Coco - pre grow and during grow pH adjustment.

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TryingToGrow

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Hi

I have some new coco to use and the ph is way to high (6.5).

I was wonder how others like to bring their coco’s ph down before starting a grow and during the grow also if needed to keep it in optimal range. I’m trying to get down to 5.9 or so.

I have been looking but can’t find anything so I thought to start a thread.

thanks
 
mikeross

mikeross

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How did you test the PH? Personally, don't worry to much about runoff PH in Coco. I'd do a slurry test for a more accurate reading but even then your chasing your tail. I run Canna, straight out of the bag, no prep work required. If my medium came out at 6.5, I'd probably just flush 2-3 times the pot volume with the the EC and PH I wanted, then transplant. Water the at least daily, with a little runoff, once you have established roots. Make sure the coco is always moist and you shouldn't have any PH issues.
 
T

TryingToGrow

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Hi thank you.

I am testing the ph in a few ways. I have a blue lab soil ph pen which is okay, I don’t really trust it, very inconsistent. Another way is I put the coco/soil (I have the same problem for my soil), in a small pot, about 1 measuring cup full and test the runoff, using 6.0ph water in. After I test that runoff, I squeeze the remaining water out of the coco and test that, that is my favorite way.

what do you mean chasing your tail?

I will have to test more but I though the ph of my water didn’t make much difference in the ph of my coco. I will test this now but I’m not very hopeful from what I have seen recently.

So just a bit of flushing to make my coco good? how do you lower the coco ph in a pot with a plant in it?

thank you for your time.
 
jguit

jguit

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What makes you say the Bluelab soil probe is inconsistent? I find mine to be extremely consistent.

FWIW, I'm on my first grow using Canna coco and this is what i see. The coco always wants to drift back to around 6.2 pH. I feed multiple times a day with my feed pH at about 5.8, give or take. After feeding the media will be at around 5.9 pH and will gradually drift back up to 6.1/6.2 over the course of a few hours. This has extremely consistent and I haven't noticed any problems whatsover. Honestly, I think you'd be fine if you feed around 5.7 pH and let the media drift to 6.5.

Also, as my reservoir drains, my feed pH will rise to around 6.0 or so. Again, I haven't noticed any issues.
 
T

TryingToGrow

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How did you test the PH? Personally, don't worry to much about runoff PH in Coco. I'd do a slurry test for a more accurate reading but even then your chasing your tail. I run Canna, straight out of the bag, no prep work required. If my medium came out at 6.5, I'd probably just flush 2-3 times the pot volume with the the EC and PH I wanted, then transplant. Water the at least daily, with a little runoff, once you have established roots. Make sure the coco is always moist and you shouldn't have any PH issues.
I just tested my coco and what you said and there was very little difference. maybe 0.1ph got me to 6.3-6.4, using 6.0 water. So I tried lower ph water, just quickly mixed 4.1 or so and it got me to about 5.6. I think coco moves a lot easier than soil, my test with that have not been so much movement in ph.

using this method will I have to use 4.5 water every time?

Really I want to make my coco good from the start and Don’t need or want to water with runoff because I don’t have space and it seems wasteful.

is there anything I can amend my coco with to bring the ph down and have it stay there if I don’t have much runoff?
 
PK1

PK1

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To prepare coco you perform the following;

create a batch of ph water at 5.5, if you are adding more coco to a current grow then make sure the nutrients are also mixed with that ph water.

Let the coco soak for 10 min in your mixture. You want to make sure that what you are putting in is coming out. So, your run off should be the same ph and ec as going in. The drift of ph is because the plant needs different nutrients. You also feed coco couple or multiple times a day.

Slurry mixture is best used for soil not coco
 
T

TryingToGrow

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What makes you say the Bluelab soil probe is inconsistent? I find mine to be extremely consistent.

FWIW, I'm on my first grow using Canna coco and this is what i see. The coco always wants to drift back to around 6.2 pH. I feed multiple times a day with my feed pH at about 5.8, give or take. After feeding the media will be at around 5.9 pH and will gradually drift back up to 6.1/6.2 over the course of a few hours. This has extremely consistent and I haven't noticed any problems whatsover. Honestly, I think you'd be fine if you feed around 5.7 pH and let the media drift to 6.5.

Also, as my reservoir drains, my feed pH will rise to around 6.0 or so. Again, I haven't noticed any issues.

Hi

The soil pen has caused me a lot of trouble making soil mixes, it will read my peat as 7ph (actually ~4 something ph) and it will read my soil at 0ph (actually high 6's-7 ph). I have messed up ~40 gallons of soil because it is acting weird, then I finlay notice something is not right and will do a runoff or squeeze test and yeah... My soil is 5.0, soil pen says mid to high 6s. I'm new to all this, only messed up a few grows now, but came to realize it's because my ph is so far off.

Now I find it best to fill small pot with soil/coco/whatever, water slowly and test runoff, using water that is the 'target pH' (5.9-6.0 for me), I test the run off and then I squeeze the remaining water out of the soil/coco and test that to compare and ensure accuracy. This has worked very well for me. I think the soil pen works well/okay for wet coco/peat (not mixed with anything else), or similar mediums that are very soft and not much going on, like a soil mix, that is much less soft and consistent. I prefer just to squeeze juice out of the coco/soil and test it now, fast, easy, accurate and consistent.

Thank you for the advice, if I can't find a way to bring the ph of my coco down before using it, I may end up having to do what you say, though it seems like I will have to ph my water to 4.5 or so, to get into good ph.

Really, I would like to bring the ph down in a manner that allows me to use my tap water 7.0ph. Is there something I can amend the coco with to bring the ph down. I have the weekend off and will be looking around some more. Also, I have used dolomite lime to bring ph up in my soil (to far unfortunatly), and it works really well. Is there something similar to dolomite lime but to bring oh down?

thanks
 
T

TryingToGrow

250
43
To prepare coco you perform the following;

create a batch of ph water at 5.5, if you are adding more coco to a current grow then make sure the nutrients are also mixed with that ph water.

Let the coco soak for 10 min in your mixture. You want to make sure that what you are putting in is coming out. So, your run off should be the same ph and ec as going in. The drift of ph is because the plant needs different nutrients. You also feed coco couple or multiple times a day.

Slurry mixture is best used for soil not coco

Hi

Thanks for taking the time. For my coco it seems I will have to use lower ph water, 4.5 ph or so. I may end up having to do something like this, thanks for the ideas. It seems to me, just in the process of trying to keep the coco at 5.9-6.0, there will be plenty of drift haha. Mine naturally wants to be to high and I am trying to bring it down, so it must be always changing to some degree.

Just feed nutrients, water or both? I have a seedling right now and the coco is already wet with nutrient, do I need to feed it again? Seems like a lot for little plant

I looked at slury test and it takes to much time and some people say you need 'special' tools to do it. I just do runoff test with water that is 'target' ph and then squeeze the water out of the coco/soil and test that also to make sure the same. Works very well

Going to do some more research and see what people are using to bring down ph in soil that is to high so I hopefully don't have to ph my water down every time.
 
PK1

PK1

2,930
263
Hi

Thanks for taking the time. For my coco it seems I will have to use lower ph water, 4.5 ph or so. I may end up having to do something like this, thanks for the ideas. It seems to me, just in the process of trying to keep the coco at 5.9-6.0, there will be plenty of drift haha. Mine naturally wants to be to high and I am trying to bring it down, so it must be always changing to some degree.

Just feed nutrients, water or both? I have a seedling right now and the coco is already wet with nutrient, do I need to feed it again? Seems like a lot for little plant

I looked at slury test and it takes to much time and some people say you need 'special' tools to do it. I just do runoff test with water that is 'target' ph and then squeeze the water out of the coco/soil and test that also to make sure the same. Works very well

Going to do some more research and see what people are using to bring down ph in soil that is to high so I hopefully don't have to ph my water down every time.
in soil?? you said you had coco? also, if you have a ph pen and a ppm pen you can do a slurry test. You don't need anything else. Not sure who is feeding you what type of information.
 
T

TryingToGrow

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in soil?? you said you had coco? also, if you have a ph pen and a ppm pen you can do a slurry test. You don't need anything else. Not sure who is feeding you what type of information.
I have organic soil and coco, I need to bring down the ph for both, now and in the future as well it seems like.

I have done a few slurry test, I just don't like having so much excess water in my testing, I feel like it may change the results, even though I am using 5.9-6.0 water for all my testing. I like just squeezing the water out of just wet enough coco/soil and testing it most, and right after a runoff test, to cross reference and ensure accuracy.

I can't recall either where I heard about the 'tools needed', may have been a couple places i read it, say you need distilled water and magnetic stir stick, something like that anyways. either way, not a fan of the whole process after testing my soil so many times and now my coco too. just get a handful and squeeze the juice out works great for me.
 
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jguit

jguit

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I wouldn't overthink it. I'm not sure what brand of coco you're using but as long as you rinse and buffer it (if it's not already pre buffered), you should be good. Just feed it with nutrient solution ph'd around 5.8 ish. I've even fed with nutrients ph'd to 6.1 and the plants never skipped a beat.

It seems like the trick is to keep the coco from drying out once your roots are established so that you don't get salt buildup.
 
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T

TryingToGrow

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I wouldn't overthink it. I'm not sure what brand of coco you're using but as long as you rinse and buffer it (if it's not already pre buffered), you should be good. Just feed it with nutrient solution ph'd around 5.8 ish. I've even fed with nutrients ph'd to 6.1 and the plants never skipped a beat.

It seems like the trick is to keep the coco from drying out once your roots are established so that you don't get salt buildup.

I'm trying to make the ph right from the start, so, I don't have to think about it ~at all during a grow and hopefully be able to water all my plants (soil and coco), with tap (7.0ph), or water ph'ed to 6.0. If tap was okay, but 6.0ph watering was ideal, that would be okay as well. Makes me think I should try and make my coco 5.7-5.8ph before starting any more plants. Thank you.

I was just doing some testing and no way watering above 5.0 will keep me in ideal range, unless I am monitoring ph every watering, not really a fan of that. I needed ~4.0 ph water in, to get me to ~5.7 ph. Maybe if lots of run off, but I plan on bottom feeding anyways, so that's not really an option.

There are at least a few nurseries near by. I'm gonna go and see what they have to say about adjusting ph and keeping it where you want it.

Thank you
 
jguit

jguit

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It sounds like you are trying to correct a problem that doesn't necessarily exist. Plant your clones/seeds, get your roots established and then make sure you're feeding/watering them correctly with well balanced nutrients.

@Aqua Man 's thread on coco is excellent. There's really not much else you'd need to know. If you're growing in containers bigger than 1 gal., you'd probably want to add a little bit of perlite.

If your tap water isn't terrible, you should be able to use it without problems. Your nutrients will lower the pH of your tap water. Mix up a batch of nutrients and see where your pH lands. My tap water is terrible, so i use a mix of RO and tap water and when mixed with my nutrients it puts my pH at around 5.8 give or take. I mix my nutrients in my RO water and then use my tap water to raise the pH. This works great and doesnt take much tap water to put me in the sweet spot. The alkalinity of my tap water keep my reservoir pretty stable. It'll drift from 5.8 to around 6.1 over the course of a week, which is fine. FWIW, my feed is around 1 - 1.1 EC.
 
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TryingToGrow

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So I've been doing some reading, went to a couple nurseries, did a little testing and a little soul searching and this is what I came up with, keeping in mind... -
I wouldn't overthink it.

I made a grow device to compare ease of use, quality, consistency and everything else you could imagine, between different ways/methods of... Making ph correct before planting and maintaining ph levels in coco (and other mediums), throughout a grow cycle. I have transplanted some seedlings in already and have seeds germinating in the other locations.

I have designed ''a res in a res technology'', just for this experiment.

'Outside res' - nutrient solution @ 7.0 ph. For the 'res in a res' - water @ ~7.0ph (needed for the organic coco and organic soil grows). I will not be going below 7.0 ph with the water because this is to test how well these 'solutions' will last when the water is not being 'ph corrected'. This could change, it depends on how well the plants/'solutions' do but for now I will ph the water to 7.0. ~0ppm water.

There will be no runoff, so I believe this will be a good test/comparison, of the 'longevity' of these 'solutions', as well as help maintaining ph levels over a longer time, reducing the frequency to add more of whichever 'solution' may need 'refreshed' to stay within good ph range. I will try and stay from 5.6 ph - 6.0 ph.

I have not used any of these 'solutions' for ph controlling in this manner before, so it will be a new experience for me.

I introduce you to - The Grow Master - with 'a res in a res technology'.
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Banana Dance, using dead tree bark and dead tree branches to lower ph. ph unknown (about 1/4 pot is bark and branches (see pic below). Peach Tree, coco, using apple cider vinegar to lower ph to about 5.5 ph (unsure on amount, only mixed small amount, I guess ~15ml x 1 gal coco was ratio used, REALLY strong stuff. More testing needed with it).
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Dead tree branches and bark used.
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Banana Dance, coco organic, using epsom salts and gypsum to get pH to about 5.7 (1/4 cup each, epsom salt and gypsum x 1 gallon coco). Devil Cream, coco, using epsom salts to get pH to about 5.8 (1/2 cup epsom salt x 1 gallon coco).
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Organic mix, dried leaves/stems and ph’ed coco (5.7 ph before leaves added, forgot to check after).
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Cream Caramel, in organic soil, pH ~5.8. Red Hot Cookies, in coco, salt + gypsum pH ~5.7 (1/4 cup each, epsom and gypsum x 1 gallon coco)
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Bloody Skunk, using garden gypsum to get pH to pH 5.6 (1/2 cup gypsum x 1 gallon coco). Repeat of Banana Dance.
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Some other things I may be testing in a not so formal manner include - coffee grounds, lemon juice, dried leaves/pine needles, wood chips, dried/dead wood tea and more.

Also need to do more testing with vinegar, that stuff seems like it may be really good if you use sparingly/get usage ratios just right. Vinegar very strong for ph adjustment just from my initial testing.

Almost forgot, I put a handle on it as well. Now I can take it with me to my buddies.
01D46B12 8E3E 45BF BE84 4BA646396E03
 
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TryingToGrow

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Hey all some bad news regarding the grow master. A few things happened but most of all it flooded and I ran out of 0 ppm water and I have to pH my (300 ppm), tap water to 5.6-5.7 for plain coco otherwise it messes up the pH, even in my soil grows I’m having to pH the water to 5.7 or the soil goes up to fast.

Most of my plants outside in the vegetable garden can do okay with my tap (7.7 pH), but I’m gonna start pH’ing their water too, just because I’m pretty sure they will do better with 0 ppm (I don’t have), or correct pH’ed water (I can make that).

I also had to get some new gypsum and the quality is really bad, I is advertised as a powder. Almost all rocks that never break down in water. So anyways, I will just be using apple cider vinegar, vitamin c, citric acid, added to the water to get the medium to 5.8-5.9 ish and I think that may keep the medium/coco at the correct pH. Also, top dressings of epsom salts and maybe this gypsum if I can find a way to make it powder.

The good news, I cleaned out the grow master and have some seeds germinating For it as we speak.
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I put some knots at the top to help regulate water/slow the flow of water in hopes of avoiding another flood. This will be all running salt nutes at 5.7 pH, and all the coco has been pH’ed to 5.8-5.9 ahead of time this time to avoid any issues like I was having before.

Pretty sure all the plants from the grow master before are still around but got stunted from the transplant, most are just starting to get going again this is the only one still in coco that I can find right now. It’s the organic coco, just dried weed leaf and stems to feed the medium.
Image


Thanks again for the help, hopefully my seeds get in the grow master soon and I can have some amazing plants going soon to share with you.
 

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