Should I be checking ppm of organic soil?

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Bib4tuna

Bib4tuna

Ok guys,Im coming thru with more stupid newbie questions so I apologize in advance. pH & ppm are all new to me with this being my 2nd indoor grow ever. I wanted to do things right this grow so I bought GH soil testing kit with pH up & down & GH floraduo A & B nutes. After doing some reading up on Google it says due to the complex nature of organic soil EC readings will be inaccurate so to go by watching plants for signs of nutrients deficiency. Do I need a ppm meter? Also because im using well water do I need to know ppm? And is this GH adjustment kit strictly for hydro or can I use the pH adjuster for soil & how? Every video I seem to look up has pH up & down for hydro & using natural things to adjust the pH for soil. Im so confused.
 
garybo

garybo

Ok guys,Im coming thru with more stupid newbie questions so I apologize in advance. pH & ppm are all new to me with this being my 2nd indoor grow ever. I wanted to do things right this grow so I bought GH soil testing kit with pH up & down & GH floraduo A & B nutes. After doing some reading up on Google it says due to the complex nature of organic soil EC readings will be inaccurate so to go by watching plants for signs of nutrients deficiency. Do I need a ppm meter? Also because im using well water do I need to know ppm? And is this GH adjustment kit strictly for hydro or can I use the pH adjuster for soil & how? Every video I seem to look up has pH up & down for hydro & using natural things to adjust the pH for soil. Im so confused.
Hi there, no need to apologize and there are no such thing as a stupid question. So, I being an outdoor grower my recommendation is limited for your type of growing. Lets start with ph, this is as important instrument in a grower tool box. I'm lucky with my water, I pull from a well and the ph is always around 6.3. When I add my nutrients to the water, the ph usually goes up somewhat so I use a ph down additive and attempt to be around 5.8 to 6.2. I gauge my feed using EC method as well as checking the ppm just for the heck of it.
Good luck
 
Bib4tuna

Bib4tuna

Hi there, no need to apologize and there are no such thing as a stupid question. So, I being an outdoor grower my recommendation is limited for your type of growing. Lets start with ph, this is as important instrument in a grower tool box. I'm lucky with my water, I pull from a well and the ph is always around 6.3. When I add my nutrients to the water, the ph usually goes up somewhat so I use a ph down additive and attempt to be around 5.8 to 6.2. I gauge my feed using EC method as well as checking the ppm just for the heck of it.
Good luck
Thx,im sure youre approach isnt much different than mine except maybe the soil depending on what ur using. Im using coast of maine bar harbor blend organic soil. Im using well water like you & GH nutrients. Im going to try & do like you said. As far as the ppm after what I read & what aquaman said if I do get a TDS meter itll just be to get a general idea of things but I wanna keep it simple. I havent tested my water yet but ive had lots of well water over the yrs & mine tastes great so hopefully its in neutral range. But if I understand you correctly I check the pH of my water then add my nutes & check again & add my pH up or down to get optimal lvl. Then check pH of run off & adjust accordingly?
 
garybo

garybo

Thx,im sure youre approach isnt much different than mine except maybe the soil depending on what ur using. Im using coast of maine bar harbor blend organic soil. Im using well water like you & GH nutrients. Im going to try & do like you said. As far as the ppm after what I read & what aquaman said if I do get a TDS meter itll just be to get a general idea of things but I wanna keep it simple. I havent tested my water yet but ive had lots of well water over the yrs & mine tastes great so hopefully its in neutral range. But if I understand you correctly I check the pH of my water then add my nutes & check again & add my pH up or down to get optimal lvl. Then check pH of run off & adjust accordingly?
My soil is 50% potting soil with no additives, 30% cocca, 14% vermiculite (course A3) and 8% perlite. I feed the plants with Mega Crop and Sweet Candy as well as weekly I add RAW NPK nutes to the food. For the medium, I feed it with Recharge weekly. Been using this menu for a number of yrs with great success.
Once I get the mixture put together and lastly check the ph which usually is higher then before I added the food. The ph is around 6.3 before adding the food, then it raises to around 6.8 - 7.0, that's when I add a very small amount of pH down to the mixture and shoot for around 6.0.
I then check the EC and verify it's roughly close to the desired target. When all is well I add the mixture to the soil and collect runoff to compare the EC and pH against the amount that went into the soil.
For example, if my plants are about 11 weeks old and late into vegetable state, the desired EC is 1.3 (ppm is 660) and of course the pH is hopefully 6.0.
If the EC reading on the runoff is somewhere in the desired range, the plants are eating everything I'm giving her, If the runoff is higher (say over 1.4) then I'm feeding too much and if the runoff reads lower, I'm not feeding enough.
Same with the pH, as long as it is within the 5.8 and 6.5 the plants are OK with that. If the pH reads around 7, its time to flush and pick-up where you left off.

As a warning - The above stats works for me and may not work for everyone. I live in the deep south and we have a lot of sun as well as rain.

Good luck
 
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Bib4tuna

Bib4tuna

My soil is 50% potting soil with no additives, 30% cocca, 14% vermiculite (course A3) and 8% perlite. I feed the plants with Mega Crop and Sweet Candy as well as weekly I add RAW NPK nutes to the food. For the medium, I feed it with Recharge weekly. Been using this menu for a number of yrs with great success.
Once I get the mixture put together and lastly check the ph which usually is higher then before I added the food. The ph is around 6.3 before adding the food, then it raises to around 6.8 - 7.0, that's when I add a very small amount of pH down to the mixture and shoot for around 6.0.
I then check the EC and verify it's roughly close to the desired target. When all is well I add the mixture to the soil and collect runoff to compare the EC and pH against the amount that went into the soil.
For example, if my plants are about 11 weeks old and late into vegetable state, the desired EC is 1.3 (ppm is 660) and of course the pH is hopefully 6.0.
If the EC reading on the runoff is somewhere in the desired range, the plants are eating everything I'm giving her, If the runoff is higher (say over 1.4) then I'm feeding too much and if the runoff reads lower, I'm not feeding enough.
Same with the pH, as long as it is within the 5.8 and 6.5 the plants are OK with that. If the pH reads around 7, its time to flush and pick-up where you left off.

As a warning - The above stats works for me and may not work for everyone. I live in the deep south and we have a lot of sun as well as rain.

Good luck
Thx,I think its gonna be a little bit of trial & error for me being my 1st time around doing this. I dont plan on using much nutrients to beging with. Im going to start with half of recommended dosage or less just to be safe. Also if I run into trouble im glad I have the forum to turn to. Hopefully all goes well.
 
Bib4tuna

Bib4tuna

Ive done outdoor for quite a few yrs now. Always just kept things simple tho. Ordered seeds,good soil,no nutes,& let it do it its thing. I had the 250 watt hps lying around for a few yrs now so decided to give indoor a shot last yr. This will be my 2nd go at it. Ive always grown just because I love doing it & love the plant so if things dont go well at least I had a good time doing it,right.
 
AnimalHouse

AnimalHouse

Supporter
I'm an organic grower and the only time I use my ppm meter is to make sure my RO system is working properly and getting my tap water to 0ppm.
I don't check pH often and I don't adjust pH either. With my RO water the pH reads 8 but it's a false 8 meaning that it will buffer to the soil pH rather than the soil pH changing to the water pH. Basically my water is like a blank canvas and the soil & microbes are the adjusters.
If I add up or down adjusters to my water then it will affect the soil pH and give me issues. It was a bit of a leap off a cliff to disregard water pH because it went against everything I learned growing hydro but once I quit trying to adjust it the life in my soils took off and the plants never had any lockout issues again
 
Bib4tuna

Bib4tuna

I bought the GH pH control kit but just found a pack of pool & spa 6 way test strips in my garage. It says for total hardness,total chlorine,free chlorine,pH,total alkalinity,& stabalizer. Are these things useful at all?
 
Bib4tuna

Bib4tuna

Is anybody familiar with using GH pH testing kit? After looking at directions that came with kit & watching videos online it only says to fill vial halfway with nutrient solution then add 3-5 drops of indicator to determine nutrient pH. I wanna test the pH of my well water. Is the the method the same way? Do I fill up vial halfway with water & add same amount of indicator drops? Also curious if its similar when checking soil? I used pool & spa strips & it said alkalinity & pH of well water were high but strips are old & im not sure if theyre accurate. I have bottled RO purified water I can use until I can get gallons of RO water if I have to use but would prefer to use my well water if pH isnt bad.
 
Bib4tuna

Bib4tuna

Ph isn't so much the concern. It's more the alkalinity. You can buy alkalinity meters or a crude guess based on ppm.
Ill order an alkalinity meter then. Pool testing strips were reading 240 ppm but like I said theyve been in garage awhile so I dont know how accurate they are.
 
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Aqua Man

Aqua Man

Staff member
Supporter
Ill order an alkalinity meter then. Pool testing strips were reading 240 ppm but like I said theyve been in garage awhile so I dont know hiw accurate they are.
Honestly you won't get much use out of it. Ppm meter is close enough for our use. You can also take a sample to most pool place or pet stores that carry fish and they will test it free. You only really need to find out once.
 
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