Discussion in 'Growing Organic Marijuana' started by Dseb0127, Jun 8, 2019.

  1. I’ve been reading that in a truly organic live soil where you’re microbes and all are feeding you’re plants at the rhizome that you don’t need to and shouldn’t try to adjust soil ph because some of the microbes enjoy different ph levels and will adjust their zones to how they like it also there’s no way you can have nute lockout because as long as there is a healthy symbiotic relationship at the rhizome the plants get exactly what they ask for from the microbes at anytime. Then of course there are other sites that say you still have to. Thankfully we have forums for this problem. Can anyone provide clarity on this? If it is true does it include your water or would you still want to check ph on water regardless?
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  2. No need to ph anything. A properly amended soil will buffer against ph swings. The battery on my ph meter died years ago and had never been replaced, theres no need for it.
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  3. Thank you just wanted to make sure as I found conflicting articles. I knew GC would set me straight.
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  4. You should know what your waters PH is so you can adjust your soil blend to compensate for out of range water PH.

    For example my city hose water runs a steady 8.5 PH. Not ideal by any stretch of the imagination. So to compensate I omit any Lime and run with a tablespoon of Sulfur dust per Cubic foot of soil.
    I re-amend with more sulfur and Chicken manure once a year.

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  5. I have not ph'd anything for over 5 years, sometimes I water with rainwater and sometimes well water, I don't notice any difference in how the plants react, as long as I keep the soil evenly moist, no drying out or over watering/flushing.
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  6. I’m just trying to get this 100% right, so bear with me. Killset is saying, a properly amended soil will buffer ph swings. You’re concurring, but adding that to properly amend the soil it’s important to know your water source ph so you can figure out whether to amend with lime or sulfur accordingly to help your soil microbes with ph swings if you know you’re going to be on one extreme or the other with your waters ph? Basically yes it will but if your waters too high or too low ph give the soil a proper amendment to give it a little help?
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  7. Rhizomes? Are we talking about Cannabis?

    My water comes from 330 feet down in the aquifer.
    I've ne'er tested the PH; I guess I should.
    BrassNwood already convinced me to
    NEEM my outdoor plants... and I'm on the way to get fresh BT.
    Maybe they have litmus paper at the hardware store....
    I must learn to learn.
  8. This was actually another question of mine as I have well water and am switching to rain water from now on and was wondering if I’d need to check it. Sounds like no unless there’s an unexplained problem that leans towards ph. That’s another thing I have to remember. No runoff. Keep those microbes in the soil.
  9. I didn’t expect everyone to agree on this 100% I know everyone does their own thing and what works for you may not for others and all I was just wondering if there was any truth to this reading. Sounds like there is I guess I’ll just have to conduct my own experiments to really know for sure what will work in my specific conditions. I’m just going to build a strong no till soil and do just that, water with rain water and see how it goes. Throwing a couple bagseeds down to experiment with my new organic goodies before going feminized. Anyone feel free to say I told you so if you see me down the line with ph issues lol
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  10. @Dseb0127 i'll try to set you straight on this subject because you're trying to start out right. there are some very important nuances to keep factually straight about pH in organic gardening. i promise to keep it short and succinct.

    you're #1, non-negotiable priority right now should be to read about 'cation exchange capacity' (CEC). read it till your eyes bleed and you can recite the meaning even while heavily mediacted. it is without a doubt the single most important thing you will ever place in your knowledge kit bag when it comes to organic container gardening.

    #2, soil pH does in fact matter especially so with organic gardening. yes water pH is important but only up to the point in it's ability to resist change (you gotta read about CEC) and you have to understand the role carbonates play in the chemical soup that is going on inside your plant's container. this can not be over emphasized imo.

    #3, how soil pH is managed in organic gardening revolves around soil organic matter (SOM), and the quality of the SOM is what will 'manage soil pH' such that it has produced the misnomer "pH doesn't matter in organics" or any variation on that phrase. it is absolutely 100% INaccurate to make that statement and i for one of many growers have seen way, way, too many organic gardens fail due to fluctuating soil pH due to falling under the premise that "pH doesnt matter in organics". that is absolutely ignorant and BS. pH matters! how it's managed is the key to understanding what makes success or failure...ime anyway.

    #4, when searching the internet for much desired info on soil chemistry, CEC, or anything to do with growing plants IN A CONTAINER (not open field agriculture), limit your reading to the .edu domains. that's where the published science resides versus getting your information from a .com site. go to where the academics post - educational domains, i.e. the .edu domains.

    just dont forget: with organic gardening pH does in fact "matter" but how it is effortlessly managed is with quality SOM and a thorough understanding of soil chemistry and and most importantly understanding CEC.

    best to you!
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  11. This is the answer I was looking for! Thank you. I just barely started chipping away at the tip of the CEC iceberg last night when I looked into biochar. This rabbit hole is gonna go deep but I can tell it’s the right way to go. Thanks for the info on reading .edu domains this should help me wasting time reading more misinformation. Well back to reading I go. Thank you.
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  12. Exactly. I actually did nothing for the first 2 years but eventually all that high PH water I was using started to push my soil to the Alkaline side of things and I was seeing classic out of PH range issues on my grow. I started adding sulfur and in short order things turned around and everybody improved so I kept on with that routine.

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  13. try these two links. there has been a lot of effort over the past decade compiling this info:

    Organic Higher Learning Resources

    Organic Growers Sticky Library

    and even this quality info should be vetted. check and verify.

    let me also add this. if we want to understand water quality (and light quality), a very rarely checked source of accurate information can be found in the area of aquarium enthusiasts. water and light are the two things that aquarium people are the most concerned about. these are really big issues for that hobby. and i'm talking about large, living reef type aquariums, not those aquariums that hold a couple of guppies and a few goldfish.

    and second, commercial greenhouse operations is what most closely relates to indoor cannabis gardens whether they use salts for fertilization or organic practices. never will there be more accurate descriptions on how to grow a plant in a container under artificial conditions than those generated by commercial greenhouse operations.

    these two areas are worth your while if you're trying to successfully grow cannabis. at least ime anyway. just sharing my experience. others mileage may vary (OMMV).
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  14. Thanks for the links I’ll definitely read these.
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  15. ^This
    Bottom line, PH does matter but if you have quality Organic matter and lots of it in your soil and unless your tap is considerably out of whack you shouldnt need to worry about it.
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  16. That’s the conclusion I drew. PH is very important even in organic growing however by providing high CEC and high quality SOM you can have a soil that will resist the PH buffer on its own. Just make sure you’re not throwing an extreme one way or the other. That really cleared up that issue I can see where the misinformation starts in this. Always good to have it broken down by a couple people who know what they’re talking about. Thank you
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  17. Thanks again for these links I can’t believe all this info in here. Right when I thought I had a slight grasp there’s goes the rug lol I’ll be buried in this for awhile.
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  18. @Dseb0127 I'm not sure how if this part of your question was clearly answered, but once you check and know what your rainwater pH is, you shouldn't have to check everytime. Just verify every once in a while that nothing has changed. I would also preemptively check after unusual weather events and seasonal changes. While I was at it, I would check the well/tap water, just to know where its at, in case you need to go that way in a pinch.
    Love your attitude and enthusiasm.
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  19. Will definitely take note of this thank you!
  20. #20 Possuum, Jun 8, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
    you drew a correct conclusion. some may say what i suggest is semantics. i say words matter.

    when you can focus your mind down to the atomic level, the ionic level, and grasp the significance of all the +'s and -'s comingling in the enclosed container the word "chemistry" in the phrase 'soil chemistry' should create an aha moment. the charged ions (+/-) are going to do their thing based on the rules of chemistry; opposites attract and same repel. then we add in the variables of each element and its ionic form (chemical formula) and we begin to see how important balance becomes. too many cations the ph goes up. too many anions the ph goes down.

    since all the major and minor macro nutrients are largely cations, without a proper balance of anions we'd see ph swing basic (rise). the beauty of SOM is that it is largely negatively charged and therefore, based on the rules of chemistry, it will attract positively charged elements. now, besides beauty SOM also has the unique ability to ADsorb these cations (+'s) to not only effectively neutralize their ability to affect pH but also to make them available for root ABsorption because these cations are lying harmlessly on the soil and clay particles of the SOM. ADsorption and ABsorption are two completely different things.

    that's what CEC measures and reports on; what is the medium's ability to attract and retain cations until such time the pool of anions is exhausted. the higher the CEC value the more stable the medium pH will be.

    that's the 50,000 foot view. there's a lot to be thought about as it relates to each elements cycle of degradation and what elements do when they combine together - cal/mag is always a favorite for spirited discussion, and add in that old pesky pH thing and the chemical soup can get pretty complicated if just trying to grow with a little kentucky windage and hope. there's a little bit of basic science required. same with other methods of growing where the window of mistakes is much narrower as the mediums grown in have little or no CEC and managing pH becomes more of a scientific requirement for nutrient management.

    once you grasp these foundational facts and build from there you'll be golden right out of the gate. keep it simple.
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