Adjusting pH when recycling no-till mediums

Discussion in 'Growing Organic Marijuana' started by TimJ, Dec 28, 2022.

  1. When we recycle our growing medium as I'll show in this post we sometimes need to adjust it's pH. Starting medium. 20221227_200940.jpg In this case I will adjust the pH of my medium from 8.0 down to 6.5 pH. 20221227_200919.jpg I used this small batch of soil to demonstrate the process only. You will need distilled water for your soil slurry test. Here I add equal amounts of soil and distilled water, 1/2 cup in my case. Stir together, then let it sit for 15 minutes. Stir again and take your reading. I use peat moss for the process to adjust my pH down. I found with a starting pH of 8.0 I'll need to add 20% peat moss to obtain my goal of 6.4-6.5 pH. 20221227_202541.jpg It's as simple as that. You will need to adjust the percentage of peat moss to fit your pH requirements.
     
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  2. Definitely witnessed this first hand when I built my 4x8 living soil bed.
     
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  3. Your plants are growing like crazy Jay. Seems like you've gotten them dialed in.
     
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  4. It definitely made a huge difference from my previous run without testing ph. I have very hard water which contributes to this.
     
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  5. I agree 100%. And the smaller the soil mass the sooner pH can creep up and cause us issues.
     
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  6. A timely thread for me! I have around 100 cf of reclaimed soil that will need amending and rebuilding. Most of it has seen 4-6 runs and is comprised of a good percentage of worm castings.
    I’ve done the slurry test many times and will definitely start there. :thumbsup:
     
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  7. That’s a great write up TimJ. Very simple and useful.
    Cheers
    Os
     
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  8. Thank you Os. I just hope it reminds folks to check their pH when they recycle their mediums. It does make a difference in the way our plants uptake nutrients.
     
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  9. A difference between night and day at that. :passtheshit:
     
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  10. Perfect timing timj, after saying I wasn't gonna do an indoor run this winter, my kids changed my mind.
    We got blue dream,northern lights and Matanuska Thunderfuck.
    So, should I take the test soil halfway down from top?
     
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  11. #11 TimJ, Dec 28, 2022
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2022
    I certainly would. When I recycle my growing medium. I actually break up the root mass and mix the medium prior to sampling. If you're going no-till I would approach it in the manner you are, at least until you get a pH reading.

    Edit: If you find you need to add peat to lower your pH you will need to break things up to thoroughly mix in the peat moss and recheck your pH.
     
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  12. Just one more tip on winter soil recycling. If you don't want the significant other to file for divorce when you're remixing your medium in the house. Use a brand new tarp to mix things up. I've done this on carpeted floors and not one speck of growing medium was left behind.
     
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  13. Awesome will remember this
    Also with the compost I have it’s safe to plant in clean no mixing no diluting ..is there any need to add peat if the ph of the bracken it’s made from is 6.5? As then I’d need to lime I’ve been told I need ca in my mix but sheeps wool based I’m guessing it already has a adaquet amounts there eh ?

    But peat would buffer the cow compost I have at 8 down before adding to the mix right ?
     
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  14. If your compost is already 6.5 I would just follow a simple no-till mix.

    I'm not familiar with sheep's wool.

    As for your cow compost. I'd once again suggest following a no till recipe and adjusting your pH after it has been mixed.

    If you're using the cow manure for top dressing you can adjust it as I explained above. I'd try a small sample to be sure how your manure pH changes.
    I'd suggest starting with 10 cups of manure to 2 cups of hydrated peat.
     
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  15. I checked my soil pH on the room that got planted today before we got started. These beds have seen five runs, and all 16 of them were within 6.5-6.7 range. Not Bad!
    Especially considering where I was a couple of years ago with high bicarbonate levels in my water, and pH levels up near 7.2.
    I threw a scoop of peat into them anyway, just to bump it down a bit. :thumbsup:
     
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  16. I also have high bicarbonate levels in my water. I can run three cycles in my 10 gallon no-tills. But, they become more problematic with each run. I did push one 10 gallon pot to 4 cycles no-till style. It was the Barney's Farms Lemon Tree that I had iron lockout on. I learned something from that grow, so I'd still consider it a success.
     
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  17. Oh PTSD just set in…
    Pics from my days in 2018 realizing what a bitch high bicarbonate levels can be!
    F2F23FBF-5AD1-43A3-86E9-F9F19004AB47.jpeg
     
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  18. looks like a run i had around that time also,i moved to the country after that run, but my shit just curled up , still got a good score but the foilage by harvest time was just about done for and gone, im ocd about my grow room and even my outside gardens, cant stand weeds around my beds , a feller like to walk bare foot dont you know hahahah
     
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  19. If I understand corectly, TimJ, this imply *the end* of no till, breaking everything down and adding roughly 20% of peat moss? Then, new perlite would be really great (almost essential after 3 years) to prevent compaction. And maybe a batch of EWC would be great, if I'd be re-mixing everything again? Way cheaper than starting from scratch, and everyone needs to do it's part to reduce and reuse. Thanks Tim!
     
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  20. Yes, I understand that @Laucass83. I should have worded my post title differently. I recycle soil like yours a bit differently. I've been running smaller 10 gallon no-till fabric pots lately. I run them non-stop for three cycles. I could never run 3 years straight with those pots and my well water. I guess this is part of the reason why what one person does to grow great plants doesn't fit every ones grow equally. By my fourth cycle my plants will turn white from iron lockout caused from high root zone pH. I'm still learning new things myself every day.
     
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