my ph screwed me

Discussion in 'Subcool's Old School Organics' started by stondded, Dec 21, 2013.

  1.  
    stondded

    stondded Active Member

    So I have 8 plants under 2 600s in 7 gal pots wit bagged SS and homemade SS. as it got colder and the rains came in my area my ph shit way up and i dididn't notice until it was too late for a couple plants. So for at least a month I was watering with water over 8.0 Ph. Now I have 2 Qrazy train phenos both r just finishing their stretch but have crispy leaf tips and lighter green leaves. They r being watered with 6.5-7.0 water and don't seem to be looking much better since adjusting the pH. So my question should I b watering with a lower than 6.5 pH to try and bring the root zone back down or stick with 6.5 and deal with what happens?
  2.  
    st0wandgrow

    st0wandgrow Well-Known Member

    Do you have access to any good sources of compost or vermicompost? Adding a generous top dress of either will do more to buffer your ph than trying to mess with your water.
  3.  
    AimAim

    AimAim Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure what SS is. Don't worry about pH if you are growing in good soil. You are fucking them up in some other manner.
  4.  
    stondded

    stondded Active Member

    My environment is perfectly fine and have been growing long enough to know that excessively high pH will cause lockout. So that being said my super soil(SS) has worked in previous grows and know that the issue is not my soil, my ph fluctuated from 7.5 to almost 9.0 so was wondering if watering with water in the 6.0 range would help to remedy my situation. I do have dolomite lime and Epsom salts but no compost or vermicompost.
  5.  
    chbk

    chbk Member

    Water in a good dose of lime that will stabilize ph @7
  6.  
    stondded

    stondded Active Member

    Thanks man
  7.  
    dubcoastOGs

    dubcoastOGs New Member

    I was under the impression that dolomite can only raise a ph to 7. not lower a ph to 7.

    eitherway...

    the ph of soil being high or low, is a sign that there is a nutritional and microbial imbalance in the soil. While adding dolomite lime may temporarily adjust your ph closer to 7 (not really though), it's also adding more calcium and magnesium that can just further throw off this nutritional imbalance - making things worse.

    dolomite lime is not the ph-cure-all most people believe it to be.
  8.  
    st0wandgrow

    st0wandgrow Well-Known Member

    You're exactly right. Any liming agent added to a soil will raise the ph, not lower it. Furthermore, adjusting the ph of the water will do next to nothing. The soils ph is what it is due to the soil food web and the amendments that were initially added.

    Again OP, look at your source of humus. Did you add compost/vermicompost that was alive with microbes, or did you buy some bag of ewc's that were sitting on a hydro store shelf for months?
    AimAim likes this.
  9.  
    stondded

    stondded Active Member

    I bought my ewcs from a store right when they got shipped in. And mixed it in my soil soon after tht. Where would b the best place to get vermicompost and would tht replace the worm castings in the super soil recipe?
  10.  
    AimAim

    AimAim Well-Known Member

    Right on! Not many people seem to be able to get their heads around this.
  11.  
    st0wandgrow

    st0wandgrow Well-Known Member

    I really couldn't tell you. You would have to find a local worm farm that sells composting worms and *fresh* ewc/vermicompost. Any bag of commercial ewc purchased in a hydro shop will be inferior to what you could make yourself, or source locally. I would really encourage you to start your own bin. You could order a couple pounds of red wigglers through Uncle Jims online, buy yourself a rubbermaid storage tote (15 or so gallon), drill a few aeration holes in it, lay down some bedding and some food and plunk the worms right in there. They will turn kitchen scraps in to black gold for your marijuana plants for practically free. An initial investment of $60 or so will get you your worms and your bin, and then it's free castings for you from here until eternity. It's very easy to do as well. I put food in the bins once a week and cover it up with a little bedding, then wet it down a bit. That's it.

    Your soil mix is only as good as your source of humus. I took short cuts in the past and picked up bagged castings and the end result with my plants was night and day difference.
  12.  
    SpicySativa

    SpicySativa Well-Known Member

    Do you know the ppm of your tap water?

    As a general rule, the pH of your water will have VERY little affect on your soil pH because the soil is strongly buffered (resists pH shift) while the water is weakly buffered and so quickly takes on the soil's pH. If your tap water is especially hard, it may cause a little drift in your soil's pH through the repeated addition of calcium and magnesium carbonates/bicarbonates. This is still not likely to cause any problems, but it's worth keeping in mind.

    If you are indeed having a pH shift in your soil, it's likely due to the soil not being composted/cooked to the point where it is stable. That is a sure fire way to end up with crispy leaf tips and less-than-stellar leaf color as some nutrients (those that degrade more quickly) will be more available than others.
  13.  
    st0wandgrow

    st0wandgrow Well-Known Member

    And yes, vermicompost would replace ewc in your recipe. Vermicompost can be thought of as less refined worm castings. If you were to leave that vermicompost in a worm bin for another couple weeks it would be considered pure ewc once the worms have completely processed it. EWC and vermicompost are pretty much the same thing.
  14.  
    stondded

    stondded Active Member

    Thanks for all the info guys. I will be buying some good vermicompost to finish out whts going now and will buy some worms for my compost pile and will be adding that into the next batch of soil I make.
  15.  
    SpicySativa

    SpicySativa Well-Known Member

    For cheap worms, check your local fishing tackle shop. I got my red wigglers for about $2 a cup (approx 50 worms per cup). I started one bin with 5-6 cups of worms, and they have now reproduced to the point where I have 3 bins going. Each one is cranking out 5-10 gallons of castings every few months.
  16.  
    natro.hydro

    natro.hydro Active Member

    Just a thought (hope this isnt the case) could you have pissed of your fungal activity in the soil food web with the ph problems to the point of damaging the soil food web to the point where your plant isnt feeding right and needs an inoculation of some myco or something like the ewc already mentioned, just a thought soil food web complexities like this escape me...
  17.  
    stondded

    stondded Active Member

    I will b starting a worm bin come spring to start saving some cash. Thanks again guys, Natro I think tht is exactly wht happened and tht vermicompost and some mycos will help in the new soil mix.

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