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Growing organically - How do I manage pH ?

Question: How do I manage the pH of my soil when growing organically?

Young marijuana plant is loving lifeI've heard that many pH control kits can kill beneficial bacteria in the soil.

More info:

I was watering my girls tonight, and I mixed in a half strength dose of bloom nutes. So I test the PH and it is right in range, about 6.5. When I tested the runoff, it was really acidic at around 5.5.

What am I doing wrong, and how do I correct this?

Details about grow - 600W MH, Week 3 of veg, Roots Organic soil.

Answer: You don't need to worry about pH when growing organically if you've set things up properly, unless you notice actual pH problems with your plants.

View pictures of marijuana nutrient problems

pH management is much less important when growing organically than with other methods for growing marijuana.

Learn how to make organic super soil (custom-formulated for cannabis plants - for those who take organic growing seriously)

When growing marijuana organically, you depend on your soil and the humates it contains to automatically buffer your pH.

Unless you are noticing actual symptoms of nutrient lockout (nutrient deficiencies) than pH adjustment is probably not necessary.

In general with organic growing, it's recommended you do not adjust or try to manage pH until you know something is wrong. In organic growing "if it ain't broke don't fix it."

If you do need to adjust the pH because you are noticing nutrient lockout on your plants, than you should use an organic source.

Organic "pH Down"

Organic "pH Up"

Note: Dolomite Lime acts as a natural pH buffer and will help keep the pH constant when added to your soil. It can also help correct acidic soil up to a certain point. If you already know your pH is too low, try to find the powdered dolomite lime, as the larger chunks take longer to break down. The larger chunks should be okay if you're just looking for a pH buffer.

Using an inorganic pH adjuster (like the pH Up and Down that come with most pH adjustment kits, for example the General Hydroponics pH kit) will actually damage your microherd (beneficial bacteria) and can set your plants back as far as nutrient breakdown / absorption is concerned.



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