SOIL PH STUCK IN THE 4'S, powdered hydrated lime, pulverized dolomite, bottles of ph up, nothing is helping

Runoff is only useful if you can get the water to travel through the growing medium and not around it and through channels. If it travels around the growing medium and not through it you’ll pick up mostly salt buildup on the container which will throw off the readings. Plus there’s the issue of which part of the runoff do you test? The start, after running a gallon or so through it or later? By testing the soil directly you’ll get an accurate measurement that you can then make adjustments with.

One useful tool is to buy nectar for the gods Olympus Up and Herculean Harvest and use that as a flush every couple weeks. The calcium binds to the excess nutrients and renders it null. It also flushed out excess salt buildup and delivers a boost of phosphorus to help with nutrient uptake. It’s cheap and is useful to have in your arsenal.
Thinking about how most soils work (Promix and Coco included), after a month or so, I find that the "channels" develop thru the medium, leaving a lot of it untouched, or minimally touched. I know of many growers, myself included, that have found what looks like untouched or uneveloped areas deep in the root areas. Any water or nutrients will follow thru these channels, which are simply the areas of the least resistance to water's movement, and deposit the majority of their contents along these channels. Measuring runoff would really only check the areas thru the channels, which might explain some of the measurements that don't seem correct.
Hydro growers wouldn't have this problem, but virtually any medium will compact itself slightly and develop these channels. I don't really know how it can be used to remedy or fix this Ph problem, but the comment about the channels developing and possibly skewing test results for Ph or PPM/EC. Plus, the morning medication to control nausea got my mind thinking!
.....Now I'm just thinking about whats going to happen when all of that lime gets working....
 

JWM2

Premium Member
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did a 1 to 1 slurry on 4 of my 6 plants

the one i hit with the bunch of lime measured at a ph of 8.4 and i forgot to do the ppm

the others were;
ph6.1 @ 40ppm
ph 7.3 @ 100ppm
ph 6.5 @ 80ppm

i used distilled water with 5.7 ph @ 0ppm

i tried to take the soil samples as far down as i could to get away from the top dressing of lime, probably got the samples @ 3 to 4 inches below the surface of the soil

whats you guys' opinions on these results? do you think the soil thats deeper is a lower ph because the lime was applied at the top? and my ppms seem to be low too (the pen was set at ppm 500, i guess thats american and ppm 700 is European)

trying to figure out where i should go from here
This is exactly why I feel measuring runoff is absolutely pointless in most indoor gardens using a soil based growing medium. If you were in a hydroponic medium such as coco or rock wool your measurements would have been more accurate. But as you can see adding all that line really threw everything off and now you’ve got a whole nother set of problems to deal with. Do yourself a favor and repot those plants in a bigger container and remove as much of the old dirt as possible. Hopefully the effects can be minimalized.

I just don’t get why people fight for testing runoff and against slurry testing. It’s mind boggling. It takes just a few minutes longer and the results are 100% accurate. pH and PPM/EC can be reliably tested in slurries.
 
This is exactly why I feel measuring runoff is absolutely pointless in most indoor gardens using a soil based growing medium. If you were in a hydroponic medium such as coco or rock wool your measurements would have been more accurate. But as you can see adding all that line really threw everything off and now you’ve got a whole nother set of problems to deal with. Do yourself a favor and repot those plants in a bigger container and remove as much of the old dirt as possible. Hopefully the effects can be minimalized.

I just don’t get why people fight for testing runoff and against slurry testing. It’s mind boggling. It takes just a few minutes longer and the results are 100% accurate. pH and PPM/EC can be reliably tested in slurries.
talk to um ,secret though ,they dont listen haaaha,if you know your ph and such dialing in a problem is 3/4 way diagnoised,kinda like doc theses days all refer you to there buddy to get a bit of your change and dont tell ya shit but you need this and that,im sorry i got nothing for doctors,they have a lisence to just insult you,tell you a date you die,like there god or something,run you threw thwe mill with bullshit referals and you only went there cause a bail of hay feel out a trailer smack dab on your head so you need some muscle relaxers,didnt get any but sure have been to plenty of specialist for heart ,lungs,ct scans ,ultra sound all limbs for blockage,yep still aint got no relaxers and you wonder why i outlaw and grow weed hahahahah
 
Thinking about how most soils work (Promix and Coco included), after a month or so, I find that the "channels" develop thru the medium, leaving a lot of it untouched, or minimally touched. I know of many growers, myself included, that have found what looks like untouched or uneveloped areas deep in the root areas. Any water or nutrients will follow thru these channels, which are simply the areas of the least resistance to water's movement, and deposit the majority of their contents along these channels. Measuring runoff would really only check the areas thru the channels, which might explain some of the measurements that don't seem correct.
Hydro growers wouldn't have this problem, but virtually any medium will compact itself slightly and develop these channels. I don't really know how it can be used to remedy or fix this Ph problem, but the comment about the channels developing and possibly skewing test results for Ph or PPM/EC. Plus, the morning medication to control nausea got my mind thinking!
.....Now I'm just thinking about whats going to happen when all of that lime gets working....

Just scratch the surface of the soil well and water slow and steadily. No more channels.
 
Just scratch the surface of the soil well and water slow and steadily. No more channels.
I am referring to the water/nutrient movement in the sub surface area. The gapping that often occurs after a while along the sides of buckets and other vessels is an obvious channel, but I am referring to the areas that often sit directly under the main stem. I have sometimes noticed that this area doesn't seem to get as hydrated or as densly filled with roots. This can be caused by over-stuffing the medium into the containers, but it happens to some degree despite having loose soil/medium. Slow watering will resolve this, but unless you have a half hour to dribble a gallon of water, then it inevitably occurs from my experience. Maybe it's the way that I water as I don't use pumps or hoses, just a gallon jug. Obviously, it's not an issue with hydro, but I'm sure a lot of growers have this issue to some degree without knowing it... like a gallbladder with stones. 99% of the time it doesn't have symptoms, but when it does.....!
 
I am referring to the water/nutrient movement in the sub surface area. The gapping that often occurs after a while along the sides of buckets and other vessels is an obvious channel, but I am referring to the areas that often sit directly under the main stem. I have sometimes noticed that this area doesn't seem to get as hydrated or as densly filled with roots. This can be caused by over-stuffing the medium into the containers, but it happens to some degree despite having loose soil/medium. Slow watering will resolve this, but unless you have a half hour to dribble a gallon of water, then it inevitably occurs from my experience. Maybe it's the way that I water as I don't use pumps or hoses, just a gallon jug. Obviously, it's not an issue with hydro, but I'm sure a lot of growers have this issue to some degree without knowing it... like a gallbladder with stones. 99% of the time it doesn't have symptoms, but when it does.....!
Would a wetting agent take care of this issue?
 
Would a wetting agent take care of this issue?

Yes. Even a drop of dish soap in the water helps. But if you scratch the top half inch of the soil mix the water will permeate more evenly.

Also. @Jimster Lack of roots in the center of the pot is from over watering. Good dry cycle forces roots to search all over for moisture and nutrients.

I try to do this every transplanted pot. You cant even pull apart the dirt the pots are so packed with roots. I think that is one of the most important things for good yields in potting soil.
 
I am referring to the water/nutrient movement in the sub surface area. The gapping that often occurs after a while along the sides of buckets and other vessels is an obvious channel, but I am referring to the areas that often sit directly under the main stem. I have sometimes noticed that this area doesn't seem to get as hydrated or as densly filled with roots. This can be caused by over-stuffing the medium into the containers, but it happens to some degree despite having loose soil/medium. Slow watering will resolve this, but unless you have a half hour to dribble a gallon of water, then it inevitably occurs from my experience. Maybe it's the way that I water as I don't use pumps or hoses, just a gallon jug. Obviously, it's not an issue with hydro, but I'm sure a lot of growers have this issue to some degree without knowing it... like a gallbladder with stones. 99% of the time it doesn't have symptoms, but when it does.....!

I commented about roots and tagged you just above. Good conversation this. :-)
 
I commented about roots and tagged you just above. Good conversation this. :-)
im a lazy bastard,i do give a little shot of water,keep going and then come back and water them in,i dont feed all the same day though,i like the channels,i even plant a seed right were last one was,has that open hiway for the new roots to get some air,i havent had my soil pulling away from edges since i painted them white,helps a lot in the soring sun,i had to get ride some the old totes and put my round ones inside of the square totes and insult with straw,that helps a lot too
 
sorry i havent been on, a tree limb fell and clipped my house so bigger life problems there. i did remove what lime i could from the test subject, i was thinking of repotting, i have some 7 gal fabric pots and like 2.5 bags of ffof, and id like to just point out, i wasnt chasing just one runoff reading, every runoff reading has been like that since i started checking the runoff 3 to 4 weeks ago, crazy low. and the only reason i started checking it was because the calcium issue, if i never had the calcium deficiency i wouldnt care about runoff at all. if every thing was going good i wouldn't have done a thing, if it aint broke dont fix it. but it was broke so thats why im trying to fix it. even that first application of pulverized lime has been in there over 2 weeks and all my slurry test came back with low ph (besides the one i thrpugh the kitchen sink at). not crazy but 6.1 and such is still low, especially for what i had done to it
 
I seriously doubt the ph is that low in fox farms soil. I would be shocked as the plants don’t look that bad considering. If it was in that ph range it would be much worse. Measuring runoff ph is useless. Do a slurry test as oldskool suggested. Use RO water or distilled water for the test.

If you are concerned I’d take as much of the old dirt off the root mass and repot into fresh soil. That should buy you some time and correct some of the issues. Not knowing how to properly test the ph of your soil has caused you to freak out and throw the kitchen sink at it. That’s not ideal and your plants will suffer from it.

To test runoff you need 0 ppm water and even then it will be inaccurate as some of the water will run through channels and straight out the bottom of the container. A slurry test eliminates this margin of error. Anyone who says otherwise has no idea what they are talking about.
I respect your expertise. With that said I believe that after my issue with low ph I found I should have been testing my runoff ph after each watering/feeding to keep track of what the runoff ph is. Allowing it to get so low caused the panic, had I been keeping tabs on the runoff all along ph it wouldn't have gotten so low without me dealing with it.

I just did a deep soil slurry test that came out to 5.3 very close to the results I got from my runoff tess but with much more root system damage. This may not be typical getting the same results but me it was and I didn't like taking a core out of the center of my root ball.imho Its better to keep track of where your runoff ph is than to let it get out of hand and have to do a deep soil slurry test.
 
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