Any way to keep ph balanced in soil without testing first?

Discussion in 'Sick Plants and Problems' started by virginharvester, Aug 9, 2007.

  1. So right now I have a female doing pretty well and seems overall healthy. There are a few large bottom shade leaves that have turned yellow and died off but 98% of the plant looks healthy, especially the top 80% of the plant. I started out with high quality ph balanced nute free organic soil. But a lot of the soil is approaching three months old. The cheapest ph meter I can find locally is $80. I know I could order one from ebay for about $30. Not to mention, if I get the meter it's another step I have to learn and do right. If there is something I can add to soil that balances ph whether it needs to go up or down that's what I would like to do. Is there anything out there that eases ph into a neutral direction either way your soil needs to go? I've read a little and it seems like everything is specific to the direction you need your ph to go but I thought I'd ask just in case there is something. I'm trying not to overfeed the plant and cause a lockout or burn and I go ahead and spray with neem oil every 5 days to keep bugs and mold honest. So at this point the only thing I feel I can run into is a ph problem that causes a lockout and that's what I'm trying to avoid.
  2. in outdoor soil grows most folks use dolomite lime to help with ph.
  3. I don't understand what lime does but it sounds like it brings ph down. I read this about lime and ph and while I'm not sure I understand it it sounds like adding lime with water would bring ph down but slowly and that I need to know what my ph is before taking it in that direction.

    After reading more it sounds like you really have to know what your ph is before you can decide which way you need it to go, which makes sense. Right now I figure my ph is probably ok if there was just something I could add to keep it that way for another month or so.

  4. By the way, is there a link or something anyone has that tells me how to post pics on this site? I've looked and can't find instructions.

  5. Just upload the pic on the web example-
    and then click on the insert image button while writing a post and add the link to the pic
  6. As Growbot said , dolomite lime can be added prior to planting to help buffer the PH of the soil, there is no magic bullet

    you need to get a handel on the ph using a meter or a chemy test kit

    if you PH correct all water , ferts and flush water then everything that goes in is 6.5 then your have no worries
  7. I'm going to a pet store and finding a ph test kit.

    How do you ph correct water with ferts added- add nutes a little at a time and take readings then add something to take it up or down depending on the reading?
  8. mix the ferts to the strength your plants are PH correct this solution to the Optimum range of 6.5-6.8 using ph corrector solution PH UP (potassium based products are best for PHup as our plants use potassium) baking soda is ONLY FOR EMERGENCY ......the salts will buildup causing new issues, its far to salty.....taste it
  9. I'm back and I have the test. My water looks to be 7.0-7.2. So just to get the water to 6.6-6.8 would require ph down, right?

    My nutes change the color of my water drastically. My potassium almost turns the water purple. If I mix nutes in with the water there would be no way to use the color chart to know my ph, would there?

    Also, on a side note, I remember reading somewhere that in soil if you want your plant to have water/nutes as 6.5-6.8 you would need to give it .5 higher ph.. That is, water or nutes that actually measure to 7.0-7.3. Is that right?

  10. Always 6.5 - 6.8 PH going in the pots, no matter what it is

    mix your nutes measure the PH of this.......adjust accordingly, usually PHup, when mixing ferts

    your tap water will require a few drops of PH down to get to 6.5 - 6.8 PH optimum range, as metropolitan water is generally alkaline
  11. I got some pics I'll post tomorrow. Definitely something going on that needs correcting.

    I still don't understand how I'll be able to measure ph by the color chart on the test kit I got from the aquarium store. When I mix my nutes the water color is what the nitrogen(fish emulsion), guano power(dirty brown), and potassium(purple) make it. It doesn't seem like I will be able to read the ph since I'm not starting out with clear water as when I'm just testing water. I'll try it though.
  12. yeah I see your problem, with that type of ferts ( you will need a ph meter), and if thats all your using for ferts you may infact run into micronute issues
  13. I'm testing to see if I can upload some pics.

    Upper budsite showing some kind of leaf twisting

    Leaves showing possible deficiencies or lockouts



    Pics of a lower budsite showing more of the mangled leaf twisting



    I guess you have to click the link to see the pics. Why don't mine upload to the thread?

    If I need a ph meter then I need a ph meter. I will find one somewhere especially if it's the difference between a healthy plant or a dying one.
  14. you MUST get the meter, & you must begin balancing your PH, your plants PH is out of whack, the PH spotting is evident, & its from the fish emulsion, which is extremely acidic,

    complete a soil runoff PH your PH runoff
    with PH corrected water (6.5-6.8PH ) pour enough water in the pots so the water runs out the bottom of the pot ...test the PH of this water....
    If the PH reading is out of optimum range 6.5-6.8 PH, you need to flush your plant.
    Flush with PH corrected water, till in optimum PH range, 3 times the volume of the pots rule of thumb but may require much more flushing if the rootball is thick & sour
    EG: 1 gal pot = 3 gal. flush
  15. So I'm trying to wash all the acid out of the soil and from here on water with ph corrected nutes?
  16. i dont know till you do the test! whats the run off ph
  17. GG, did the run off test and surprisingly my ph was not out of whack. Water in was ph corrected to 6.5-6.8, water coming out in three runoffs was around 6.5, definitely not below 6.0. I don't what to think. Is it possible that I've really underfed the plant and it is showing? I know I've sounded like I really feed a lot but I actually go pretty light. My pics show what looks like ph problems but if my ph is off, it's not off by much. The sweltering heat, not enough water, and perhaps too little food might be the problem? I will be using ph corrected water going forward and for the next few waterings using enough water to get a lot of drainage out just to help clean her up a little and definitely a little more nutes. I'll do another run off test in a few days to see if I made a mistake.

    Thanks again.
  18. good to know, its possible that the soil has leeched its self fro watering , espescially if you are using very little

    which brings a point up..... I told you fish emulsion is very acidic, and you do have some spotting on ntirgen defecient leaves

    if you feed full strenght I fear your plants will end up looking like so many others here that used it including CERTAIN to ph balance before you feed and Id feed 1 only....... I really dont trust fish emulsion
  19. What do you mean by "feed 1 only"?

    I think I misled everyone when I said fish emulsion. The first ingredient is fish meal but it has lots of other ingredients. Until yesterday I didn't realize there are products that are almost purely fish, which mine is not. I was just saying fish meal and probably didn't realize there's a difference.

    Should I cut off the lower leaves that are yellow and won't recover?

  20. yes remove the bottom damaged leaves

    I thought you had more than one plant, seriously since your new at this Id like you to be just as sucessfull just as you do, maybe even more so.

    juggling unkown ferts is a gamble, do they have all the micro & macro nutes the plant requires & in the correct amounts, I dont know what your NPK's are whats for budding?

    here's a thought, get these ferts, balance your PH of everything that goes in the pots, follow the feeding regiments and amounts I recommend, lets get you some buds, then next goround try experimenting your way.

    Vegatative cycle fertilizer
    Miracle-Gro® Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food (they make several fertilizers be sure its this one)
    Fertilizer Analysis: 24-8-16 with micronutrients
    2 level "Teaspoons" per gallon of water, (reduce this by 50% first time application) use this as your water, feed every other watering till flowering

    Flowering cycle
    I recommend Fertilome, Root Stimulator and plant starter....
    the NPK is perfect: 4-10-6
    2 teaspoons per gallon of water every other watering........ use this as your water ...discontinue use 3-4 weeks prior to harvest...flush last 2 weeks...I also like to add 1 tablespoon of unsulphured molasses to the last gallon of the flush......thats it no more water .....

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