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Soil run off pH/EC, high EC in run off water: does this matter?

Jayjayloi

Well-Known Member
Just wanted to know peoples thoughts and opinions about testing run off water - especially for ec - I watered last night and thought I would check the ec of run off and it came out to 5.9. In soil

plant looks nice and green, had acidic soil for the past week but just corrected this problem.

could this be causing salt build up?
Thanks in advance for any advice
 

Emilya

Member of the Month: Mar 2019 - Grow Journal of the Month: Jan 2020
testing runoff of soil is worthless. It doesn't tell you a thing. Soil is full of little particles of organic material that is constantly breaking down and is washed out with the runoff water. Because of this, ppm, pH and ec of soil runoff is off the scale and meaningless to you.

So many people "adjust" their soil and then ruin their grows, not understanding why soil's pH is set where it is. What did you do to adjust? What made you think that you must adjust it?
 

Jayjayloi

Well-Known Member
I’ve had yellowing on tops when I went into flower and plant just over all not looking happy. No major problems growth has still be good. I checked the ph of the soil it’s self by doing a soil suspension and the ph came to 5.9.

So I then mixed up all my Nutes as usual and did a ph of the solution and it came to 5.9. As I normally do not check ph.
My soil does have buffering and when I first started this run the ph was 6.5.

mall uve done so far is use an organic ph up and adjusted the solution to 6.4
 

Jayjayloi

Well-Known Member
testing runoff of soil is worthless. It doesn't tell you a thing. Soil is full of little particles of organic material that is constantly breaking down and is washed out with the runoff water. Because of this, ppm, pH and ec of soil runoff is off the scale and meaningless to you.

So many people "adjust" their soil and then ruin their grows, not understanding why soil's pH is set where it is. What did you do to adjust? What made you think that you must adjust it?
Thank you
 

Emilya

Member of the Month: Mar 2019 - Grow Journal of the Month: Jan 2020
You are worrying too much. Trust your soil. Soil is not going to change so much over one grow that you need to even worry about it. Most soil is set at the factory to 6.8 pH or so, in the high end of the soil pH range, and it is there for a reason. Adjust your incoming fluids to 6.3 pH and everything else will take care of itself. Unless you are in a laboratory where you can do a soil slurry test in a vacuum, you have not really accurately measured your soil base pH, but yet you have made all sorts of assumptions based on the number you arrived at.
 

Jayjayloi

Well-Known Member
You are worrying too much. Trust your soil. Soil is not going to change so much over one grow that you need to even worry about it. Most soil is set at the factory to 6.8 pH or so, in the high end of the soil pH range, and it is there for a reason. Adjust your incoming fluids to 6.3 pH and everything else will take care of itself. Unless you are in a laboratory where you can do a soil slurry test in a vacuum, you have not really accurately measured your soil base pH, but yet you have made all sorts of assumptions based on the number you arrived at.
Hi Emilya sorry I’m a bit confused. So theoretically I could water with my 5.9 ph water and Nutes and the soil will buffer its self to the correct ph?

Or would you still adjust the ph of the solution?

thank you
 

bluter

Grow Journal of the Month: July 2020
don't get the wrong impression. no one is taking a run at you.

this might help the cause a touch ..




your ph safe range is on the "soil" side of the chart. it's a bit dated - it targets 6.5, but most find dropping it a hair to 6.3 works a little better over time. it's not a huge difference. important thing is to stay within the safe range when feeding the plant.
 

Emilya

Member of the Month: Mar 2019 - Grow Journal of the Month: Jan 2020
Hi Emilya sorry I’m a bit confused. So theoretically I could water with my 5.9 ph water and Nutes and the soil will buffer its self to the correct ph?

Or would you still adjust the ph of the solution?

thank you
with certain nutes and in certain soils, you can get lazy and not worry about the pH of your incoming fluids... and the soil will adjust the pH of your fluids into the proper range, or at least reasonably close. Most of us don't use that same exact combination soil and nutes though, nor do we have a perfect water that works well with the whole thing, and most of us out here need to pH adjust when using chelated nutes. There is a myth being propagated out there that there is not a need to pH adjust in soil... and it simply isn't true in a majority of the real world cases. If you are paying for expensive nutes, it is probably best to pH adjust your incoming fluids so that those nutes are mobile immediately... not after waiting for them to react against the buffers in the soil and get adjusted "automatically."
 

Jayjayloi

Well-Known Member
Thanks guys that clear up some confusion. Can’t upload new pics until later but this is from a week ago - rest of the plant is a lush green and then the tops are not as dark but ... it has got better over the last week

the only change I’ve made is adding ph up to my 5.9 ph solution - up to 6.4

01CD7FD0-94AE-43B8-B01E-70625D3C739D.jpeg
 

Jayjayloi

Well-Known Member
Thanks guys that clear up some confusion. Can’t upload new pics until later but this is from a week ago - rest of the plant is a lush green and then the tops are not as dark but ... it has got better over the last week

the only change I’ve made is adding ph up to my 5.9 ph solution - up to 6.4

01CD7FD0-94AE-43B8-B01E-70625D3C739D.jpeg
As you can see it going from nice dark green to light at the tops
 

Dwight Monk

420 Support
420 Staff
There is a myth being propagated out there that there is not a need to pH adjust in soil... and it simply isn't true in a majority of the real world cases. If you are paying for expensive nutes, it is probably best to pH adjust your incoming fluids so that those nutes are mobile immediately... not after waiting for them to react against the buffers in the soil and get adjusted "automatically."

So many variables for sure, never could see not having to adjust ever (yeah soil is buffered but why make it work too hard if you are way out on your PH), as I can't see how I can mix my nutes in my RO water from store that is around a 5.5 PH or mix it in the tap water here which is closer to a 7.0 and not having that variance not make a difference. If your nutrients have a range stated by the company for the medium you are in best to go with that, as many different kinds/types of nutes (one I'm currently using it uptakes the other nutrients with the calcium so they specify 6.4 PH after mixed with water), and they want you to buy more of their product so steering you wrong not in their best interest ;) .
 

Dwight Monk

420 Support
420 Staff
As you can see it going from nice dark green to light at the tops
New growth is always a lighter green, others know more than me but they look fine to me. And I'm a firm believer of "chasing problems that not there will almost always give you problems you didn't have before" ;) :19: But it is part of the learning process, find what works best for you in your situation and run with it, too many new folks shoot for "optimal" before they get the basics down so it's like deciding you are going to train to be a race car driver before you even know how to drive ;) .
 

Jayjayloi

Well-Known Member
New growth is always a lighter green, others know more than me but they look fine to me. And I'm a firm believer of "chasing problems that not there will almost always give you problems you didn't have before" ;) :19: But it is part of the learning process, find what works best for you in your situation and run with it, too many new folks shoot for "optimal" before they get the basics down so it's like deciding you are going to train to be a race car driver before you even know how to drive ;) .
I know the growth always starts a lighter green but this was a bit different , like when you just know something just isn’t right?!!!

but like I say it has greened out a lot more more definitely since changing the ph
 

Jayjayloi

Well-Known Member
New growth is always a lighter green, others know more than me but they look fine to me. And I'm a firm believer of "chasing problems that not there will almost always give you problems you didn't have before" ;) :19: But it is part of the learning process, find what works best for you in your situation and run with it, too many new folks shoot for "optimal" before they get the basics down so it's like deciding you are going to train to be a race car driver before you even know how to drive ;) .
I am new to this also so I could be over thinking and worrying
 

Dwight Monk

420 Support
420 Staff
I know the growth always starts a lighter green but this was a bit different , like when you just know something just isn’t right?!!!

but like I say it has greened out a lot more more definitely since changing the ph

I'd stick with what you are doing personally as it working (nice looking plants to me), they are an adaptive plant (better than most humans) but if you keep screwing with the variables it can eventually bite you. Least that my opinion is if you consistently "not optimal" it will adapt to those conditions, but if the conditions keep going all over the place then not so much. As out in the wild the water not going to change radically all the time, and it has to find it's own nutrients on it's own so adjusts to whatever is out there/available, as it's only goal is to reproduce and makes seeds before it dies with the season change.
 

Jayjayloi

Well-Known Member
I'd stick with what you are doing personally as it working (nice looking plants to me), they are an adaptive plant (better than most humans) but if you keep screwing with the variables it can eventually bite you. Least that my opinion is if you consistently "not optimal" it will adapt to those conditions, but if the conditions keep going all over the place then not so much. As out in the wild the water not going to change radically all the time, and it has to find it's own nutrients on it's own so adjusts to whatever is out there/available, as it's only goal is to reproduce and makes seeds before it dies with the season change.
Thanks man - yeah I understand that - my environment is spot on and is always consistent - I just seem to have problems with feeding and what amount etc but I suppose that’s all learning - also sorry to be a pain in the ass but do you feed with every water? Or should you give just plain water sometimes
 

Dwight Monk

420 Support
420 Staff
Thanks man - yeah I understand that - my environment is spot on and is always consistent - I just seem to have problems with feeding and what amount etc but I suppose that’s all learning - also sorry to be a pain in the ass but do you feed with every water? Or should you give just plain water sometimes

You learn to read the plant, like I said it is part of the process of learning. Too many folks aim too high or expect to grow something that looks like something they saw online first time out (yeah could happen but highly unlikely), better to go with "do better than your last grow" and only compare to your previous grows and not someone else's. Far as your question goes it varies on Strain and your medium and a ton of other variables ;). I rarely grow one Strain at a time so makes it hard to have a "set schedule/amount" as they can have different likes/wants/dislikes, in example a heavy Sativa or Landrace Sativa's seem to not care for a lot of nutes, so I can have one Strain (or even same Strain but a different pheno) that says "way too much man" and the other one saying "give me more I'm lacking". But it comes with time and you will get to where you know what's off or what they want/need (unfortunately sometimes you learn the hard way, but as long as you learning instead of being hard headed it's part of the process).

At this point keep doing whatever you been doing as too late to make major changes, as better odds of it biting you in the backside than improving them. As at least IMHO they look happy and healthy so why mess that up.
 
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