I've read somewhere on here that vinegar can be used as a homemade PH down. For someone with hard water like me and a thin wallet I tried it and it brought the ph from 8ish down to 6ish with a few bottle caps.
Are there and side effects or warnings to using vinegar instead of a proper ph up/down?
I thought vinegar was used for PH up and Epsom salts for PH down...
I have been known to be dyslexic at time though -
Yea - I'm wrong Vinegar is acidic - would be lower PH.
Its vinegar to lower PH and baking soda to up it. It works but my plants just died and I'm trying to figure out why... Heres some gruesome photos.
I've got a meter and when I fill up my tub it will go down slightly but sometimes I'll try to lower it a little more and it just wont change. I'll stir and wait and it doesn't change so I added more... Which I think was the problem but I really don't know. The plants just didn't take up any water or anything, like they died instantly from the feed.
Thats probably what the problem was but I just wanted to see if anyone knew anything that could help for the next crop.
P.S. I could be wrong but Epsom salts have nutes that would probably mess things up if you used it as a ph tool.
Last edited by Majistir; 10-13-2007 at 03:03 AM.
Anyone have any experiences they would like to share??
I also used vinegar as a ph down for a while but couldn't keep my soil from going alkaline...around 8.0. I have looked into this and found out that vinegar is readily soluble in water and will adjust the ph just fine, but when added to a soil medium is not strong enough to keep the soil acidic. I don't know exaclty what the chemistry is beind it, but the soil is able to buffer the vinegar or the vinegar drains from the soil too readily; after less than a day the ph of the soil will go up to a point close to the tap waters original ph before adding vinegar.
I believe a stronger acid that doesn't buffer as readily is needed to keep the soil ph values in check. If you don't want to buy the hydro store pH Down muriatic acid (used in pools and can be bought at a local hardware store) can be used. That stuff is pretty nasty in terms of exposure rand handling risks and only small volumes would be needed so be really careful and keep your safety in mind vs. your wallet. Another solution and one that should be used for instant soil pH change is aluminum sulfate or iron sulfate (available at most nurseries) These are acids that you add into the soil that will instantly change the pH and will help buffer the soil for some length of time (up to a year or so). Be carefull with the application as the roots can be badly damaged by over application or non thorough mixing. I don't know for sure, but I believe once the soild has been loaded with the propper amount of aluminum or iron sulfate, that it is much easier to keep the pH from shifting up if you use an alkaline tap water.
But don't take my word or anyone elses as truth, do some research on your own about these topics.
I do not know why but experienced growers recommend using vinegar only if you have to -- not on a regular basis.
Vinegar is primarily acetic acid and water. Its made from oxidizing an alcohol.
Vinegar pH can vary, but I'd say if you're using it, check its acidity first and see how much is needed to lower a gallon say .5 pH. Also, don't use anything but white vinegar, the other vinegar's can have other things in them.
Basically, a Hydrogen ion from the acetic acid will "break off" of the molecule in water, leaving behind just acetate and thus lowering pH. Perhaps the left over acetate isn't good for plants, but I'm just speculating since most acetic acid is produced by bacteria.
In Heaven, all the interesting people are missing. - Nietzsche
i used to use vinegar for ph down it works but it rebounds too quickly to maintain your ph ath the right level just go to your pet shop and get some ph down for fish tanks its cheap and works