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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

farside05

Plant of the Month: Dec 2018, June 2019
If you want to water with soy protein hydroslate you get to do your own research :). Are you being sponsored by Monsanto?
That sounds to me like the start of a Sci-Fi movie where everyone later gets attacked by a giant angry piece of Tofu.

What I did find, is that 2% of the available Nitrogen identifies as Ammoniacal, the other 98% is listed on a label as Other Nitrogen.
 

Marzbadrock

Plant of the Month: Sept 2015 - Nug of the Month: Jan 2016, May 2018
That sounds to me like the start of a Sci-Fi movie where everyone later gets attacked by a giant angry piece of Tofu.

What I did find, is that 2% of the available Nitrogen identifies as Ammoniacal, the other 98% is listed on a label as Other Nitrogen.
All it say on my bottle is 5% water soluble nitrogen
 

OldSchoolToker

Active Member
Greetings all! I recently had a running email conversation with the "Grower Services & Product Development Director" at ProMix (aka Premier Tech). I began the conversation by posting a question on their website, asking if I should be treating ProMix HP as soil or soil-less when mixing nutrients.

[Please note that we were not discussing hydro growing. This conversation does not apply to hydro.]

As we have all been taught, the pH range for nutrients is different for soil and soil-less media and I had been using the soil range in my ProMix and wanted to double check. His response left me confused, as he answered the question by giving me the ideal pH range for mineral soil and soil-less growing media. He did not address my question of the correct pH of the nutrient mix.

We went back and forth for a few days and his answers always referred to the pH of the media and not what we were pouring into the media. I kept trying to narrow my question and he continued in the same vein. I contained my exasperation so as not to short circuit the chain.

At one point he said this:
"It is the potential acidity or basicity of the fertilizer chemistry and the alkalinity content of your water that affects the pH of the growing medium. For the fertilizers, it is called ‘potential’ since it is determined by the chemistry and the quantity of fertilizer nutrients that are applied and the ‘potential’ they have to interact with the plant root system and influence the pH of the growing medium up or down."

All related to the medium. And the interesting use of the word "potential," but again ended it by talking about moving the pH of the growing medium.

Rather than bore you with the all back and forth, I will post this summary that I sent him in one of our last emails. He approved of this summary (italics mine):

1. Ideal pH range for mineral soil is 6.0-6.5. Soil-less growing media, such as PRO-MIX, have an ideal pH range of 5.5-6.0.

2. However, pH of nutrient water is irrelevant to the pH of any soil or growing media. It is the alkalinity of nutrient water and the potential acidity/basicity of the fertilizer(s) that influence the pH of the growing medium and root zone. For example, if the alkalinity of nutrient water is moderate or high, pH of growing medium will rise over time.
a. Plant roots are electrically charged and must maintain a neutral balance.​
b. For ammonium nitrogen (NH4) fertilizers, plants release of hydrogen ions to take up NH4. Hydrogen released is essentially acid and this drives pH down.​
c. For nitrate (NO3) form of nitrogen in fertilizers, plant exchange hydroxyl ions for NO3 uptake, which causes growing medium pH to rise.​
d. Alkalinity (CACO3) is essentially dissolved limestone. The higher the alkalinity of water, the greater tendency to raise pH of growing medium over time.​

3. It is more important to keep track of the pH of the growing medium than the pH of the nutrient solution we feed the plants.

And at the bottom of that summary I added one last direct question:
"If I’m growing in ProMix HP and I mix up the nutrient solution and it reads 7.4 pH, it is not necessary for me to adjust that number down using phosphoric acid or the like. I can pour it into the pot at 7.4 and my plants will be able to uptake those nutrients?"

His response was a direct "Yes."

o_O

-----------------------------------
We had discussions on the correct way to check the pH of soil or soil-less medium (none involved checking our nute runoff:)). I'll post the various methods he sent me in a different thread and post a link here. I don't want to distract from the info above!
Greetings all! I recently had a running email conversation with the "Grower Services & Product Development Director" at ProMix (aka Premier Tech). I began the conversation by posting a question on their website, asking if I should be treating ProMix HP as soil or soil-less when mixing nutrients.

[Please note that we were not discussing hydro growing. This conversation does not apply to hydro.]

As we have all been taught, the pH range for nutrients is different for soil and soil-less media and I had been using the soil range in my ProMix and wanted to double check. His response left me confused, as he answered the question by giving me the ideal pH range for mineral soil and soil-less growing media. He did not address my question of the correct pH of the nutrient mix.

We went back and forth for a few days and his answers always referred to the pH of the media and not what we were pouring into the media. I kept trying to narrow my question and he continued in the same vein. I contained my exasperation so as not to short circuit the chain.

At one point he said this:
"It is the potential acidity or basicity of the fertilizer chemistry and the alkalinity content of your water that affects the pH of the growing medium. For the fertilizers, it is called ‘potential’ since it is determined by the chemistry and the quantity of fertilizer nutrients that are applied and the ‘potential’ they have to interact with the plant root system and influence the pH of the growing medium up or down."

All related to the medium. And the interesting use of the word "potential," but again ended it by talking about moving the pH of the growing medium.

Rather than bore you with the all back and forth, I will post this summary that I sent him in one of our last emails. He approved of this summary (italics mine):

1. Ideal pH range for mineral soil is 6.0-6.5. Soil-less growing media, such as PRO-MIX, have an ideal pH range of 5.5-6.0.

2. However, pH of nutrient water is irrelevant to the pH of any soil or growing media. It is the alkalinity of nutrient water and the potential acidity/basicity of the fertilizer(s) that influence the pH of the growing medium and root zone. For example, if the alkalinity of nutrient water is moderate or high, pH of growing medium will rise over time.
a. Plant roots are electrically charged and must maintain a neutral balance.​
b. For ammonium nitrogen (NH4) fertilizers, plants release of hydrogen ions to take up NH4. Hydrogen released is essentially acid and this drives pH down.​
c. For nitrate (NO3) form of nitrogen in fertilizers, plant exchange hydroxyl ions for NO3 uptake, which causes growing medium pH to rise.​
d. Alkalinity (CACO3) is essentially dissolved limestone. The higher the alkalinity of water, the greater tendency to raise pH of growing medium over time.​

3. It is more important to keep track of the pH of the growing medium than the pH of the nutrient solution we feed the plants.

And at the bottom of that summary I added one last direct question:
"If I’m growing in ProMix HP and I mix up the nutrient solution and it reads 7.4 pH, it is not necessary for me to adjust that number down using phosphoric acid or the like. I can pour it into the pot at 7.4 and my plants will be able to uptake those nutrients?"

His response was a direct "Yes."

o_O

-----------------------------------
We had discussions on the correct way to check the pH of soil or soil-less medium (none involved checking our nute runoff:)). I'll post the various methods he sent me in a different thread and post a link here. I don't want to distract from the info above!
Greetings all! I recently had a running email conversation with the "Grower Services & Product Development Director" at ProMix (aka Premier Tech). I began the conversation by posting a question on their website, asking if I should be treating ProMix HP as soil or soil-less when mixing nutrients.

[Please note that we were not discussing hydro growing. This conversation does not apply to hydro.]

As we have all been taught, the pH range for nutrients is different for soil and soil-less media and I had been using the soil range in my ProMix and wanted to double check. His response left me confused, as he answered the question by giving me the ideal pH range for mineral soil and soil-less growing media. He did not address my question of the correct pH of the nutrient mix.

We went back and forth for a few days and his answers always referred to the pH of the media and not what we were pouring into the media. I kept trying to narrow my question and he continued in the same vein. I contained my exasperation so as not to short circuit the chain.

At one point he said this:
"It is the potential acidity or basicity of the fertilizer chemistry and the alkalinity content of your water that affects the pH of the growing medium. For the fertilizers, it is called ‘potential’ since it is determined by the chemistry and the quantity of fertilizer nutrients that are applied and the ‘potential’ they have to interact with the plant root system and influence the pH of the growing medium up or down."

All related to the medium. And the interesting use of the word "potential," but again ended it by talking about moving the pH of the growing medium.

Rather than bore you with the all back and forth, I will post this summary that I sent him in one of our last emails. He approved of this summary (italics mine):

1. Ideal pH range for mineral soil is 6.0-6.5. Soil-less growing media, such as PRO-MIX, have an ideal pH range of 5.5-6.0.

2. However, pH of nutrient water is irrelevant to the pH of any soil or growing media. It is the alkalinity of nutrient water and the potential acidity/basicity of the fertilizer(s) that influence the pH of the growing medium and root zone. For example, if the alkalinity of nutrient water is moderate or high, pH of growing medium will rise over time.
a. Plant roots are electrically charged and must maintain a neutral balance.​
b. For ammonium nitrogen (NH4) fertilizers, plants release of hydrogen ions to take up NH4. Hydrogen released is essentially acid and this drives pH down.​
c. For nitrate (NO3) form of nitrogen in fertilizers, plant exchange hydroxyl ions for NO3 uptake, which causes growing medium pH to rise.​
d. Alkalinity (CACO3) is essentially dissolved limestone. The higher the alkalinity of water, the greater tendency to raise pH of growing medium over time.​

3. It is more important to keep track of the pH of the growing medium than the pH of the nutrient solution we feed the plants.

And at the bottom of that summary I added one last direct question:
"If I’m growing in ProMix HP and I mix up the nutrient solution and it reads 7.4 pH, it is not necessary for me to adjust that number down using phosphoric acid or the like. I can pour it into the pot at 7.4 and my plants will be able to uptake those nutrients?"

His response was a direct "Yes."

o_O

-----------------------------------
We had discussions on the correct way to check the pH of soil or soil-less medium (none involved checking our nute runoff:)). I'll post the various methods he sent me in a different thread and post a link here. I don't want to distract from the info above!
Hi I grow in organic soil and at first I didn't bother to check the ph level of my nutrient mixed into my water, it caused all kinds of problems high salt levels caused nutrient burn and nutrient lockout. On my next run I began ph-ing my water as well as my nutrients added to my water and it made all the difference as I have not had any more nutrient lockout, I ph- ed mine at 6.5 to 6.8 also the way to check the totaled dissolved solids- salts, in avoiding nutrient lockout is to check the run of when watering you will need to check the parts per million, you can get a meter for that which you place the end of the meter into the run-off. So please do adjust the ph level it will save you maximize your plants nutrient uptake and make your grow much more successful. I hope this is helpful and good luck, stay green my friend.
 

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
Welcome the 420magazine website OldSchool! :welcome:

Just out of curiosity, why were you adding nutrients to organic soil? And is it possible that your issue was more like a PPM problem than a pH problem? Personally I think I'll stick with the recommendation of the Product Development Director at ProMix. He seems to have the science nailed on this.
 

Archiweedies

Nug of the Month: Apr 2019
My takeaway from this is that folks need to know the alkalinity of their source water and adjust the ratio of ammoniacal nitrogen to nitrate in their fertilizer accordingly, or they'll risk pH swings in the substrate. My municipality shows 55 ppm alkalinity, which is low, so I need to make sure my nutrients are primarily nitrate based. Hopefully I'm understanding??
Yeah your spot on but Id advise everyone to re-read what @Amy Gardner posted on the previous page. She has a quote of Doc Bud talking about this very topic a few years back. He mentions it is difficult to raise the ph in our soil once its been buffered correctly.
It's a small detail, but I dont think we need to be so worried about ph in soil no matter what the nitrogen sources are. By the way, I was under the impression that more than one type of nitrogen source can be quite beneficial for plants.

At the end of the day we gotta try it for ourselves. Run an autoflower in a 5 gallon bag of FFOF and dont ph it at all and see what happens. If I had not done this Im not sure Id be such a strong supporter of the #nophmovement

Hi I grow in organic soil and at first I didn't bother to check the ph level of my nutrient mixed into my water, it caused all kinds of problems high salt levels caused nutrient burn and nutrient lockout. On my next run I began ph-ing my water as well as my nutrients added to my water and it made all the difference as I have not had any more nutrient lockout, I ph- ed mine at 6.5 to 6.8 also the way to check the totaled dissolved solids- salts, in avoiding nutrient lockout is to check the run of when watering you will need to check the parts per million, you can get a meter for that which you place the end of the meter into the run-off. So please do adjust the ph level it will save you maximize your plants nutrient uptake and make your grow much more successful. I hope this is helpful and good luck, stay green my friend.
I can appreciate what your experience is with regards to ph'ing. This is one of those age old debates that will always have people on both sides of the fence.

Id recommend that people get to know their soil and their water. Get to know your environment too as environmental problems can appear as ph problems. The soil I am using was tested and designed to buffer to a certain ph. 6.2 or 6.3 I believe. I think its a good exercise for us to try new techniques every so often. Its what establishes your unique growing style, after all.
 

Emilya

Member of the Month: Mar 2019
Just a quick reminder that a soil labeled as organic and natural may be just that, but that isn't all that is need for a truly organic grow. In a real organic grow with all the needed elements cooked into the soil already there are no synthetic nutes, only natural ones, and no real need to add additional raw nutrients or pH the clean non alkaline water that is added, unless you are wishing to add specific nutrients that do specific things to the plant. Many people claim they are running organic, but are not. If chlorine or a synthetic nute ever touches your soil, your grow is not organic. True Living Organic, like I do, is a beast of yet another color, and involves adding microlife via actively aerated compost teas.
 

Archiweedies

Nug of the Month: Apr 2019
And I'd recommend that anyone growing in a tent with reasonable control over their environment read AW's great thread on Vapor Pressure Deficit!
Vapor Pressure Deficit & What It Means To You!
Why thank you sir!
Just a quick reminder that a soil labeled as organic and natural may be just that, but that isn't all that is need for a truly organic grow. In a real organic grow with all the needed elements cooked into the soil already there are no synthetic nutes, only natural ones, and no real need to add additional raw nutrients or pH the clean non alkaline water that is added, unless you are wishing to add specific nutrients that do specific things to the plant. Many people claim they are running organic, but are not. If chlorine or a synthetic nute ever touches your soil, your grow is not organic. True Living Organic, like I do, is a beast of yet another color, and involves adding microlife via actively aerated compost teas.
Agreed and well stated, as usual, Emilya. The AACT's arent something Im ready to try just yet but I love watching you guys do your thing!
 

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
Thanks Emilya! I consider all soil that doesn't have nutes built in (like some Miracle Grow types) to be organic, so when someone says they grow in organic soil I make the (sometimes false) assumption that they are talking about some type of LOS. In titling this thread I specifically said "do we need to pH adjust our nutrient solutions," so none of this was intended to apply to LOS or TLO or HB or Stanksoil or any other soil along those lines. That said, for those growers who choose not to waste the water used in RO water (if you have no way to capture and use it), or the increased carbon footprint involved in buying bottled water, or the ability to capture and safely store rainwater, the alkalinity of the water from the tap can eventually affect the pH of any soil.
 

Emilya

Member of the Month: Mar 2019
the alkalinity of the water from the tap can eventually affect the pH of any soil.
That, along with all the other crap that is in city water, fluoride, chloramine, dioxin, Prozac ... is why I stopped drinking tap water a long time ago. Cancer and all the other common degenerative diseases come from somewhere, and being around the pharmaceutical industry I have many reasons to suspect the local water supply. It is my recommendation that none of us drink modern tap water without filtering. It is no wonder that we now are learning that extended use of this stuff will wreck a soil, much the same as it will wreck our bodies.
 

Emilya

Member of the Month: Mar 2019
not to mention 5-G! lol Seriously... anti-depressants are a big problem.
 

Marzbadrock

Plant of the Month: Sept 2015 - Nug of the Month: Jan 2016, May 2018
That, along with all the other crap that is in city water, fluoride, chloramine, dioxin, Prozac ... is why I stopped drinking tap water a long time ago. Cancer and all the other common degenerative diseases come from somewhere, and being around the pharmaceutical industry I have many reasons to suspect the local water supply. It is my recommendation that none of us drink modern tap water without filtering. It is no wonder that we now are learning that extended use of this stuff will wreck a soil, much the same as it will wreck our bodies.
Just made me realize how fortunate I am! I forget about city water or even well water in residential areas. I'm blessed to be where I'm at.
Really appreciate all the true organic growers, for years I used my soil from my backyard, sand from glacial deposit, old rotten stumps... miss it n will be going back. My mentor n I used to make weekends out of it getting our soil built, driving all around glacier park gathering our treasures! Unfortunately he moved to texas, my life got crazy n have to substitute to bottles n bagged dirt n honestly it grows great quality as I did before but it's not the same in my heart.
 
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