Does watering a plantless pot with molasses water throw off microherd

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oldskol4evr

oldskol4evr

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No worries there. This is just a small personal grow in a 3x3 tent in my bedroom that I live in with my cat, with 4x 10 gallon pots that will be the home for the plants. You are not totally wrong, because I intend to switch out the 10 gallons I have once this run is over and add 4x new 10 gallons of the same mix, while I take the current ones out for reamending. I may not even take the root ball out and just cut the stock, then topdress and keep them watered. However since I am not going no till quite yet, it might not entirely matter if I reamend and mix it all back up vs top dress and keep the roots in there. It will have months to be stored in the garage or where ever they end up. I just have to keep it moist and alive at that point without going anaerobic, which shouldn't be too crazy depending on how I end up going about storing them while not in use.

If I may ask, what is it about the coots mix that you feel is costly? It seemed like the most expensive thing I had to buy was the worm castings/compost for the initial build of the soil (specifically the worm castings). The amount of amendments I had to add to 40 gallons of soil felt pretty miniscule. I wasn't going for a crazy hot super soil though. Something that would let me get by with water and the occasional boost of organisms and nutrients from teas or topdressings.

Not against KNF methods (I have only looked up a bit of info on that so far though full disclosure). But being able to recycle the soil I use by simply adding a few cups of basic organic ingredients seemed infinitely cheaper than how I had seen friends and acquaintances do it in the past where they would end up tossing away everything and starting fresh every time. Even more so with my own castings and worm bin. Granted that was 15 years ago and a lot has changed since then, even if they still grew the best cannabis I have seen to this day.

I rent a room in a house with other people though, so my space and how much I can dedicate to any grow setup is on the smaller side of what would be ideal. I really do appreciate your suggestions, and will almost certainly be looking into them for the future. Not a mishap in my mind what so ever <3
ive used them both,i prefer the knf,simply because i grow 2 veggie gardens also,the tops of the veggie plants ,taken in the dark when all the nutes are in them.
once i harvest the new growth i ferment it in a 5 gal bucket,equal weight of tops and molasese is all it takes,the bucket has a sealed lid,in that lid has another lid ,you seen paint buckets im sure,in that smaller lid i have a 1/4 in hole in it with a 1/4 in plastic fish tank line,about 4 ft of it and i run it into a coke bottle with 1/4 hole ,bottle has half full of water ,leave lid cracked,the plants will begin fermentation the molasses is there food,when this happens the coke bottle will begin to have bubbles in it,that is gasing off,when the bubblkes stop ,you have fermented plant juice.
that food will last you about 1 year using it to the feed schedule,then you will also make LAB rice juice fermented in milk,any way much cheaper and plenty to use,if your not buy the ocean you can always make your sea water with sea salt.
so every thing is cheap except the OHN that takes around 6 fifths of vodka to make
 
Flexnerb

Flexnerb

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Howdy all! First post here, and technically my first solo grow (I have helped with grows all my adult life, but never oversaw my own).

First my soil mix is the clackamas coots mix (organic living soil):

1/3rd Medium Perlite,
1/3 Sphagnum Peat Moss
1/6 Malibu Compost
1/6 Wiggle Worm Pure Worm Castings
Malted Barley
Crustacean Meal
Kelp Meal
Neem Cake
Karanja Cake
Basalt
Gypsum
Oyster Shell Flour

I have done various amounts of "research" aka reading on forums and websites. I understand the rule of thumb is that PH will be buffered by any decent organic soil, and is therefore a non issue. I have seen grow diaries and posts of people who have a similarly high PH coming from their tap like I do, which is anywhere from 8.3 to 8.8 depending on when I fill a bucket or jug. They have seemed to encounter issues later in the cycle of the plant, which appeared to remedy once they started adjusting it back down to something closer to "acceptable" in normal cannabis growing. I realize there could be any other number of factors involved in what they were doing to cause problems, but I feel like if I can painlessly adjust my PH to classically good ranges, then it seems like a no brainer and I don't mind the minuscule effort to do so. In this regard I have been switching between pure absorbic acid and molasses to lower the PH of my water, with a toss in of normal high PH tap when feeling lazy (all dechlorinated mind you). Rather than get into a debate about if I NEED to ph my water... I simply wish to know if what I am doing is safe for the microlife.

I am only a week or so into my seedlings growing in solo cups (all are happy) and have 4x 10 gallon smart pots in my grow tent waiting for the time when I will transplant them. My main question is as the title suggests. Will using a light molasses water (1/2 to 1 tbsp per 5 gallons of water) to keep the soil moist and happy until transplant cause an imbalance in the microlife when there are no plants/root systems in it?

My concern comes from the knowledge about the microlife in an AACT. If you let it brew too long one life form will start to dominate the other until there is no food left for it, die off quite a bit and then its food source will become abundant again, then it will start to feed on them and the cycle repeats. Think wolves and deer or something. When the microlife hits this point in an AACT it is past its prime, hence why it is suggested to use teas within a short range of their being brewed. Will my soil do this as well without roots in it? Will the molasses feed the bacteria and cause them to overtake the soils other microlife due to there being no plants to "give them jobs" so to speak? Or is molasses water a safe and friendly way to lower my water PH while giving the beneficial organisms in my soil a snack until my plants are big enough to transplant?

Link to my grow diary:
The 8+ ph You've got tells me your alkalinity is high in bicarb. @Aquaman was talking about it being a better buffer choice than carbonate(i believe thats what he said) he might chime in if not alresdy i haven't gotten to page 2 for this thread. Hes a hydro guy knows a great deal about alkalinity and ph..

Alkalinity is your buffer....ph is basically what makes nutrients available or not..then again i read a uni sth car study on ph in cannabis container growing. Showed very little difference in a wide range of ph...idk! Funny
20200917_214647-1.jpg
.....the higher the alk the more your soil ph will rise over time. Meaning you will need to flush it with an acid to break up that alk build up in the pot..sulfuric acid at 35% is recomended... heres a pic to book(60 pages or so) 30 bucks....very much worth the money and read.....i hope i didnt misinform this guy! If i did let me have it!!!!
 
Flexnerb

Flexnerb

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Also you'll want yo learn about CEC cation exchange capcity...thats pretty much your soil buffer..
 
PhillipPhillip

PhillipPhillip

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Im sorry I forgot you mentioned your ph was 8+. I would say you probably have more than enough bicarbonates and high alkalinity. Without the meter you will never be able to dial it in though.

This could result in your ph drifting too high, like flexnerb just said.

Oyster shell wont help this. I would say your best bet is to mix your tap water with distilled water until you reach the proper ph range. Keep doing it until you figure out the recipe without measuring.

Using phosporic acid will work but you have to be careful of a phosporous toxicity.
 
Flexnerb

Flexnerb

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i cannot confirm powdered acids as the solution here. The only thing you are doing is lowering the ph and not contributing to keeping it there.

The theory is that water alkalinity is the solution to keeping the soil medium in the optimal range.

The oyster shell certainly helps, but how much do you add and when do you do it. By the time you find out your soil ph is off, you have lost the fight. Dont let this discourage you though, just grow some weed and record everything.

I have a freshwater alkalinity meter made by Hanna. It measures CaCO3 specifically.

Are you venting your tent to the outside?

the soils CEC has something to do with buffering too? Can't remember specifics though...
 
PhillipPhillip

PhillipPhillip

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Does that book mention something about CEC effecting the soil?

This is all new to me and im all excited to learn more.
 
gomicao

gomicao

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Here is a picture of the water tests from my local company. I live in Eugene, OR, there are so many people growing here it isn't even funny. I feel like the water can't be terrible for that reason. Maybe everyone who grows here knows it has some reputation for being a pain? I have never heard that so far. I don't know where I am going with that part so much however... I might just have to talk to some locals about how or what they do to treat their water. Obviously any time I use any ACT or nutrient teas, or even just molasses water, the PH will drop, probably down into the 5's. How long does that drop last in either the teas or the soil? Would that balance out any drifts if my watering is high and the teas low?

I am kind of overwhelmed atm now, because I never realized water had to be so complicated... I figured as long as the solutions I was watering with be it plain water, molasses water, or ACT were adjusted with a small amount of PH solution (be it up or down) it would just take out my OCD worry about organic soil not actually being as good at balancing PH/nutrients as people say. I almost feel like maybe I should toss out the idea of adjusting anything and just see if it end up hurting my plants later in the grow, or 3 grows from now. It would be easy enough to test the soil before I put another round of plants in it again though, and add a little of whatever is clever to bump it back where it should be. Or top dress before flower or whatever to try to keep it proper if it can't even handle one round of plants.

Do people commonly get phosphorus toxicity using phosphoric acid/regular old PH down to drop their plain watering in soil? It seems like such a miniscule amount added. I have never read about anyone using organic living soil who rely on the microlife to make their soil worth anything at all flushing their medium with an acid. We are not even supposed to water till runoff... Nor flush in flower. If one had to flush their soil with acid to reset PH I would assume the whole point of living organic soil and maintaining a micoherd/life between uses would be lost.

Organic living soil growers mention again and again that the micro life are the responsible parties in delivering nutrients to the plant, so I felt as long as the PH of the water or tea wasn't something that would hurt them, that they would take care of the rest as far as letting the plant feed on what it wants/needs. I could see deficiencies happening if the soil PH became so high or low that they could no longer survive, but when a good soil is supposed to take care of that anyway how would this happen? When most organic soil growers are never bothering to check their PH and say most people don't have to, wouldn't organic growing posts be riddled with people's PH problems? I was concerned only because of a few people mentioning issues with PH similar to mine that they checked of course as my OP mentions.

OK so that is 100 questions... and all over the place... can you tell I'm overwhelmed? I felt like I was just trying to "play it safe" in case my high PH water was hurting my microbes or would hurt the plants. The soil drift is a secondary concern because if I can't use amendments to reset it, then there is no point in me even keeping the soil to use again. I may as well just use bottles and feed the plant directly or go hydro.
 
gomicao

gomicao

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On another front since I am apparently woefully under read on this, I want to use a basic illustration to ask some questions, I will do it with numbers that are assumed just for the sake of clarity.

Say my newly mixed organic soil is a PH of 6.5 using the recipe I posted in the OP. It is a healthy living soil, that classically is described as not needing to worry about the PH of what you water into it (minus some extreme obvious examples). My water PH is 8, I add citric acid until the water is 6.5. I water with this right away. Say the citric acid water PH drifts back up over the next 3 to 24 hours and leaves the water at 8 again (it might not go back to where it started but I'm using the worst case example). In the time that it took the PH to drift would the microbes be damaged or would they adjust the PH to what they like through various processes because they want to keep their home how they like it? What amendments in the soil I used would also aid in preventing this drift all the way back to 8 if any? Is a PH of 8 even harmful to the microlife in the soil to begin with, and if not... then am I basically chasing my own tail all for nothing?

If I use citric acid in a 5 gallon bucket and lower it to a PH of 4 and check it 3 days later and a week later and find I have managed to obtain a stable PH of 6.5 within a certain time frame. Would not this properly PH water then be fine to use just like if it came out of the tap that way? Preventing soil drift and any other basic PH issues?

Lastly in regards to the phosphoric acid, how much phosphate would need to be used to actually cause a problem with the plant if it was never fed anything high in P? The only things I plan to use have like .1% (Kelp meal), .5% (alfalfa meal), and liquid fish with a whopping 4% which would be used in the smallest amounts only maybe a few times anyway? A PH down product Nectar for the Gods: Hades Down is 0-1-0 for instance. I is 1% really something that is going to lock things up on me?
 
Flexnerb

Flexnerb

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First off all those numbers are ppm from what i gather. Its shown in mg per liter. 1 mg in a liter is 1ppm.

You're worried about the soil buffering ehat you add to it? Your alkalinty could use a 60ppm increase!
If your soil is buffered with lime i cant see there being huge problems unless your plants sit in pots for more than 3 to 4 months, that dependent on the type of fertilizer used. If i had that low of alkslinity id be jumping for joy right now..lol...you need to be more worried about acidyfied soil...Meaning your alkalinity is so low that if you dont use an alkaline/alkalyzing fertilizer/s your ph will drift downwards. Now if your soil is buffered i think you are fine....

Micto life is not the sole provider of nutrients the gradient of your roots are....your roots absorb nutrients to the tune of 70to90% of total nutrients absorbed by your plants...from what ivevread in university studies...

Phosphorus: lets talk about it..my understanding is that most plants(because P is bound up in the soil and hard for plants to access it) if not all recycle P. They're P recyclers do it breaks down in the plant and gets used and used again and again. Plants have evolved to do this no doubt in my mind. Due to the fact its do bound up in the soil and hard for plants to access it. YOU DONT NEED ACD OF ANYKIND TO LOWER YOUR PH....main reason for your ph drop is most likely not enough alkalinity in your water you water isnt buffering whats being added. If itbwere you wouldnt see the ph swing you are seeing...maybe you could just use old fasioned organic apple cider vinegar to adjust your ph. Maybe lemon juice.....as these wont effect your already low alkalinity

Do a reasearch study for us( please be cool as fuck and do it)

Reason i say this is lot of people think ph ph ph ph..no, i say fuck ph in this instance because, with your water you might be able to get away with straight using it the way you are.

Your study could be do everything the same for 4 6 8 potted plants. however many you want. Then water the same aact, ferts, plain water, etc. Just give each potted plant a .5 difference in ph...i almost want to say as long as you adjust your ferts to your water so ph drift doesnt occur, you'll have pretty much the same out come accross the board.

5.5,6.0,6.5, and 7.0 so four plants in the study not 6 or 8...just 4 brotha...try it...wish i had your water id have done it already...my alkalinity is 380ppm caco3. Or calcium carbonate. My overall ppm is 490....
 
Flexnerb

Flexnerb

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Are you areating your water with a bubbler/diffuser? If so you are adding back co2 creating carbonic gas which raises your ph. Not alkalinity, just your ph. What appliances in your home use propane or natural gas? Afain your ph goes down hard cuz you got very litlle alkalinity to buffer the acid reaction in your water. No alk no buffer. Which means bam low ass ph...your water is fine im thinking. If you got buffer in your soil...if you were using straight peat no lime. You'd be kind of fuckt
 
Flexnerb

Flexnerb

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Dont use citric acid. Its a short term joke..better to ask someone who know more about chemistry than me...lol

Organic apple cider vinegar...i used it in my spray bottle filled with just water. Phbwas like 7.8...dropped it to 5.98 24hrs ago. Just checked it 2 minutes ago. No bullshit. 5.91...very little change!
 
gomicao

gomicao

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I guess my total understanding of what PH meant in regards to water being acidic or alkaline was totally off. I thought acidic water was below 7 PH and alkaline was above it. I am now to understand that PH is a measurement of acidic (low numbers) and basic (high numbers) and that alkalinity is merely the stuff dissolved that keeps it from swinging too far one way or another based on other things that get added to it? If this is the case, then I apologize if I wasted anyone's time trying to explain some things. At the very least I learned this... This would mean that the PH number has nothing to do with alkalinity of the water and the reasons we don't want a high PH is due to the water being too basic vs acidic?

I do aerate the water to get rid of chlorine, we don't use propane for anything other than glass blowing, but that is a torch flame, in an incredibly well vented shop. The aeration only runs for about 24 hours, before I call it good, and it would take me several more days to use up the 10 gallons in the two buckets I have sitting out. While I am not using lime in my soil, just the listed things in my 1st post, it is supposed to be a classic "organic soil" with all the normal bells and whistles organic growers claim exist.

I might just say screw it and see what sticking with my normal tap water does even at a PH of 8. It just sure will suck if that leads to problems midway through flower. I used some absorbic acid on some water for a spray bottle about 4 hours ago. It was at 6.4 after being mixed. I checked it just now and it is at 7. I will see what happens in another 4 hours. Some of the issues with it I read is that it can end up a food for the beneficials or swing when interacting with other things, but in water alone it could be fine for days. Meaning it might seem stable, but once it interacts with the soil it would raise back up and I wouldn't even know it. Making it kind of useless.

Oh and to answer someone else's questions on the first page, I do vent my tent outside. I control the room the tent is in with an AC, a humidifier, and a dehumidifier. The tent has one active intake at around 100+ cfm that matches the size (not total cfm) of the 6 inch venting going outside, and has another 4 inch passive intake, this seems to be able to control my heat and humidity well.
 
Flexnerb

Flexnerb

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Ph under 7 is acidic 7 neutral above 7 is alkaline

Coots mix: https://growingorganic.com/soil-guide/coots-soil-mix/

Since you added worm castings next time i would bump up the perlite a lil bit. Could get a lil muddy. If it doesnt and still drsins well no worries!

Wouldnt waste your time with citric...fuckin throw it! Pass it on to a frenemy?!? APPLE CIDER VINEGAR DUDE...LOLtrust me
24hrs sgo i made a 5.96 or 5.98 water spray now its sittin at 5.91..hello! Just use acv instead

Lol, citric acid a food for benni's. Ive heard it dehydrates them n kills'em...

So, ventilation, mostly about fresh air moving in and exchanging out the old with new.

Have you ph'd or EC your run off?
 
gomicao

gomicao

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Sorry, I meant I have read absorbic acid (vitamin c) can be used either by the plant or microbes, not citric acid. I have not tested any run off as don't actually get any. I water about half of what one might normally think they need twice as often with a sprayer to avoid runoff. This is supposed to keep the soil moist or close to field capacity without being waterlogged. The ideal is to keep it a certain level of moist at all times vs water till you see it coming out the bottom and letting it get dry. I definitely get enough air exchange though I was concerned about it at one point. My fan going out is only running at about half the speed it can go too, so if for some reason temp or humidity becomes harder to deal with once the plants get larger, with any luck that will take care of it so long as the intakes can keep up with the demand.

The fan is 400cfm, but with a carbon filter and a few bends in some ducting I like to be conservative and say it is only pulling half of what it normally might at any given time, just to error on the side of caution.... It might be pulling more but really the limits are my intakes. The only issues I have with them right now is both lower intakes are at the font right and left side of the tent so the front two pots get noticeably more dry quicker than the back two. It just means I will have to give them a little more water than the back, until I can fit some kind of vent cover on the intakes inside, so the air either points upward or is displaced by blowing downward against the floor.
 
chemistry

chemistry

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If you have a good functioning soil and healthy plant ph wont matter because the bacteria will break the food down and symbiotically feed the plant while the plant feeds the bacteria carbs.

Ph for solubility is to keep nute mixtures in a state the plant can uptake all of the elements in the fertilizer.

Alkalinity is how much calcium is in the source water and if its high it is like pouring a little bit of lime in the the soil each watering. Eventually it will build up and cause problems. And yes acid can neutralize this. Or better to mix down to about 150 ppm with filtered ro water.

I dont grow full organically. I know some growers have great result and most do not. Slow uptake is not reliable for a short flowering annual plant in my opinion. I grow indoors. Outside i would consider ammended soil grows. Inside i want control.


Also i suggest everyone read books written by educated professionals for any task. I never listen to threads and forums without knowing the members background and education. And i always research any info given unless i fully trust the source.


Most of the “successful” no till threads never get to harvest. But supposedly their soil gets better every time. Where are the grows with the great results?


And i would keep some fertilizer on hand even if dry organic and needs to be watered in. It takes many rounds to get the soil mix right for a strain.

Nothing wrong with fertilizing plants before a deficiency ruins the crop.


Paragraph 5 should be pinned, the sheer amount of self acclaimed forum technicians preaching to nubies, when they're in capable of growing a pot of cress them selves is unreal. And some of the stuff folk put in their pots must be frightening to the plants. lol
 
gomicao

gomicao

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Cannabis, mushroom, and other plant/drug forums are all effected by this classic truth, blarg.
 
Flexnerb

Flexnerb

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163
I have been using carbonated water to lower the ph of my tap water. This is a safe way to do it, but it can be expensive unless you have a soda stream or beer carbonation system.

My tap water is 7.8 ph and has 80 ppm of CaCO3. I am trying to raise the CaCO3 to 120 ppm.
Your 80 ppm is almost perfect. Why are you trying to raise it? Do you buffer your soil with dolomite?

If you have a fertilizer with acid in it (phosphoric resumeably) you already are lowering it. Just lower it to the desired range check ppm making sure you arent over doing it. You dont need to adjust your ph in this scenario period...now if you are just using straight water then yes you would if you dont have a buffer in your soil....

YOU FOLKS WITH LOWER ALKALINITY COULD PUT THE PH STOTY TO REST OR KEEP IT AWAKE YOUR CHOICE.

DO A STUDY RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW...GET GOOD BUFFERED SOIL PH/BUFFER IT TO PH OF 6.5..ENOUGH GOR 4 PLANTS. POT THEM UP AND WATER 5.5, 6.0,6.5, AND 7.0....THREAD THAT SHIT UP LET THE WORLD KNOW IF PH REALLY MATTERS....ILL BET YOU WONT EVEN TRY...HELL ILL EVEN BET MY LEFT NUTT YOU WONT...HOPE IM NOT COMING OFF AS AN ASSHOLE CUZ ITS NOT MEANT...IN THISVSITUATION YOU ARE GOING TO FIND OUT PH ISNT ALL CRACKED UP TO WHAT FOLKS SAY IT IS...JUST MIGHT BE A MARKETING SCAM......
 
PhillipPhillip

PhillipPhillip

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About your ventilation, i am concerned your roommates might be offended by the smell.
It took me awhile to adjust my venting and fix all the leaks. Just be aware.

If i was you i would not get so caught up in making this a perfect run. Just record what you do and next time change only one thing. Go back and compare and make your own conclusions. Everybody’s situation is unique.

It is possible to have a high ph and low alkalinity. I am pretty sure someone in the eugene area has a meter to test your water for you. Start making friends and pick their brains.

You gotta make a decision and stick to it. If it is wrong then make a minor adjustment and try again until you get it right.

Killing a plant teaches you a lesson and keeping a plant alive gives you false sense of security.
 
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