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Soil pH Help

longjon18

Member
Hey, sorry for any stupid vocabulary I use, I am a complete noob.

My problem is this, I just planted my first seed and I have one of those ph meters for the soil, the ones with the probes. The top of the soil is testing good right around 6.5, but when I put the probe in deeper it drops down to 5-5.5. I have the ph +/- for the water and am putting in the right ph water. What can I do to fix the bottom soil, I am afraid when the roots get down there it will just kill the plant.
 

Dwight Monk

420 Support
420 Staff
Those probe tester things make a nice wall ornament or something for your dog to fetch kind of thing, about all they good for. You using a store bought kind of soil? Most of those are fine and have buffers built into it to keep it in range it needs to be in. Keep it simple while you are learning and you can go from there, as chasing problems that aren't there will bite you in the backside more usually than just leaving them be to do their own thing. Most common newbie mistake is watering too much, as Cannabis prefers a dry cycle. Lots of good advice here, just have to read and read some more, and post questions in FAQ section as you will get more help from folks there than you will in other sections like this one (as not everyone looks at all posts/sections of the Forum).
 

longjon18

Member
Those probe tester things make a nice wall ornament or something for your dog to fetch kind of thing, about all they good for. You using a store bought kind of soil? Most of those are fine and have buffers built into it to keep it in range it needs to be in. Keep it simple while you are learning and you can go from there, as chasing problems that aren't there will bite you in the backside more usually than just leaving them be to do their own thing. Most common newbie mistake is watering too much, as Cannabis prefers a dry cycle. Lots of good advice here, just have to read and read some more, and post questions in FAQ section as you will get more help from folks there than you will in other sections like this one (as not everyone looks at all posts/sections of the Forum).
Okay thank you for the clarification, and im using roots organic soil, with super soil at the bottom of the pot.
 

SmokingWings

Well-Known Member
Read through a bunch of the threads on testing the pH of a soil used in pots or growing containers and decide for yourself whether you actually need to test the soil.

I test the city water once a year or so, mostly because of the aquariums I have, just to be sure it has not changed drastically since the last time. If it is in the range of 6.1 to 6.4 then nothing has changed. The water pH is way more important.

I have not checked the pH of the soil in forever. Actually the last time I checked soil pH was back around 1990 when I sent a sample of the soil in my vegetable garden off to the Co-operative Extension Service.
 

Emilya

Member of the Month: Mar 2019 - Grow Journal of the Month: Jan 2020, Aug 2021
It makes sense that the pH read by your meter is lower down in the highly mineralized supersoil at the bottom of your container, but that should not concern you. Ph is not very important to an organic grow because the only reason we worry about pH being in a certain range is when we are dealing with synthetic nutes, which are bound together with a chelating salt so that they don't interact against each other while in the bottle, but which break apart and become available to the plant when they get within a certain pH range.

The pH in your soil is going to be different in different areas of the container. Down low in the supersoil it will be natural to find some lower pH levels as the mineralized soil is being processed by the microbes. Water has its own pH and when you add it to the soil, the pH of the wet areas will be different than the dry areas, such as at the top as the plant starts using the water you have given it and it dries out up there.

This should not be a worry to an organic gardener at all, the plants or the microbes really don't care what the pH is. A synthetic nutrient gardener simply needs to water at a pH at the low end of the range, and then allow the base pH of the soil, complete with all of its pH buffers, force the pH of the wet soil to go through the entire range as the soil dries out and loses the influence of the pH adjusted water coming in.
 

longjon18

Member
It makes sense that the pH read by your meter is lower down in the highly mineralized supersoil at the bottom of your container, but that should not concern you. Ph is not very important to an organic grow because the only reason we worry about pH being in a certain range is when we are dealing with synthetic nutes, which are bound together with a chelating salt so that they don't interact against each other while in the bottle, but which break apart and become available to the plant when they get within a certain pH range.

The pH in your soil is going to be different in different areas of the container. Down low in the supersoil it will be natural to find some lower pH levels as the mineralized soil is being processed by the microbes. Water has its own pH and when you add it to the soil, the pH of the wet areas will be different than the dry areas, such as at the top as the plant starts using the water you have given it and it dries out up there.

This should not be a worry to an organic gardener at all, the plants or the microbes really don't care what the pH is. A synthetic nutrient gardener simply needs to water at a pH at the low end of the range, and then allow the base pH of the soil, complete with all of its pH buffers, force the pH of the wet soil to go through the entire range as the soil dries out and loses the influence of the pH adjusted water coming in.
Okay good to know, thank you for the advice/information, I really appreciate it!
 

bobrown14

Grow Journal of the Month: Dec 2017 - Photo of the Month: May 2020
The way to test your soil pH is to have a sample sent off to your local/county/state extension service. The pH probe is no accurate. Dont use that meter for any valuable data.

I would worry as mentioned more about your water pH. In containers your water pH has more influence.

Bagged soil likely has a proper pH. If you mix your own that's when you would benefit from a soil test.
 
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