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Water pH Control

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Water pH Control

Post  tumtumsback on 2/4/2014, 3:27 pm

Hey all,

Making a new thread because I could not find an answer to my specific question in the preexisting threads

The water coming out of my hose is ~5.0 pH -- I think I want a pH between 6.3 and 6.8 (confirmation on this would be great), and I want to attain this level via an ORGANIC SOLUTION.

I have found people saying that using Baking Soda is an easy way to increase alkalinity. I have also found people saying that this is true, but that Baking Soda is a BAD IDEA!

I continued doing research and haven't found anyone saying anything bad about Potassium Bicarbonate, and I haven't found anyone saying anything bad about Dolomite Lime.

I am wondering if anyone can recommend which of the two (Potassium Bicarbonate vs. Dolomite Lime) that I should use to raise the pH of my water.

I have a 32 Gallon Trashcan that I am going to be using as a water reservoir, and want to get a perfect pH mixture in this reservoir before watering my plants.

Any help would be greatly appreciated --  thanks
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Re: Water pH Control

Post  camprn on 2/4/2014, 6:16 pm

That pH is not bad actually. It could be a lot worse. Typically these days rain has a pH around 5.3.

Are you seeing problems in your garden that your pH is off? Have you tested your growing mix for pH & nutrients.

http://www.chemistry.wustl.edu/~edudev/LabTutorials/Water/FreshWater/acidrain.html


To correct household water pH I would assume an I line product would be best, giving consistent correction results.

http://www.plumbingsupply.com/neutral.html

http://www.ewateronline.net/services/ph-neutralizer-systems.aspx

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Re: Water pH Control

Post  tumtumsback on 2/4/2014, 6:54 pm

Camprn,

Check out this link: The Effects of Water pH on Plant Growth

From what I've read, plants have a harder time absorbing nutrients from the water when the pH of the water is too acidic.

"Many of the elements most used by plants in their growth are less available when the pH is in the acid range, below 6..."

Also, from what I've read, if you start with soil that is a pH of 6.3-6.8, you should continue to water the soil with water that is in the same pH range:

"When you measure the pH of your soil, you are actually measuring the pH of the moisture it holds, which is affected by the soil particles and microorganisms. Of course, the pH of the water you apply will affect this also. The pH does have an effect on plant growth."


...Thoughts?
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Re: Water pH Control

Post  camprn on 2/4/2014, 7:26 pm

Interesting, but you must remember it is a balance of many things not just the water, not just the growing medium.

This is one of the better explanations of pH. I would certainly encourage you to perhaps contact your local Cooperative Extension Service Agriculture agent before making modifications that could have terrible consequences.

http://gardenrant.com/?guest_post=please-stop-liming-your-soil-based-on-the-ph

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Re: Water pH Control

Post  Marc Iverson on 2/4/2014, 9:10 pm

There are charts out there that show at what pH different nutrients start to be less and less easily absorbed. So it's not only an acidic soil that makes some nutrients hard to absorb; alkaline soils can do that too. What's more, different nutrients behave very differently. Some absorb more easily, not less, in acid vs alkaline soil, and vice-versa. All have a range at which they are most easily absorbed, and that range may have no relation to the range at which another chemical is absorbed.

Unfortunately, that means you have to check chemical by chemical for ideal absorption rates. Fortunately, it means that you do have some flexibility with many chemicals and don't have to hit your pH level right on the nose to still get a fair amount of absorption. Good soil can cover a pH range rather than being something you have to nail precisely.
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Re: Water pH Control

Post  sanderson on 2/4/2014, 10:28 pm

Camp, That was a good article.
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Re: Water pH Control

Post  tumtumsback on 2/22/2014, 10:52 am

Ughhh I am just so scared to be putting my well water on these plants.. Check out these pH tests from:

1.) the water coming out of my faucet [THIS IS WHAT I MIGHT HAVE TO USE]
2.) a standard bottle of aquafina [USING THIS AS A "COMMON GROUND"]
3.) the water coming out of my 5 gallon water dispenser (pretty darn alkaline) that I have to mix with the water coming out of my faucet [THIS IS WHAT I'VE BEEN USING]







Of these three different pH colors, what would YOU use?!
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Re: Water pH Control

Post  camprn on 2/22/2014, 11:02 am

Have you considered an inline pH correction system?
http://www.plumbingsupply.com/neutral.html

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Re: Water pH Control

Post  boffer on 2/22/2014, 11:19 am

Have you considered a rain collection/storage system?
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Re: Water pH Control

Post  camprn on 2/22/2014, 11:56 am

@boffer wrote:Have you considered a rain collection/storage system?
Good idea!! It may also be a good idea to do a bit of research regarding the acid level of rain in your region. http://www.epa.gov/acidrain/where/

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Re: Water pH Control

Post  tumtumsback on 2/22/2014, 1:31 pm

Ew -- 4.2 - 4.4 for my area Sad
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Re: Water pH Control

Post  Turan on 2/22/2014, 2:25 pm

Pick the green one. That is 7, nuetral, not alkaline nor acidic. With the general accuracy of your tests picking the one that is closest to 7, nuetral, is always the safest for growing plants with. The exceptions being blueberries and azaelas and such acid loving plants.

I don't really know what a 5 gallon water dispenser is, a small cistern with ground water maybe???

In chemistry, pH (/piː eɪtʃ/ or /piː heɪtʃ/) is a measure of the acidity or basicity of an aqueous solution. Solutions with a pH less than 7 are said to be acidic and solutions with a pH greater than 7 are basic or alkaline. Pure water has a pH very close to 7. wrote:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PH

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Re: Water pH Control

Post  tumtumsback on 2/22/2014, 6:13 pm

The problem is I can't go with the 7pH water because it's from a water dispenser... If I had to use water dispensers I would run the bill up like no other!
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Re: Water pH Control

Post  walshevak on 2/22/2014, 6:23 pm

So, looks like you need to adjust the well water before it goes on the garden.  Wish I knew more about this subject so I could offer advice.  I would say rain barrels will be the most economical.

Kay

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Re: Water pH Control

Post  tumtumsback on 2/22/2014, 6:57 pm

Well right now my well water is most economical. My well water has a higher pH than the rain water around here...
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High pH control

Post  PaGn on 4/16/2015, 11:15 pm

I just had the pH and Chlorine level of the supply tap water for my beds tested. The pH is coming in at 8.0-8.4 and the chlorine level is below 1ppm (free & total available) . This seems to be the opposite of what most folks are experiencing on this forum. Should I try to adjust either one of them ? I just installed a Boogie Blue dechlorinator filter as well. Prior to the Boogie Blue filter I used to just let my tap water sit in containers for 24 hrs+ to let the chlorine/chloramine evaporate and water the beds. But we have gone from 4@4'x4' (64 sq.ft of growing area) to 6@4'x4' & 2@4'x8' (160 sq.ft. of growth). Looking into some type of automated irrigation whenever the garden budget gets replenished.
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Water pH control

Post  GloriaG on 4/17/2015, 1:12 am

Hi All,

FWIW - I believe, the only pH level that plants care about, is the pH of the environment right around their roots.  (Most vegetable plants prefer slightly acidic soil:   http://www.gardenersnet.com/atoz/phlevel1.ht)

Like mixing a cake, the actual pH around the plant is based not only on the pH of the water, but also on the pH the water picks-up from washing over the compost, peat moss, manure, etc. in the Mels Mix.  

Therefore, if water is slightly acidic or alkaline - once it mixes in the MM, it should be fine.   If not, it's fairly easy to use organic material to adjust the pH of the MM.

Compost (especially leaf litter) tends to buffer and automatically adjust soil to the proper pH for good plant growth.  Which means that simply following the SFG method should provide the proper pH range for most plants. 

If adding compost isn't enough, using a light application of pH adjusting additives like dolomite lime or sulpher would bring the pH into the appropriate range for a relatively long period.

Hope this helps,
Gloria

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