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Organic soil lockout? Bonemeal for pH up? Pics

Kingsnake235

New Member
hey there!

having some issues, doing some reading, the usual; looking for a way to up my soil ph with organic nutes (biobizz) and was directed to this thread

which says:

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
most references i find of bonemeal raising pH is when its mixed into acidic soil before planting, so my question is:

can it be used mid grow and how so?

could i crush it and mix it into the solution?
make a tea of some sort?
or can i just top dress and flush it thru?

after working through a diagnoses of my issues, it seems to be a pH related lockout, possibly due to my overzealous molasses feeding; i began flushing with a weak solution and checked the runoff pH with liquid indicator - it showed ~4.0 - i was pretty shocked to see red/pink, last times i checked it was up in 6.5 (yellow/green) area. (full rundown can be found in my grow journal, link in sig)

i continued flushing with plain water (tap@7.0) until the pH went up and i got it as high as maybe 5.5-5.8, its so hard to tell sometimes with liquid. I don't have pH up, and biobizz says not to use chemical pH adjusters, so i need to get that pH back up before my problems worsen.

all the above is speculation on my part, so i'll add a few photos in here too:


progression of leaf symptoms

just to show where the leaves were affected, bottom to middle, before falling off

today, back left, most central leaves are gone, and as you can see, its spreading to the higher growth.


worst affected in the photos is a Black Indica, 74 days from seed, day 26 of 12/12, being fed 2.4mL/L of BioBloom, Top Max, and Bio Heaven, every 6-7 days, but this time 4; last feeding received the same concentration of fish mix, and has had 2 back to back feedings of molasses (oops).

after flushing, was fed with 1/4 strength (2.4mL/Gallon) bloom, topmax, heaven for 2.2-2.1-2.2

something else i figure may be contributing; i started with a poor, dense soil mix, so the central root ball is very hard and the soil is sometimes hydrophobic, when they were put in 4G pots i had a new soil mix 25% perlite - the photo is deceiving.

completely open to the likelihood that everything i've assumed is incorrect, so any input is appreciated!

cheers!
 

Kingsnake235

New Member
:bump:

checking today, its progressing pretty quickly through the top leaves; i have to go out for a while, but i guess i'll try a few methods to see if it changes water pH and take it from there before doing anything stupid.
 

TanR

New Member
Hi Kingsnake235,

In my first indoor grow experience (some time ago), I learned too late that the peat moss heavy base I was using was very acidic. After searching for a solution, I began using calcium carbonate marketed through a local big box home improvement store as "Rapid Lime" for lawns and gardens. I applied the lime by putting some of the granules in the leg of a pair of my wifes panyhose (I asked first so no trouble from it :laugh2:) and soaked in the water to be used for feeding (kind of a tea). I did not have the benefit of a PH meter (still don't) nor any significant science background to help me determine what dose I was giving or PH I was acheiving, but symptoms in the plants (looked similar to yours) stoppped appearing for the rest of the grow.

I chose the calcium carbonate rather than dolomatic lime due to some warnings I found in a thread on this site that pointed out that dolomaic lime generally contains very high levels of magnesium carbonate, which can potetially lead to magnesium toxicity issues.

I moved to a different grow medium afterward and have not experienced issues since.

Be well and happy growing!
 

Kingsnake235

New Member
thanks for the response!

during some reading i came across baking soda as another possible pH up, and a quote that helps me understand things a bit differently, from this site

Highly acidic environments leach off plant nutrients while highly alkaline soil locks up nutrients in the soil.
makes me think rather than a lockout freezing nutrients up in alkalinity, its actually the acid is eating the nutrients before the plant can get to them. hadn't read that before!

i tried a quick wash with some bone meal and the pH went way down from 7 to 5 ish, i tried several washes but it never went up past ~5.5, so i guess I'm off to test some baking soda and water.

unfortunately i am without a vehicle so i can't just run out to the garden shop for a while.
 

Kingsnake235

New Member
alright, i tested some baking soda in water, 1tsp/gallon and i gained just over a point it looks like, going from bright green (7) to a dark turquoise, between 8-8.5 it looks like.

hoping that will bring that 5 soil up to a 6.5!

so here goes nothing.

ps: i realize that i flushed yesterday and i will be overwatering, but … well. i don't think she's gonna wait 6 days for me to figure this out at the rate these leaves are succumbing. All in the name of education and progress!


edit to add: ok, i fed Black Indica 1 gallon of baking soda water at 8-8.5 pH and now the run off is showing ~6.3 ish (again hard to say with liquid)

i should have thought this through more, but I'm wondering now, should i assume there are still nutrients in the soil and NOT feed now, or should i give them a light nute solution..? cause that will presumably lower the pH again..

should i raise the pH higher than it needs to be, knowing that the biobizz with bring it back down? or should i do what they say not to do, and adjust the pH of the solution before feeding?

hmm..

/firstgrowproblems
 

Major PITA

Member of the Month: Oct 2015, June 2016
Bone meal will be slow to act. Baking soda is adding sodium to your soil. I'd go with finely ground lime or oyster shell.
 

TanR

New Member
Kingsnake235,

Ya know, after that first round of growing and playing "blind chemist" and all the problems I created for myself and the girls, I've adopted a "slow, small changes" kind of philosophy. With that in mind, my thinking would be to NOT apply any nutrients at this time. If they are in the soil, great. If not, it won't hurt her to go a couple days or a week without.
 

Kingsnake235

New Member
Bone meal will be slow to act. Baking soda is adding sodium to your soil. I'd go with finely ground lime or oyster shell.
hey! thanks for chiming in!

after some more reading, it appears you're correct, and i wasn't sure it would be the ticket anyways, but its more for mixing in and allowing slow subtle changes to the pH over time, from what i have found this morning.

next time I'm able to hit up the garden store, i definitely will get some dolomite lime.

Ya know, after that first round of growing and playing "blind chemist" and all the problems I created for myself and the girls, I've adopted a "slow, small changes" kind of philosophy. With that in mind, my thinking would be to NOT apply any nutrients at this time. If they are in the soil, great. If not, it won't hurt her to go a couple days or a week without.
i am of a similar mind, i don't want to do anything too drastic too quickly, but, i've also been humming and hawing over this issue as it progressed over the last 2-3 feedings, trying to diagnose and learn as i go. I think you're right about the nutes though.

[hr][/hr]

so i've put 3gallons of 8.5 water through the 4 gallon pot, and as far as i can tell the pH is back up somewhere between 5.9 and 6.3 i think.. its difficult for me to tell the difference between the slightly orange or slightly brown coloured water with the indicator - wife always says I'm colourblind, haha..

found another tidbit that says you can test the general acidity of soil by putting a bit of baking soda onto the wet soil and if its below 5pH it will fizz with the acid. no fizz; so at least i know I'm over 5 now.

im gonna put one more gallon of water through and hope that puts me into clear brown (6.5) territory.

Looking at the nutrient uptake charts it would make sense after all that this is where my problems started, because the first symptoms i noticed were cal/mag and possibly P related, which all start uptake at 6.5; just recently it shifted to looking more like K and maybe Mn, which shows a drift towards acidity.

what a learning experience

edit to add: well, I'm pretty certain i got it up to the ~6.5 mark, so here's hoping. I didnt add any nutes on the last run thru, and in an effort to make slow, small changes, i'll leave the rest of the girls to see how BI1 reacts over the next few days. She has the worst symptoms so far, so the rest can wait for their next watering i think.
 
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