cuttings that are big get watered at the correct moment. The large plants will grow even harder and the small ones even slower and the differences will keep getting bigger and bigger. For that reason you should only water plants that are dry.
The more often you select, the more evenly your plants grow. When your harvest progresses you often see that the plants become more yellow in the centre than at the side, because the plants in the centre receive more light energy and process the food more quickly and therefore use more food. If you put a yellow plant on the outside you give it some time to take in food and become greener again. This means that a plant that is green (a plant with much unprocessed food) processes more food under the light than a plant that is already yellow because it cannot supply the food quickly enough.
Moving lamps or moving the lamps somewhat is always better.
One of the most underestimated factors in indoor growing is the humidity.
It is important for the further course of the entire harvest especially the first three weeks.
A cutting is a sprig of a plant with a few leaves, which is cut from a large plant, the mother plant. This mother plant is selected on quality, gender, and strength and each cutting from this plant has exactly the same characteristics, the genetic factors. Since this cutting can vaporize water via the leaves, but cannot absorb water (there are no leaves) it must be protected against dehydration. This is where humidity comes into play. By increasing the humidity the water will vaporize more slowly and the plant will loose less water than in dry air. You give the plant more time to grow roots this way. With the help of the humidity you can actually regulate the rate of water evaporation in the plant. Even if roots are already there it may be that a young or sick plant cannot keep pace with the evaporation, for example if the amount of light or warmth is increased. You can recognise it by more yellow leaves, dried out edges of leaves, a stagnating growth and a decreasing humidity.
Most of the time when you turn on the light the room will get too dry quickly.
Since cuttings will usually take root under strip lights they are not used to really strong light.
Initially hang the lamp(s) as high as possible, start with a few lamps and add more lamps in the course of the first two weeks. Much light means much warmth. Much warmth means much extraction to lead away the warmth and all humid air is transported outside. Everyone will see the similarity between a blow-drier and the warmth of the lamps in combination with the extraction. The more lamps, the warmer it gets, the stronger the extraction so the lower the humidity, or the dryer the air. In order to maintain a high level of humidity you must not use too much light initially so that the extraction can be kept low. You can furthermore place water reservoirs, spray water, hang wet laundry in your growing room or, even better, use a humidifier. Be careful that the humidity is not more than 95% with reference to the electric equipment. When the plants get bigger they will automatically use more water and give off more moisture to the air and eventually the humidity will stay sufficiently high. When the humidity gets too high you can turn on more lamps and/or increase ventilation.
The following values are advisable:
week 1 80 to 90%
week 2 70 to 80%
week 3 65 to 70%
week 4 through 8 60 to 65%
week 9 around the 55%
Nowadays there are various convenient climate controllers available that simplify the controlling of your climate. Let someone inform you about the differences.
When you grow you will be visited by uninvited insects now and again. The cleaner you work, the better, but it still does not guarantee anything. There will be no flowers the first three weeks of the harvest. During this period you can use insecticide, which you wash off before flower formation, without problems. I prefer insecticides that degrade themselves within a few weeks and are not poisonous after that period. Let someone inform you about this because there are also dangerous products on the market. Always ask about a product that is suitable for vegetables, fruit and other consumer crops. A safety term is usually also indicated. I furthermore advise to work with two different insecticides, one general insecticide against louse, thrips and other insects and a special insecticide against red spider mites (web). If you spray once every three days with one of the two insecticides your crop will be clean before the real bloom. Primarily spray under the leaves.
Once you have an actual flower (and not the first hairs) you stop spraying and wash the leaves a few times with a lot of clean water. You can also release natural enemies such as predatory mites (orius) and soil-predatory mites (hypoaspis miles). The first lives on all harmful insects on the leaves, and the other on all harmful insects in the soil and for that reason they are particular suited to use preventively. Only tenacious red spider mites might occur at the end of the harvest, against which you should use predatory mites. It all seems a lot of work but it might save you a lot of problems, and fighting a real plague is often more work and might cost more with reference to yield and quality.
Watering with coco is different than with soil. If you grow on soil you cannot give the plant too much water because the plant will drown otherwise. Much water in the soil displaces all oxygen, which is rare in the ground in any case. Pearlite is added to the soil to reduce this problem. Coco on the other hand is so light that there will always be sufficient oxygen left and the plant cannot drown. This means in general that you can give the plant so much water that it drains from under the pot each time. You can let the pot become dryer the first week only to stimulate root development. You can also water the plants on coco the soil-growing way (without drainage), but coco is actually a hydrological medium and drainage yields better and more constant results (750grams/600watt/9weeks/1.2m2 has been realised).
You furthermore compare the EC-values (see following chapter). If they are constant, flush out a little and drain 20% nutrient solution. If you measure a higher EC-value you can drain more (30%) and flush out more often. When the EC gets lower, you can give more nutrients.
Unfortunately I haven’t seen a professional soil humidity meter yet. The hydrological growing on coco always enables you to know if you have watered the plant sufficiently. From the 8th day you must find on average 25% of the water given each day in the waste water reservoir where your drain water flows back to. You can furthermore decide at all times to give more water in order to regulate your pH- and EC- values.
E.C. means Electric Conductivity, and is measured in ųS/cm.
The dissolved salts in water determine the conductivity of the water. If no salts or minerals are dissolved in the water the conductivity is zero, just like rubber. The more salts, the better the conductivity. Tap water normally contains so many dissolved salts that it conducts electricity dangerously well. Since most salts are also nutrient the EC.-value is also a standard for the nutritional value of the water or the soil.
The EC.-value of the tap water in the Netherlands lies approximately between the 0.1 and the 0.7 ųS/cm. The EC in this area lies around 0.5. When we talk about an EC-value it is always a combination of the EC-value of the water and of the nutrient. The tap water has an EC-value of 0.5. In case of an EC of 1.7 this is 0.5 of the water and 1.2 enriched with nutrient solution. In your case you must complement the EC of your tap water with 1.2 EC nutrient solution.
When the plants are young you should work with an EC of 1.2, up to 1.7 in approximately three weeks.
If everything goes as it should you determine by looking at the colour of the leaves if you should give more or less nutrient. If the leaves are dark green this means that the plant has more than enough nutrients for now. You can give fewer nutrients. If the leaves turn more yellow, you can give the plant more nutrient. Since there are also other factors that determine the colour of the leaves you should measure the soil or the drainage water.
Pay attention when measuring the pH and EC if you haven’t had constant drainage. The values measured may be unreliable. You should flush a few days with extra drainage before you start measuring (see Drainage).
A normal EC-value near the roots for an adult plant lies around 1.6 and 2.4 ųS/cm.
Try to give a nutrient concentration as low as possible, but as much nutrient solution as possible. Work with Citral and white weeds with EC-values between 1.6 and 1.8 if you have 20 to 30 % drainage water left.
When you drain less, you must generally give more nutrients. With K2 or skunk kinds you can often give more nutrients in any case.
With constant drainage you can use the drainage water to determine after the 3rd/4th week how much nutrient you must give. We work with an EC between 1.6 and 1.8mS/cm.
Since the plant absorbs a part of the nutrients the drain water (waste water) contains fewer nutrients than the nutrient solution. If you give 1.8, you can expect back between 1.1 and 1.6. If you have given, for example, 1.8 the previous weeks and measured 1.5 in your drain water you can increase the nutrient solution 0.2 points when the EC-value of the drain water drops to 1.3, for example. This is a sign that the plant develops well.
If the condition of the plant deteriorates due to, for example, high temperatures the plant will also absorb fewer nutrients and you will measure a higher EC of the drain water. This is a bad sign, which is often noticeable before other symptoms such as discoloured or curly leaves.
You must lower the EC of your nutrient solution, and also look for the cause (bad climate, bad pH or bugs).
On average you try to get an EC-value of 1.7 near the roots. The EC-value near the roots lies around the EC of your nutrient solution and the drain water. All in all you can use the following formula to determine the EC of your new nutrient solution:
EC of the new nutrient solution = 2 x [1.7 – (½ EC drain water)]. Here the EC drain water is the EC of the old drain water left behind after previous watering(s).
Always watch the plant closely and never react rigorously. You should adjust your flush water somewhat and use it to flush longer instead of flushing shorter with more extreme values.
If you measure an EC-value of the drain water that is higher than you have indicated on the nutrient vessels you had too little drain or haven’t measured and adjusted often enough. You can flush your coco on this moment until the values are ok again (see flushing). If your plant stops growing due to stress it hardly uses nutrients. If you continue giving nutrients without measuring almost all the nutrients you give will remain in the coco and you will have an EC-value near the roots that will quickly get too high if you don’t drain.
If the leaves are yellow, do not increase your EC-values rigorously. Give a bit more nutrients, but also water more often or give more water and during a longer period. If you measure regularly you will never find strongly deviating drain values, and you will only have to adjust minimally. Try to give a nutrient concentration that is as low as possible, but give as much nutrient solution as possible.
EC-meters cost approximately Euro 40,-.
P.H. (Potentia Hydrogenica) is acidity. In plant breeding the pH determines the nutrient absorption capacity. A pH that is too low (acid) causes certain elements to be absorbed too quickly, which may cause poisoning. If you have a pH that is too high (basic) certain elements will not be absorbed or with difficulty. A shortage is usually not caused by using too little nutrients, but because the nutrients cannot be absorbed. You can have good nutrient absorption on coco with a pH between 5.2 and 6.2 with a pH of 5.7 as ideal value.
Plants adapt to circumstances. For that reason constant values are always better. So keep the pH constant!
The acids we use are nitric acid and phosphoric acid. Nitric acid or pH-grow (pH-min-grow) is used in the growing phase and in the first week of the bloom, phosphoric acid or pH-bloom (pH-min-bloom) is used after that. If the pH of your water with nutrients is lower than 5.7 you need pH-plus. This is not acid, but a base, usually caustic potash.
Coco has, just like soil, the capacity to steer the pH, correct it and stabilise it. This is caused by minerals in the coco that correct the pH. This means you can have at least one harvest without regulating the pH of your nutrient solution. When you regulate, up to 5 harvests are possible.
EC and pH are closely linked. If you add more nutrient to a bucket of water the pH usually drops and if you add acid to the water the EC rises (a little). If you continuously give a bit too much nutrient or if the plants absorb less nutrient the EC-value in the coco builds up. The pH will also become more acidic (=lower).
If you grow hydrological on coco it is quite easy to maintain the correct pH-value by means of the following formula:
PH of the new nutrient solution = 2 x [5.8 – (½ pH drain water)]. Here the pH drain water is the pH of the old drain water left behind after previous watering(s). Test your soil every three weeks or let a growshop check it. You can buy a pH-meter from Euro 40.
Good drainage prevents build up of acids and salts.
Drainage is the amount of nutrient solution that leaks from under a pot or slab after fertilizing. The purpose of drainage is that the EC-and pH-values can be controlled better and unnecessary salts are drained.
If you give a plant nutrient you try to give it exactly enough. Since not all plants use similar amounts of nutrient and plants also secrete salts, there may be pots in which salts are building up. This surplus of nutrient makes the soil brackish and changes the pH. By means of drainage you flush the soil every time you give nutrient, which prevents the soil becoming brackish.
If you measure the drainage water or the coco you can see if the soil is polluted. If the EC is higher than you have indicated you must flush. You can also bring your water or soil sample to the growshop. We can teach you there how you can carry out a proper soil analysis and how you can determine from the values measured how to proceed. If the values deviate strongly you can also, for example, flush half a vessel of nutrient solution through the pots and measure again. If you still don’t have proper values you can flush again a few days later. You can also slightly increase the drainage. Try not to let the values fluctuate too much on 1 day, but flush with intervals of a few days until the values are correct again. Too many fluctuations in a short while can cause stress. Only measure drain water if you have regularly drained the past few days, otherwise you measure unreliable values.
Step by Step
-Heat up the room to about 24 °C.
-Regulate the humidity between 80 and 90%.
-Turn on as few lights as possible (for example 1). Hang the lamp(s) as high as possible.
-Minimise the extraction or turn it off (see chapter humidity).
-Fill the pots completely, lightly press the soil.
-Give half a litre of water per plant according to the “planting recipe”.
-Give all plants, within 10 minutes after placing, water because the dry coco otherwise sucks the cutting plug dry.
-Spray water, so that the plants and the room are humid, but do not let the coco become wetter with spray water because the pH of that water has not been regulated.
- The blooming phase starts between now and 7 days depending on the kinds.
-Keep the humidity over 80 % the first week.
-From the 2nd day preventively spray insecticide, every three days up to flower formation and primarily under the leaves.
-When the plants have grown a few centimetres, you can select the plants on size. Place the large plants on the outside and the small ones in the centre.
-The more often you do this the more equal the plants develop.
-After about a week (between 5 and 10 days) the plants need water.
-Use the “nutrient solution recipe 1”. Only water the plants that are dry and let the others become dry first (see selecting and ordering plants).
-You can turn on about 2/3 of the lamps usually after a week.
This depends on:
- the regulation of the humidity and
- the development of the plants in the first week.
Often these factors are connected.
If the plants, for example, during planting or due to low humidity have sustained a shock it may be that they cannot stand so much light yet. In that case wait with increasing the amount of light, all the more since this also complicates a high humidity.
-Keep the humidity between 70 and 80%.
-Keep spraying against insects.
-Order and select, in this phase only water plants that are dry, but generally use a more humid pot for plants that do well. Water the plants with nutrient solution-recipe 1.
-Slowly turn on and increase the air extractor (15 minutes/hour).
-Turn on the last lamps.
-Increase the extraction.
-Keep the humidity between 65 and 70%.
-Gradually lower the lamps, 600wat min. 50cm and 400wat min. 40 cm.
-Give water according to nutrient solution-recipe 2.
-Spray until the end of the week.
-Increase the extraction.
- Spray the plants at the end of the week for the last time.
This depends on the kind and how fast the bloom starts.
- At the end of week 3 the soil humidity may rise until drainage starts.
If the plants are relatively big you can drain sooner, and the other way round,
because if the root system has not been developed enough yet a drier pot is better since the plant sends out the roots for water.
Build up the drainage in the coming 2 weeks to at least 20%.
Also mind the drainage water; you might for example discover harmful soil insects you don’t see usually. Of course you can also measure the water.
The more the values (pH en EC) deviate from the nutrient solution, the more you must drain or flush. In case of large differences visit the growshop.
-Order the natural enemies that you want to use preventively from the growshop.
Assassin bugs and soil predatory mites are effective against practically all plagues.
Only tenacious red spider mites may sometimes occur. In that case I use predatory mites, especially against the red spider mite.
-Reduce the humidity from 65% to 60% in the course of 4 weeks.
-Do not spray.
-Collect insects ordered last week and use them
-Lamps at the minimum distance.
-Water plants according to nutrient solution-recipe 3.
- Look for harmful insects.
-Humidity approximately 60%
-Water according to nutrient solution-recipe 3.
- Look for harmful insects.
-Clear away all dead leaves that have fallen (and other mess).
-Check the colour of the leaves and test the soil. When in doubt go to the growshop.
– Humidity approximately 60%.
- Water plants according to nutrient solution-recipe 3
- Look for harmful insects.
- Humidity approximately 60%.
- Water plants according to nutrient solution-recipe 3.
- Look for harmful insects.
- Clear away all dead leaves that have fallen (and other mess).
- Humidity approximately 60%.
- Water plants according to nutrient solution-recipe 4.
-Test the soil. If it contains a high concentration of salts the soil cannot be used for the next crop anymore, unless you flush out the salts. In this case flush with cannazym (until EC < 1.6). This loosens the blocked nutrient and also breaks down dead roots. Correct the pH with your flush water (if necessary).
- Look for harmful insects.
Part 2 next post