Jul 15, 2018



Hi all. I learned recently if you're growing in organics it is best to have your P.H on a higher scale rather than a lower an example would be 6.8 instead of 6.2 this is because organic soil acts as a PH buffer. But it only can buffer the soil downwards not back up so the time your 6.3 Ph gets buffered by the soil it will be at 6ish whereas if you give a 6.8 the soil will be able to buffer it to 6.2 this is becuase most organic soil buffers itself to 6.2 - 6.3.




So lets say your ph is 5.9 or 6.0 the soil wont be able to raise it back up to its natural state, this is why most people expirence lockouts, nute problems, soil toxicity, salts buildup etc. Because they have given the plant more than 1-2 feedings with lower PH. So if your ph is at 7 leave it. your plant will be happy and will naturally do the job.


The reason why this happens is because most of our key nutrients are taken up by the roots at a P.H between 6.2 to 6.9. For example if your ph is at 5.8 the plants works on overdrive to take up nutrients causing slower rate of photosynthesis this is why you might expirence a plants growth suddenly slow down or stop, An easy way to raise P.H is simply add water with a higher P.H than 6.2, or lets say you have a perfect P.H of 6.4-6.5 and then you add some nutrients to the water and it throws your ph off to lower than 6.2 all you need to do is add more water thats 6.2 and above and you will be able to adjust accordingly.


Hope this helps some people understand PH more, knowledge is life.

Be Kind to it. peace.


Aug 11, 2018Edited: Aug 13, 2018

I guess I need to catch up on my forum reading. This was a very informative post. I think we saw this in practice in this video series. There was some effect by the storms, but I think Chef had to add some acidity to his water, if I remember correctly. The plants have had a lot of growth since then. Something's is dialed in just right. I've learned about PH from this post and Chef's channel and site in general. Thank you for your post.

Aug 13, 2018

great info thanks. I will for sure be referencing it as things progress.

Aug 14, 2018Edited: Aug 14, 2018

Interesting post. I think you are giving some misleading information mixed in with good information though. Any pH 7.0 or above locks out calcium availability from bone meal, which is used often in organics. The pH should always be kept below 7.0 so plants can work with mycorrhyzae. Anything 7.0 and above inhibits mycorrhyzae. Also, please see my post in regard to you saying watering is a way to raise pH. I could not raise my pH with watering (soil=5.0-5.5 pH and water=7.0 pH very hard* water). I did not include this in my post on microbial economics in an experiment, but I actually literally could not raise my pH last time growing, even with liquid pH buffering product. I could only raise the pH this time by allowing the plant to work with the microbes and the soil. One of my plants in organic soil adjusted to that nice 6.2-6.4 pH you speak of, but I could not achieve that with just pH'd water.

Sep 8, 2018

hmmm., I have well water measuring 7.0+. I would like to lower it without bottle nutes or pH down(salts). So I have organic lemon juice, i have white distilled vinegar, and apple cider vinegar. These all may contain some salts, I guess? Which is the best choice, I use no bottle nutes. The soil is cooked dry amendments.

Sep 9, 2018

I think Chef B. prefers to use vinegar of sorts... Probably white distilled vinegar. I can't remember if he used apple or white distilled. Either one would acidify the pH just fine my man. Good on you for avoiding liquid bottled nutes, they usually pretty wasteful environmentally and economically. What do you mean cooked dry amendments...? Like your soil is literally pure cooked and dried amendments? Because that's probably bad man. You're probably gonna have more problems than just a high pH with well water though. I'd highly suggest getting it tested, as well water usually requires specific treatment. I don't use well water, but my water is insanely hard water nonetheless and I have to adjust my nutrients accordingly, even if organic. You're most likely going to have too much calcium and magnesium and are going to have to supplement in potassium regularly to balance out these other cations that can be really high in well water (calcium and magnesium). Do you have any idea of what the mineral content is of the well water?

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  • Hi all. Below is a recipe for a homemade organic pro-mix taken from SF Gate. I know Chef has passed but I think this is still an excellent forum to gather on and spread research with. I do think someone should comment on if this web page will exist for long though as well just in case so this valuable research is not deleted! I have back ups just in case but I'll make a seperate post for that. Onto the pro-mix recipe: 1/3 peat moss 1/3 perlite 1/3 organic gardening soil 1/4 cup garden lime per gallon of mix I have tried it and it works. Be careful if you have hard water, you will need to add intermediate chelators (AKA L-Amino Acids) to chelate the calcium, magnesium, etc in your water to prevent transpiration issues etc general salt issues that occur with mixing hard water and this fairly sweet and calcium and magnesium rich soil mix. I recommend going easy on the dolomite lime in general and also go easy on the peat moss, peaty soil is known to compact. If you are gonna be moving plants in pots add more perlite than peat moss because this will help with transpiration issues that come from compaction when moving potted plants around. You'll notice how good this mix smells and works for plants! You'll get very fast growing plants because this mix is focused on high porosity for a very high rate of transpiration and therefore plant mass production! Also note that this mix only feeds plants for a couple weeks and then you will need to add some salts for the plant and soil health. Adding a bit of organic matter to the soil eventually will be a good idea as well to continue feeding your organic base in the soil. I personally have a food web with springtails being consumed by a certain antonymous fungi in my soil I try to keep going. The springtails don't leave the pot and the fungi and springtails provide a ton of nitrogen to the plant, potentially CO2 as well! This cycle has successfully infected all the pots in my house interestingly. Sources: SF Gate Guide for peat moss pH balancing: https://homeguides.sfgate.com/balance-ph-lime-peat-potting-33867.html Peat moss to perlite ratio (Also SF Gate): https://homeguides.sfgate.com/recommended-ratio-peat-moss-perlite-46321.html SF Gate's article on the disadvantages of soil-less media (similar to this growing medium (pro-mix) minus the organic gardening soil): https://homeguides.sfgate.com/disadvantages-soilless-mixes-92328.html SF Gate article on composition of potting soil (good place to start to understand potting soils which are often replaced by soil-less pro-mixes). Also ratios of stuff: https://homeguides.sfgate.com/composition-potting-soil-75052.html On the springtail and fungi note, that is harder to source. The certain springtail eating and red hued mushroom producing fungi comes from Host Defence's Myco-Blend all purpose microbial and biostimulant inoculant and I think the springtails followed me via transporting the same compost over a long period of time. On the transpiration topic: Dr. B.C. Wolverton's book "How to Grow Fresh Air" explains that there is an equation that dictates how much air a plant is filtering dependent upon how much mass the plant produces. This has a lot to do w/ the soil medium. High porosity soil makes for the fastest mass production in plants. PS. If you have your own high porosity pro-mix or something similar please post it here. Of particular interest are environmentally friendly mixes, which the above mentioned mix is not due to the unsustainable peat moss component. Coco coir can be used to replace it (and is more environmentally friendly) but then potassium salts should be added at some point although I am less experienced with that mix so I don't know how soon potassium would be essential. I imagine co co coir may cause issues w/ pH because it may not be super acidic and so dolomite lime may need to be adjusted to lesser quantity per gallon. Also this mix may have too much calcium and magnesium due to coco coir and dolomite lime having so much of these elements. Maybe it'd be fine though. A good pH, texture, and an organic base, and magical things can happen with any soil mix basically.

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