High PH and ensuing nute issues-Organic

Nwtexan

Well-Known Member
Hello,

Along the arc of my first grow in a long time has been an unfolding understanding(much thanks to this forum) of an organic approach. i started with a decent soil and some amendments. About a month back I posted about how to amend to prepare for bloom. I got some great info from a bunch of folks including @Richard Drysift .
I used his recipe for a bloom amendment, including EWC, kelp meal, fish bone meal, and dr earth flower girl. I've been doing a EWC, molasses and kelp meal AACT about once a week. At about 2 weeks into Bloom i added 2 JOBe organic sticks per pot.

They plants are in an 7G fabric pots. Watering with well water that is around 7.2, low mineral content. I'm finding myself watering almost every day.

Plants are growing well, a little stretchy, but looking healthy. Nice healthy bud development. About 5-6 days ago I started noticing some spots on my G13. This was similar to some earlier issues I had. I was getting brown tips on fan leaves, and then spots throughout them. This was throughout the canopy. To my untrained eye it looked a little like some kind of magnesium/calcium issue.

I checked the PH in the saucer after watering, and it was around 7.8! This was quite a bit higher than the other 2(both GSC) I know that with a healthy soil you shouldn't have to adjust the PH; that the soil ecosystem will take care of it, but I am thinking that this imbalance is causing the nute lockout, and would like to find a way to correct it.

What is the best organic approach to address this? IMG_0398.JPGIMG_0399.JPG
 

Herb & Suds

Well-Known Member
It looks like a too much all the time issue
That and someone who stares at plants syndrome
Why and how are you checking your ph in soil and will you be "flushing " soon?
Hope you survived the failures by politicos in Texas

Google KISS method, good luck
 

Nwtexan

Well-Known Member
Im
It looks like a too much all the time issue
That and someone who stares at plants syndrome
Why and how are you checking your ph in soil and will you be "flushing " soon?
Hope you survived the failures by politicos in Texas

Google KISS method, good luck
Im thankfully not in Texas.
All of the moves I made were on the suggestion of the forum, particularly Richard. I didn't do anything rash or over the top, but culled a bunch of advise and did my best to follow it!
I am not planning on flushing. I only checked PH when I noticed that there was some weird stuff happening with the leaves. I checked the run-off, which I have periodically done. This plant was potted in a mix of OF and some Black gold organic when I ran out of the Ocean Forest. The runoff has always tested a little higher than the other plants.

I do like to look at the plants, but I'm pretty mellow with doing stuff. The things I'm trying are based on listening to other folks who have more experience than me.
 

green_machine_two9er

Well-Known Member
Hey there Texan. Don’t be disheartened by cynical and sarcastic responses.

your post was informative and I think your issue is completely over feeding. A tea once a week is overkill.

spikes Are not advisable... it’s like not trusting in the process. If you amend and properly top dress the plant she can find exactly what she needs exactly when she needs it. No need to forcibly inject ahit of high strength spikes or layers. That’s all crazy to me.

The best advice I can give ya is feed your soil. And stop feeding your plant.

for now.... no more teas. Just water.
There is a product called recharge tha I like for situations like yours. Just a super pack microbes innoculant. Can balance lockout due to excess nutrients or ph imbalances.

or again just water and time. Hell if you could dig up your spikes that be my first step to stopping further damage.
 

Southernontariogrower

Well-Known Member
Id try a feed at lower ph, 5.4 is a good treat for ladies if ph too high only my opinion. Damn good advice getting rid of sticks fast. If organic anal, vinnegar works as ph down. Citric acid too, bulk store. Cheaper too.
 

Nwtexan

Well-Known Member
Hey there Texan. Don’t be disheartened by cynical and sarcastic responses.

your post was informative and I think your issue is completely over feeding. A tea once a week is overkill.

spikes Are not advisable... it’s like not trusting in the process. If you amend and properly top dress the plant she can find exactly what she needs exactly when she needs it. No need to forcibly inject ahit of high strength spikes or layers. That’s all crazy to me.

The best advice I can give ya is feed your soil. And stop feeding your plant.

for now.... no more teas. Just water.
There is a product called recharge tha I like for situations like yours. Just a super pack microbes innoculant. Can balance lockout due to excess nutrients or ph imbalances.

or again just water and time. Hell if you could dig up your spikes that be my first step to stopping further damage.
I do have some recharge. I’ll try watering with that for now. I get the feed the soil thought- just trying to fine tune how that manifests. In this grow I started out with bagged soil thinking I was gonna use bottled mutes. As I read up, I moved towards this direction. Because it was midstream I was doing a bit of scrambling to keep it together.

I’ve actually been really happy with the results so far, just trying to gather knowledge and keep everything on track until the end of this first round.

Thanks for the help
 

Nwtexan

Well-Known Member
Id try a feed at lower ph, 5.4 is a good treat for ladies if ph too high only my opinion. Damn good advice getting rid of sticks fast. If organic anal, vinnegar works as ph down. Citric acid too, bulk store. Cheaper too.
I was wondering on addressing ph. I’m gonna see what happens with simple water with a bit of recharge. Plants are mostly looking good, as long as I can stop this lleaf issue
 

green_machine_two9er

Well-Known Member
I know how good the castings are, what would your thinking be in adding some now? Thanks for the luck. I'm sure I need a bit
For starters in fabric pots your already fighting water retention issues. Highly amended organic soil needs moisture levels which are hard to maintain and the thick layer of castings will help slightly in creating a moisture lock. Secondly instant and slow release nutrients, typically with Calcium which should be thought of as a macro if you ask me.
Third beneficials- fresher the better. From beneficials insects to bacteria.
I typically top with castings 2-3 times during whole cycle. Typically if top dressing amendments as well I cover my amendments with the castings.
 

Southernontariogrower

Well-Known Member
worm castings are numer 1, check out Labs on youtube, i found it bennificial if organic, you can drink it at same dose for plants, good for stomach its a probiotic. 5ml per gallon. Lactic acid bacteriums. Cheap way to insure plants against disease or bad microbes.
 

waktoo

Well-Known Member
I checked the PH in the saucer after watering, and it was around 7.8! This was quite a bit higher than the other 2(both GSC) I know that with a healthy soil you shouldn't have to adjust the PH; that the soil ecosystem will take care of it, but I am thinking that this imbalance is causing the nute lockout, and would like to find a way to correct it.

View attachment 4833520View attachment 4833521
This is an old wives tale, an often-times regurgitated (and never supported) proclamation based in bro-science, and nothing more.

Alkaline irrigation water can have detrimental affect on soil pH over time. Growing in smaller pots (low soil volume) exacerbates this effect. This is a well known fact in the greenhouse/nursery (horticulture) industry. It is one of the four main criteria by which soilless container mixes are designed and built. Soil organic matter "buffers" soil acidity, not alkalinity. Every time you water, you add liquid "lime" to the soil. On top of whatever "liming" material you've added to your mix, hydrogen in the soil solution is slowly and consistently being neutralized, rather than "buffered". As a result, soil pH rises and eventually reaches a point where soluble nutrient ions begin to precipitate out of solution, becoming unavailable for plant adsorption.

Micro-nutrient availability is especially affected by pH and soil organic matter levels. Especially relevant are iron, zinc, copper, and manganese. These cations are not only highly subject to precipitation reactions in the soil solution when pH gets out or range (generally above 6.5), they bind very tightly to the carboxyl groups present in SOM that provide the grand majority of the cation exchange sites in these soilless mixes that we build. As there are insufficient levels of dissolved hydrogen in the soil solution at higher pH levels (due to too much added lime and/or alkaline irrigation water), they cannot be exchanged for, stay bound to the CEC, and out of the soil solution.

One may think, "high levels of micro-nutrients aren't needed by plants". This is partially true. But in living soil, where nutrient availability is completely driven by microbial nutrient cycling (in part by way of the enzymes that they produce), it's my humble opinion that they are crucial to the nutrient cycling process, as they serve as co-factors that catalyse biochemical enzymatic reactions. You can add stuff like Recharge or use compost teas all day long. If there are insufficient levels of dissolved trace elements/micro-nutrients available in the soil solution due to an imbalanced soil chemistry (pH primarily), the enzymes produced by microbes don't function properly. And they are just as important to intracellular reactions once/if taken up by the plant.


I'm including a white paper relevant to the use of compost and lime in SPM based soilless mixes. While the "recipe" in this soilless mix isn't exactly what we're mixing up, it's the closest example I've been able to find. What it demonstrates is the strength of the "buffering" effect that compost can have on the pH of the soil, and how very little lime is actually needed to reach a desired pH range suitable for the plant being grown in it, which is another one of the aforementioned criteria considered in the greenhouse/nursery production of soilless container mixes. To lend some context to the lime application rates used in the study provided, 1g/liter is almost exactly equal to 1 oz./cubic foot. For shits and giggles let's assume that our "1c/cubic foot" of lime weights somewhere around 8 oz.

It also demonstrates the completely arbitrary nature of liming "compost" based soilless mixes by volume (1c/cubic foot of base mix). There isn't a single example in horticulture or agriculture literature that applies lime based upon volume. It's always applied by weight. How much does a cup of lime weight? It depends greatly upon the material (OSF vs. dolomite vs. "crustacean" meal, for example), it's actual carbonate content, and the particulate range of the grind. A liming material's "reactivity" depends greatly upon how finely it's ground. I hope that folks can also recognize the high degree of chemical variability that is present in one compost compared to the next, and even from batch to batch provided by the same source. To demonstrate the arbitrary nature of measuring "liming" materials by volume, instead of weight, check of this PDF provided by BAS. Compare OSF/crustacean meal/standard dolomite/prilled dolomite/Ag' lime to each other. Also refer to the attached Sun Gro PDF peat and liming...

The "one size fit's all" Coot's mix, or any of it's variants, simply doesn't. It doesn't account for alkaline irrigation water, and it doesn't account for the highly variable chemical nature of compost (or VC) in general. As individual gardeners building/sourcing our own composts, I think it's high time that we start questioning the whole "1c/cubit foot of lime" paradigm that we've all accepted as "gospel truth".

I could be wrong though.... ;)
 

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Nwtexan

Well-Known Member
This is an old wives tale, an often-times regurgitated (and never supported) proclamation based in bro-science, and nothing more.

Alkaline irrigation water can have detrimental affect on soil pH over time. Growing in smaller pots (low soil volume) exacerbates this effect. This is a well known fact in the greenhouse/nursery (horticulture) industry. It is one of the four main criteria by which soilless container mixes are designed and built. Soil organic matter "buffers" soil acidity, not alkalinity. Every time you water, you add liquid "lime" to the soil. On top of whatever "liming" material you've added to your mix, hydrogen in the soil solution is slowly and consistently being neutralized, rather than "buffered". As a result, soil pH rises and eventually reaches a point where soluble nutrient ions begin to precipitate out of solution, becoming unavailable for plant adsorption.

Micro-nutrient availability is especially affected by pH and soil organic matter levels. Especially relevant are iron, zinc, copper, and manganese. These cations are not only highly subject to precipitation reactions in the soil solution when pH gets out or range (generally above 6.5), they bind very tightly to the carboxyl groups present in SOM that provide the grand majority of the cation exchange sites in these soilless mixes that we build. As there are insufficient levels of dissolved hydrogen in the soil solution at higher pH levels (due to too much added lime and/or alkaline irrigation water), they cannot be exchanged for, stay bound to the CEC, and out of the soil solution.

One may think, "high levels of micro-nutrients aren't needed by plants". This is partially true. But in living soil, where nutrient availability is completely driven by microbial nutrient cycling (in part by way of the enzymes that they produce), it's my humble opinion that they are crucial to the nutrient cycling process, as they serve as co-factors that catalyse biochemical enzymatic reactions. You can add stuff like Recharge or use compost teas all day long. If there are insufficient levels of dissolved trace elements/micro-nutrients available in the soil solution due to an imbalanced soil chemistry (pH primarily), the enzymes produced by microbes don't function properly. And they are just as important to intracellular reactions once/if taken up by the plant.


I'm including a white paper relevant to the use of compost and lime in SPM based soilless mixes. While the "recipe" in this soilless mix isn't exactly what we're mixing up, it's the closest example I've been able to find. What it demonstrates is the strength of the "buffering" effect that compost can have on the pH of the soil, and how very little lime is actually needed to reach a desired pH range suitable for the plant being grown in it, which is another one of the aforementioned criteria considered in the greenhouse/nursery production of soilless container mixes. To lend some context to the lime application rates used in the study provided, 1g/liter is almost exactly equal to 1 oz./cubic foot. For shits and giggles let's assume that our "1c/cubic foot" of lime weights somewhere around 8 oz.

It also demonstrates the completely arbitrary nature of liming "compost" based soilless mixes by volume (1c/cubic foot of base mix). There isn't a single example in horticulture or agriculture literature that applies lime based upon volume. It's always applied by weight. How much does a cup of lime weight? It depends greatly upon the material (OSF vs. dolomite vs. "crustacean" meal, for example), it's actual carbonate content, and the particulate range of the grind. A liming material's "reactivity" depends greatly upon how finely it's ground. I hope that folks can also recognize the high degree of chemical variability that is present in one compost compared to the next, and even from batch to batch provided by the same source. To demonstrate the arbitrary nature of measuring "liming" materials by volume, instead of weight, check of this PDF provided by BAS. Compare OSF/crustacean meal/standard dolomite/prilled dolomite/Ag' lime to each other. Also refer to the attached Sun Gro PDF peat and liming...

The "one size fit's all" Coot's mix, or any of it's variants, simply doesn't. It doesn't account for alkaline irrigation water, and it doesn't account for the highly variable chemical nature of compost (or VC) in general. As individual gardeners building/sourcing our own composts, I think it's high time that we start questioning the whole "1c/cubit foot of lime" paradigm that we've all accepted as "gospel truth".

I could be wrong though.... ;)
Wow! I'll do some reading. Layers of understanding at each turn. Give me a couple of days. Thanks for sending
 

Nwtexan

Well-Known Member
If you are growing indoors, you should not be watering a 7G pot of soil every day. Every 2 days sure during peak. Not every day. I grow as big a plant as I can in 7 or 10G and every day is too much ime. Water slowly and completely then dry out a few days, repeat.
I am watering pretty thoroughly. I have a water wand that i do an initial pass for each pot and then come back and do a thorough soak. I get some runoff, but try to water just beneath that. My soil feels barely damp down a couple of inches by the next morning.
 

Richard Drysift

Well-Known Member
Im

Im thankfully not in Texas.
All of the moves I made were on the suggestion of the forum, particularly Richard. I didn't do anything rash or over the top, but culled a bunch of advise and did my best to follow it!
I am not planning on flushing. I only checked PH when I noticed that there was some weird stuff happening with the leaves. I checked the run-off, which I have periodically done. This plant was potted in a mix of OF and some Black gold organic when I ran out of the Ocean Forest. The runoff has always tested a little higher than the other plants.

I do like to look at the plants, but I'm pretty mellow with doing stuff. The things I'm trying are based on listening to other folks who have more experience than me.
I’ve had the very same rust spots and burnt edges; sorry did not see this before. I believe your instincts are correct and it’s related to cal/mag. It’s actually not easy to provide soluble forms of calcium; I was using organic cal/mag until I started putting a lot of eggshells in my worm bin. They literally take years to break down and become available.
So the fast & easy fix is an organic calmag like general organics cal/mag plus; will go to work right away but then you will need to continue to add it periodically if your water source is lacking mineral content.
An old school organic fix is to bubble 1 cup of either D-lime or Epsom salts for an hour or so in a gallon of water. This can alter the ph somewhat more alkaline but that could also get at the source of the problem.
Lime the soil after this run and put some crushed oyster shell flour in the container just under the root ball the help buffer ph. The more pulverized it is the better for buffering and fast break down. One other thing that helped me avoid calmag rust was to add garden gypsum in the about the same quantity as lime. That and a fuck load of composted eggshells...
 
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Richard Drysift

Well-Known Member
I am watering pretty thoroughly. I have a water wand that i do an initial pass for each pot and then come back and do a thorough soak. I get some runoff, but try to water just beneath that. My soil feels barely damp down a couple of inches by the next morning.
Adding something like vermiculite as a soil conditioner can help retain moisture while also reducing compaction. Of course you gotta do it when you build your mix; it’s kinda too late once there are plants growing. Do you mulch the top layer of your containers?
 

Nwtexan

Well-Known Member
Adding something like vermiculite as a soil conditioner can help retain moisture while also reducing compaction. Of course you gotta do it when you build your mix; it’s kinda too late once there are plants growing. Do you mulch the top layer of your containers?
I do not have a mulch layer on my pots. I started this grow with not much organic knowledge(my mom was into it when i was a kid), started with some bagged soil and a couple of additions. I have been learning very quickly about how people do it.

What do you mulch with?

I am just about to make soil for my second run and am taking a stab at a Coots style mix. I can definitely throw some vermiculite in there as well.
 

Nwtexan

Well-Known Member
I’ve had the very same rust spots and burnt edges; sorry did not see this before. I believe your instincts are correct and it’s related to cal/mag. It’s actually not easy to provide soluble forms of calcium; I was using organic cal/mag until I started putting a lot of eggshells in my worm bin. They literally take years to break down and become available.
So the fast & easy fix is an organic calmag like general organics cal/mag plus; will go to work right away but then you will need to continue to add it periodically if your water source is lacking mineral content.
An old school organic fix is to bubble 1 cup of either D-lime or Epsom salts for an hour or so in a gallon of water. This can alter the ph somewhat more alkaline but that could also get at the source of the problem.
Lime the soil after this run and put some crushed oyster shell flour in the container just under the root ball the help buffer ph. The more pulverized it is the better for buffering and fast break down. One other thing that helped me avoid calmag rust was to add garden gypsum in the about the same quantity as lime. That and a fuck load of composted eggshells...
I can get some organic cal-mag for now. Good thing is that we have chickens, so we have a good deal of eggshells.

I actually added some dolomite as a top dress about a month ago. Would you actually add lime in addition to the oyster shell flour that I will be adding to my next soil mix?
 

Nwtexan

Well-Known Member
I’ve had the very same rust spots and burnt edges; sorry did not see this before. I believe your instincts are correct and it’s related to cal/mag. It’s actually not easy to provide soluble forms of calcium; I was using organic cal/mag until I started putting a lot of eggshells in my worm bin. They literally take years to break down and become available.
So the fast & easy fix is an organic calmag like general organics cal/mag plus; will go to work right away but then you will need to continue to add it periodically if your water source is lacking mineral content.
An old school organic fix is to bubble 1 cup of either D-lime or Epsom salts for an hour or so in a gallon of water. This can alter the ph somewhat more alkaline but that could also get at the source of the problem.
Lime the soil after this run and put some crushed oyster shell flour in the container just under the root ball the help buffer ph. The more pulverized it is the better for buffering and fast break down. One other thing that helped me avoid calmag rust was to add garden gypsum in the about the same quantity as lime. That and a fuck load of composted eggshells...
So, your thoughts are that the 7.8ph i measured with runoff is not causing a lockout? I can definitely go the calmag route. I was using non organic calmag initially to bring my very soft water up to a 150ppm level. There seems to be a pretty big divide between the hands off organic route, and the more "scientific" meters and potions route. I like the science part, and i like the idea of trusting nature. I guess I'm trying to find my tack
 
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