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Do we need to pH adjust our nutrient solutions?

InTheShed

Member of the Year: 2018 - Member of the Month: Jan 2018, Nov 2018 - Grow Journal of the Month: Aug 2018 - Plant of the Month: Oct 2018
No shed, I am not ignoring N. If you look back at my journals over the past 20 months or so, you will see what type of N I give, and what type I rarely give.

I understand what he is saying very well, but am trying to give a 'closeabouts' explanation so people are not ordering alkalinity test kits off amazon and calcium carbonate or soda ash or lime to try to adjust dkh in a 3 gallon pot of soil.
I didn't say you were ignoring N in your growing did I? I meant you're ignoring what he wrote about it! And as I mentioned, water companies tend to report what's in their water, including alkalinity, so ordering kits online probably isn't necessary.

What is necessary is to make sure the pH of your MEDIUM is in the correct range, not your nutes. If you have access to distilled water and a pH pen, you have everything you need to do that. If it is out of range, you absolutely should do something about it, and that doesn't mean raise or lower the pH of your nutes.
 

Marzbadrock

Plant of the Month: Sept 2015 - Nug of the Month: Jan 2016, May 2018
I agree with not bothering with ph of nutes or water for soil grow. I was raised on a tree farm, worked in the orchards, strawberry plantation, nurseries. Nobody ph anything except the soil. I carried this method into my indoor adventure and it has suited me well. No I don't have the science to back it up but I have experience. With some heated arguments I even convinced some experienced growers to try it.....they don't ph the nutes anymore either!
The key is to monitor your ph. If it starts to get out of wack then find out why, fix the problem n make adjustments next go around.
 

InTheShed

Member of the Year: 2018 - Member of the Month: Jan 2018, Nov 2018 - Grow Journal of the Month: Aug 2018 - Plant of the Month: Oct 2018

Amy Gardner

Member of the Month: March 2018 - Photo of the Month: April, Dec 2018, Apr 2019
Hey Shed - nice thread! ;)

I’ll have to read the summary etc again - because much of it was familiar. Reading was like revisiting some of the material I read while researching what Doc had created with his kit and about High Brix farming in general. I didn’t get deep enough into it to understand all of what the person you dealt with is talking about (mostly I learnt enough to see that it was worth it for me to get the DBHBB kit and haven’t read terribly much more since)

So one aspect has to do with negative and positive charges of different compounds in the soil. I’m still working on my understanding of that side of things :)

And... This particular thing in the quote you shared really stood out to me (my emphasis);
’potential’ they have to interact with the plant root system and influence the pH of the growing medium up or down
- I’m pretty sure this points to the ‘exudates’ (excretions) the plant puts out and the way those exudates interact with the particular chemical balance of whatever nutrient mix one is putting in there. This is what affects the soil PH, not only what is put in, but the result of these interactions. Different ‘nutes’ will trigger the plant to respond in different ways and put out different exudates - this is why it’s ‘potential’. The plant is not an inert or merely receptive component in the maintenance of the soil PH. It’s one of the things foliars do - and can be manipulated to do in different ways - they induce the plants to release different things into the soil.

But wouldnt controlling the ph of our water and nutrients help control the ph of the soil? I thought it was known science that certain nutrients have preferred ph ranges for easy transport?
Yes this too - but perhaps not nearly as much as people think. It seems to depend more on the balance of things. Organic soil has a way better self buffering capacity - possibly because it aims to work with the plant to support soil life. I think it’s in part because of this self buffering of organic soil that us diy organic growers get away with some wildly non ideal balances in our soil at times. PH drifts, but sometimes correcting the balance is what’s required and the ph will stabilise as an effect of having a balanced soil. Soil testing is really the only way to do this with any accuracy - but folks can get good at running things pretty close just by instinct and practice and I’ve grown plenty without testing thanks to the forgiving nature of organic soil.
So, I don’t know anything about using synthetic nutes, but it seems to me, based on this, that the better balanced nute lines (if there are ones that have the science of interacting with the plants exudates figured out, so as to maintain balanace), they would/should be less susceptible to fluctuations in Ph.

I’m pretty high right now, and it’s pretty late so I’m tired too, so maybe none of that makes any sense. It certainly doesn’t offer anything very practical :D. I just had these rambling thoughts in response to reading that the first time and had to get them out.

I’ll read it again sometime.

Maybe you should do an experiment or 2. Just keep an eye on your water and concentrate on the balance of things and see what happens.

Just as I’m signing off... I wonder. Did the person you communicated with know you were talking about synthetic nutes. I don’t know how much the electrochemical side of things changes with those - if it’s enough to make a difference... just thinking out loud now, better go to sleeeeeeep....

.....zzzz....

...Nice thread Shed... (giggle, that rhymes)
 
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CraZysWeeD

Well-Known Member
Interesting Shed... way too much info right now. But I'm on the train. But I don't agree with all of what this guy is saying. It all starts with what water you mix everything in. Soil grows gives you a buffer but I still think it its possible to change the chemistry of it's compound with what you pour in it.
 

FelipeBlu

Well-Known Member
If you have build-up of anything in your medium you can stress the plant, which is why corrective flushing often works. And hempy is hydro. Your pH needs to be tested with every watering. I stated at the top this does not apply to hydro.
Understood - just clarifying the difference between the essential characteristics of the two media.

If a grow goes long enough, any medium that includes a significant fraction of sphagnum peat moss is probably going to need to be “flushed” at some point. Unless you have enough experience with a strain that you can provide exactly what the plant needs when it needs it, unused ions will accumulate in the medium.
 

Archiweedies

Nug of the Month: Apr 2019
Wonderful conversation Shed and I think the guy sounds like he has an idea what he’s talking about.
As you know, I threw away my ph pen back in August. In that time I have grown FFOF, let’s face it lots of folks use this soil for first grows, and now in Doc Buds kit. I am using RO water. I have absolutely zero idea what that ph is.
Why would I abandon my ph pen? My research, like @Amy Gardner ’s, led me down several years of grows from Doc Bud where he insisted that the ph didn’t matter so long as the soil is buffered in the right range.

The ph of the water, that is. The soil ph is obviously important. What’s more important to understand is the soil is buffered to a certain ph. Now ProMix by itself, as an inert medium, may not buffer the ph so much but when fertilizer is added in the mix it results in a certain ph range. 6.2-6.4 I think is where Docs kit takes us.

This is all been said already. What isn’t being talked about in this discussion is just how hard it is (or isn’t) to take a soil that is buffered for a certain ph range and actually change it. From my understanding once the soil has fallen into a certain range it is quite hard to shift that soil ph value. Of course, I haven’t tested this but I imagine it’s the reason Doc insists on RO water and HP ProMix or Sunshine No4 as the peat addition to his kit. He has, to my knowledge, found that these two inert mediums settle into a very nice soil ph when the soil has been cooked.

I suppose, for science, someone needs to try and actually test soil ph and how easily it can be changed.

I feel closed-minded saying this, but I won’t be ph’ing any more plants from here on out that are. In soil. I can say that with confidence because I’ve ran it both ways and though I’m not growing pounds every harvest, I’m growing quality meds and my plants are looking better and better each grow.
 

Marzbadrock

Plant of the Month: Sept 2015 - Nug of the Month: Jan 2016, May 2018
I grow only in FFOF. Best way I found to change soil ph n maintain it is with dolomite lime. I use nature's nectar nutes, in full bloom with higher pk needs my water/feed will be as low as 3.8. No issues with ph fluctuation even adding 3.8 every other day. I tested runoff, soil slurry, and soil probe. Every test shows same thing. My soil ph will drop to around 6 to 6.2 when wet and gradually rise to 6.7 to 7 range when dry. I wish I could be more informative but all my research, experiment n testing was done 10 years ago. Since then this has become second nature n I've forgotten more than I currently know.
 

Agemon

Creme de la Creme Photos of the Year: 2017 - Creme de la Creme Photos: Aug, Sept, Oct & Nov 2017 - Photo of the Month: May 2018, Mar 2019
I glanced over that. I PH'd my water and checked run off and did all that stuff religiously for my first grow. I got away from it cause it was a PIA. I wonder how much strain plays a factor? I mean you hear about how hardy this one is, or how little nutes that one needs. Maybe some strains like a slightly higher PH... Different genetics, different parts of the world, different environmental conditions... my .02
 

nobodyhere

Well-Known Member
What is necessary is to make sure the pH of your MEDIUM is in the correct range, not your nutes. If you have access to distilled water and a pH pen, you have everything you need to do that. If it is out of range, you absolutely should do something about it, and that doesn't mean raise or lower the pH of your nutes.
Yes! and your county extension can and should test soil for you. Just make sure the pot plant is not in the soil first depending on where you live! The can test for dkh (might cost $ and lab time), but will only give a range back usually.

I have never tested bagged soil or media for canna growth. If and when I grow outside this will be a must as we live in an area where most of the soil has excessive hardness because of 100 years of poor rotation and bad fert choices. This is where you get into adjusting soil...it's usually done over a few years of trial and error before planting. There are professionals who can assist with this.
 

Marzbadrock

Plant of the Month: Sept 2015 - Nug of the Month: Jan 2016, May 2018
I glanced over that. I PH'd my water and checked run off and did all that stuff religiously for my first grow. I got away from it cause it was a PIA. I wonder how much strain plays a factor? I mean you hear about how hardy this one is, or how little nutes that one needs. Maybe some strains like a slightly higher PH... Different genetics, different parts of the world, different environmental conditions... my .02
Strain definitely is a factor. Currently running 6 strains. With a ph swing between wet/dry cycle this covers plants that prefer acidity or alkalinity. Everything loves my feeding regimen except my montana kush. I have to feed her double N. I do believe it is not ph related but she is just a nitro whore.
 

Agemon

Creme de la Creme Photos of the Year: 2017 - Creme de la Creme Photos: Aug, Sept, Oct & Nov 2017 - Photo of the Month: May 2018, Mar 2019
Strain definitely is a factor. Currently running 6 strains. With a ph swing between wet/dry cycle this covers plants that prefer acidity or alkalinity. Everything loves my feeding regimen except my montana kush. I have to feed her double N. I do believe it is not ph related but she is just a nitro whore.
Well damn! Now you got me wonderin... I've got a Kush Auto, only 1 week today, but the feed schedule I was going to use calls for no Grow formula at all.

Is the Montana your first Kush plant and/ or have you noticed that with all Kush strains?
 

Marzbadrock

Plant of the Month: Sept 2015 - Nug of the Month: Jan 2016, May 2018
Well damn! Now you got me wonderin... I've got a Kush Auto, only 1 week today, but the feed schedule I was going to use calls for no Grow formula at all.

Is the Montana your first Kush plant and/ or have you noticed that with all Kush strains?
My montana kush is a hybrid that took me 2 years to create, few backbreading, stabilizing.
The mother was a original Skywalker kush
The father was a Montana black which was from my mentor
I think the thing with my kush is she is a pretty decent producer but she only has 3 finger shade/sun leaves. If she gets low in nitro it don't take long for her to cannibalize herself.
 

InTheShed

Member of the Year: 2018 - Member of the Month: Jan 2018, Nov 2018 - Grow Journal of the Month: Aug 2018 - Plant of the Month: Oct 2018
I’m pretty sure this points to the ‘exudates’ (excretions) the plant puts out and the way those exudates interact with the particular chemical balance of whatever nutrient mix one is putting in there. This is what affects the soil PH,
I have no idea about this but that's not what he's talking about. He's specifically talking about how what we put in changes the pH of the medium over time.
Organic soil has a way better self buffering capacity
Soil buffers it's own pH until it no longer can. There is nothing inorganic about ProMix HP, and if you put high alkaline water in HB soil I'm sure the pH will rise over time. But time is not on the side of a HB grower as the soil eventually runs out of nutrients and an up-pot is needed. I don't want this to turn into a discussion of how HB or LOS is better than those of us using nutrients.
Did the person you communicated with know you were talking about synthetic nutes.
You say synthetic like it's a bad thing! He is talking about commercial fertilizers generally, not EWC and top dressing if that's what you mean.
But I don't agree with all of what this guy is saying. It all starts with what water you mix everything in. Soil grows gives you a buffer but I still think it its possible to change the chemistry of it's compound with what you pour in it.
You have your feelings about water being a water guy but this is coming from a soil scientist, and you actually do agree with him if you say, "its possible to change the chemistry of it's compound with what you pour in it." He's saying over time and you're saying immediately. For you specifically none of this applies because your roots are sitting in water.
And I hear people complain that hydro is too complicated. :19: Y'all done cornfuzzled me, but I'm just now trying my hand at something other than dwc, and I don't bother with pH when doing dwc even.
This guy is saying that you have to keep pH'ing your water and I don't!
 

CraZysWeeD

Well-Known Member
For you specifically none of this applies because your roots are sitting in water.
Ya U are right. The optimal must be to have the same pH in the soil as in the mix you pour on them. Otherwise is must drift towards were you are pointing with the solution, ok over time...

I know my roots are sitting in the solution and this is don't apply there. As long as I don't give them solutions through the soil.... :)
 

Amy Gardner

Member of the Month: March 2018 - Photo of the Month: April, Dec 2018, Apr 2019
specifically talking about how what we put in changes the pH of the medium over time.
I was responding to what he said about the added ferts combining with the action of the plant being a big part of what raises soil ph over time - that the plants put out exudates is what that’s referring to :Namaste:

buffers it's own pH until it no longer can. There is nothing inorganic about ProMix HP, and if you put high alkaline water in HB soil I'm sure the pH will rise over time. But time is not on the side of a HB grower as the soil eventually runs out of nutrients and an up-pot is needed. I don't want this to turn into a discussion of how HB or LOS is better than those of us using nutrients.
that totally wasn’t what I was trying to say. I was just trying to work out what the implications are of what he said, based on other stuff I know it have read.

You say synthetic like it's a bad thing! He is talking about commercial fertilizers generally, not EWC and top dressing if that's what you mean.
I think you missed my perspective... it was late when I posted. I wasn’t dis’ing synthetics. Just talking from a perspective of not understanding how they work in that context, and wondering if that made a difference. :hmmmm:

I was experiencing no judgment about either in my thoughts so I’m sorry if it came off like that! :eek:

So by commercial ferts, you mean synthetics? Yes? Should I use that to refer to them - lest folks think I’m dis’ing just bc I used the word synthetic? ;) (honestly there was no disparaging tone there... I was really just searching for understanding - I guess that’s dangerous even in face to face conversation).

:Namaste:
 

InTheShed

Member of the Year: 2018 - Member of the Month: Jan 2018, Nov 2018 - Grow Journal of the Month: Aug 2018 - Plant of the Month: Oct 2018
The optimal must be to have the same pH in the soil as in the mix you pour on them.
This expert is saying you are 100% incorrect. The pH of the water going in does not affect the pH of the medium. It's the contents of the water that will cause it to drift over time. If you re-read #2 you will see where he says that as well as the causes of drift.
 
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