Adjusting Ph for soil... help

Discussion in 'Growing Marijuana Indoors' started by TheStress, May 27, 2010.

  1. 1st let me say glad to be here and hello to everyone here that help the personal production off the best stuff on earth...... anyway its my 1st grow, using soil and was wondering what everyone uses to adjust the ph levels. I have heard of using baking soda to get more base and vinegar to get more acidic. I have also heard the vinegar is bad. I have heard urine, but need more advise. So what does everyone use to adjust the ph up, and down. Thanks in advance from myself and my babies
  2. get a ph reader and get get ph up and ph down chemicals and u dont adjust ph levels you set at a certain level 5.5 -6.3
  3. I appreciate the response. I was looking for an alternative for the product your speaking of, I know most growers that use hydro use that, I'm rockin soil. After searching for about 5 hours I found dolomite will raise the pH (not the pimp) and Sulfer will lower the pH, for anyone else who had the same question
  4. You can use chemical ph up and down for soil grows and is much easier. Good soil is about neutral to start and some use dolamite lime mixed in soil to neutralize the soil, then use the up and down for the preferred ph.
    I don't think you want to use sulpher as it might be harmful if used to excess. For a first time grow get the chemical up and down and a digital ph tester. The chemical goes a long way. Test the ph of runoff water and adjust the ph.
  5. Thanks.

    So the analog pH tester i bought is useless ? I obviously know digital is better more accurate but the analog testers bought at any garden store with the green plastic is useless ? Please let me know
  6. It depends on who you ask, me, I say pH is waaay over rated, use rain water or RO water to feed, use the right nutrient, N,P,K, Trace mineral, occasionally Mg,Ca with good lighting and lots of air is all you need.
    I've been growing many things for many years, pH is never an issue unless you make it one.
    Many folk swear by it, if I can grow it many time over without an pH issue and someone else has to constantly fiddle with it, does that mean pH is an issue?
    it is all in what you know.
    Ask mother nature, she will agree with me.

    pH is over rated.
  7. #7 TheStress, May 28, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2010

    Thanks for the response. Rain water isn't an option, only rains a handful if times here. RO i assume is run off water ? Which wouldn't be an option either sadly..

    Nevermind you meant reverse osmosis...

    Whats a reverse osmosis system cost I'm clueless
  8. #8 bulletcatcher, May 28, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2010
    Proper pH for soil is 6.5-7, preferrably towards 6.5. At 5.5 or lower your plants will make less blades and then die. It happened to me.

    Proper pH is different for soil and hydro, so that may be where the confusion is arising.

    edit: and pH is not overrated. I would have lost my whole grow if I didn't start fixing my pH. It's overrated if you're lucky enough to have decent water.
  9. I have grown hundreds of plants in soil without checking the ph and had no problems. It just depend on your water source. Some nutes lower the the ph so much that lockout occurs and the plant suffers deficiencies and this is where the problem starts.
    I just think it is a good idea to know what the properties of your water are and do everything ph wise you can before the plants take a dive. Ph will be the main problem in a grow.
    I seen RO/7 stage systems on ebay for $104.00 free shipping. Produce 100gal a day, or 3 gal per hour. An RO system is alright and most important in a hydro system, but in soil is not really required unless you really have some rank water.
  10. Yes it is!

    buy wide range indicator soluiton (4.5-8.xx)

    then (this is brilliant)

    1. take a lima bean sized sample of soil (not from the very top, dig a little) and put it on a clean white surface

    2. drip the indicator solution into the soil slowly.

    3. when the solution starts to saturate the soil it will run down the plate.

    4. read the color and compare it to the ph chart


    No moving the pot, no collecting run off (c'mon who really does that), and it's more accurate because you testing the actual soil, not just averaging input and output.

    exact answer, right now.

    ph your water as directed on the bottle.
  11. water ph 6.02
    run off ph 6.27
    problems none
    plants healthy.

    what does it is simple....start with good soil. that alone will do most of the work for you.
  12. Your welcome, you can get a good 5 to 7 stage unit on ebay for around $100 to $150 shipped.

    This is why I said use rain water or RO, or even distilled water.
    It isn't pH per se, it is the alkalinity/acidity.
    Most terrestrial and aquatic plant life prefer neutral to slightly acidic water.
    Sea water is alkaline of course.

    Agreed :) it's not the pH, but the water itself.

    It is a good idea to understand water quality, otherwise one can get lost in the hype of chasing pH, and I see a lot of hype around about it, new folk telling other new folk to buy all this crap and spend all this time chasing pH, when it really is over rated.

    I totally disagree if I may with pH being the main problem with a grow. the main problem with be the grower, it is all in what you know.

    with Regards
  13. When i grow i dont even worry bout ph,If your organic then let it organic
  14. I would say ph is pretty important if you want to make the most out of growing plants. Its all about the plant and what it likes. Plants like there ph to be around 6 and if it isnt in that general range the plant will tell you. I always ph my water before giving it to them so i know what the general ph of my soil mix is. Now Im not saying you cant grow without ph'ing your stuff, and im sure you probably can, but after taking horticulture in college and studying about just about every part of a plant I would recommend it, if of course if you want to grow the biggest, dankest buds. just my opinion. Not trying to bag on anybody, but i definitely think its important, if again you want the healthiest plants possible.
  15. People growing MJ get caught up to often with over caring for their plants. Making poor judgement calls on diagnoising plant deficiencies etc and actually create more problem by getting to technical trying to remedy the problem.
    PH is just one part of the equation. If you start with premium neutralized soil, good water and basic NPK fertilizers with micro and essential nutes your plants will take care of themselves.
    The best thing you can do for your plants in soil is the basics. Don't over water, under water, over fertilize, pest control, proper lighting to absorb nutes without causing salt buildup and flushing periodicaly, or when the plants start looking poor.
    Learn the signs of basic NPK problems and watch for the signs before problems escalate.
    If you don't understand ph don't try to fix it. Use distilled, or RO water and just keep the water as close to neutral as possible and your soil will make the right ph adjustments it needs to be healthy. If you want to experiment with ph do so on soil in a seperate container and not your plants soil until you understand how ph balancing is obtained.

    With hydroponics systems you must ph the water and keep the nutes at the optimal ppm and maintain on a daily basis. The reason is their is no medium like soil to buffer the effects of improper balancing. Use only RO water. It's a lot easier to balance hydro solutions than adjustin ph in soil as long as you have digital testers that are checked periodically for accuracy.

  16. hahaha.... everyone saying ignore pH is setting themselves up for a seriously fucked up grow if they ever go somewhere with hard or soft water, or need to feed more aggressively.

    Also those analog soil meters work fine, I'm not sure why toilofday has such a raging hardon of hate for them. Milwaukee milwaukee milwaukee milwaukee MILWAUKEEEEEEE!!!!!!
  17. I use ro water.I'vr been groiwing for 20 years, get huge yields and tastey pot and, I dont check my ph .I did at ont point .but I found it to b pointless in organic gowing.Who is fixin the ph in the forrests nobody and life thrives.I just think its over rated.If your goin hydro i can see.Also what about AN ph perfect nutes they claim never check ur ph again.If your ph is outta wack all the time ur doin somethin wrong in the firstplace.
  18. #18 bulletcatcher, May 28, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2010
    .... you RO your water. That's why your pH is fine. It has nothing to do with organics or anything else.

    My water comes out of the tap at 5.5 or so once I evaporate off the chlorine. That's why I have problems.
  19. Thanks for all of your responses. This has created an interesting debate that I'm learning a lot about. Where I live the water is super hard out if the tap. Calcium buildup ext.. $100 bucks for a RO system seems a little pricey for water. Maybe just distilled water from the grocery store or maybe Costco.
  20. i dont think any of us totaly disregard ph. once you learn how to control it , it just is not that big of a deal. I test my water every time i water a plant. but the plant will tell me the ph is out before the tester will. i have done a runoff test twice in the 8 weeks it has been vegging. 6.27 and 6.26. If it gets far enough out of wack ph can kill your plants. you have a range, 6.3-6.8 is prime but if your consistantly in the 6-7 range you are in good shape.

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