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Darth Budder

Alaska Pure Kelp plant food = a better ph down?

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Hi Folks, been a long long time! 

I've had grows and life go wonky on me, so i ghosted  but have been lurking here and there.  Now I am back to tap the great collective of minds we have here! I am always looking for the simplest way to go about growing. This time I decided to go the lazy organic route by using Dr. Earth products. I am, and have been for a few grows, using the "pot of gold" soil with decent results. This time im ditching my bottles of Blue Planet (which have worked EXCELLENT, but i have water issues) for Dr. Earths Root Zone, Homegrown tomato and veg, and Flower Girl dry ferts.  

Okay so my main issues with growing boil down to: Temps (where the tent is, somewhat under control depending on season), Water Quality, and attention span :)

My household water is awful.  Basically liquid baking soda weighing in at a PH of 9.7.  I think this has been a huge part of my problem. Using blue planet helped a lot as it is buffered in at 6.5.  Adding anywhere from 5ml to 25ml each of a+b always resulted in a 6.5ph.  However still had all kinds of issues.  I am switching over to using purified water to eliminate this variable.  This is of course PHing in at a neutral 7, I figured thats close enough to 6.5.

Dr earths products recommend watering with a kelp solution (Dr earth Ocean Rich of course) to help the soil life.  I am trying to use products I can get close to my house, and none carried Ocean Rich so I picked up this Alaska Pure Kelp stuff. It calls for a wopping 2 tablespoons (60ml) of solution per gallon (3.785L) to get its nutrient profile.  Okay, so I grab my RO water thats at 7, toss my 2 tablespoons of kelp mix it up, throw in my meter: 4.0..

So it turns out the Kelp Solution has a PH of 4.  I don't know if that is normal for kelp or a result of them messing with it for storage but, damn...  So I did a little math.  Given my 7.0 water how much of the kelp can I use to reach my target PH?  A bit of googling and i came up with: https://sciencing.com/do-acid-reduce-water-ph-6890711.html and so with PH expressed in molarity (10 to the power of -(PH)) the volume of Kelp to use would be: 

V = (10^-4 x 3.785 - 10^-7 x3.785) / (10^-4 - 10^-7)

or 8ml/gallon 

But i would need to water 8 times to get the nutrient profile from the kelp, which in my head i am using to make up for the fact I am using purified water with no calcium or other micros in it. Is it worth it? And even if I am not getting the nutrients, would it be better to use this product instead of PH Down?

DB

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Hey DB,

First my disclaimer, I'm new to the big O myself, having giving up the bottles a couple of harvests now. 

 I started a few years ago by reading  the Permaculture folks, and the Biological Organisms folks, and the tea brewing folk also.

I'm not even sure how to go about measuring PH in my concoction of Down To Earth products, except for as I'm measuring out for either vegetative growth , or blooming growth, I still rely of the values on the box, and try to balance them as I'm scooping out the goodies into a mixing cup, and using amounts printed on the box, once I sipher it out.

I also use spent coffee grounds, lemon peels, for their acidic values, and either bubble them as a tea, in tea ball strainer, or poured in with other kitchen scraps after I grind the matter up in water, (Dinosaur Vomit) and pour that delicious gook, into a tub of Pro Mix Coco Coir peat based medium, with a portion of coco coir husks, (this gives your BO's a place to colonize) some perlite, lava rock, bio char, then adding bio Teas, as it's the beneficial organisms that are doing all the work with all the ingredients, to make plant food. They feed, then poop more nutrients.

I also add bokashi, I got mine from hawaii, as I was trying out some maybe island genetics, and it was just a silly way to try and replicate the island dirt as best I can.

One of the additive that goes in both veg and flower batches is Oyster Shells, to help if too acidic, and a good source of calcium. The Bio Char helps also and as a colonizer of BO's.

Go over to Hempy's site for more info. culturehealing I think. Good stuff over there.

I got miles of links if your a reader, so let me know and I'll load you up, LOL!

REMEMBER, I'm learning the big O myself.

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16 minutes ago, webeblzr said:

Hey DB,

First my disclaimer, I'm new to the big O myself, having giving up the bottles a couple of harvests now. 

 I started a few years ago by reading  the Permaculture folks, and the Biological Organisms folks, and the tea brewing folk also.

I'm not even sure how to go about measuring PH in my concoction of Down To Earth products, except for as I'm measuring out for either vegetative growth , or blooming growth, I still rely of the values on the box, and try to balance them as I'm scooping out the goodies into a mixing cup, and using amounts printed on the box, once I sipher it out.

I also use spent coffee grounds, lemon peels, for their acidic values, and either bubble them as a tea, in tea ball strainer, or poured in with other kitchen scraps after I grind the matter up in water, (Dinosaur Vomit) and pour that delicious gook, into a tub of Pro Mix Coco Coir peat based medium, with a portion of coco coir husks, (this gives your BO's a place to colonize) some perlite, lava rock, bio char, then adding bio Teas, as it's the beneficial organisms that are doing all the work with all the ingredients, to make plant food. They feed, then poop more nutrients.

I also add bokashi, I got mine from hawaii, as I was trying out some maybe island genetics, and it was just a silly way to try and replicate the island dirt as best I can.

One of the additive that goes in both veg and flower batches is Oyster Shells, to help if too acidic, and a good source of calcium. The Bio Char helps also and as a colonizer of BO's.

Go over to Hempy's site for more info. culturehealing I think. Good stuff over there.

I got miles of links if your a reader, so let me know and I'll load you up, LOL!

REMEMBER, I'm learning the big O myself.

Hew Web, thanks for the reply. 

I am trying to get keep thing simple by using all these products and following the process laid out by the manufacture. Because the water is so bad out of my pipes, I was hoping just to water with the purified water, but the manufacture recommends using this kelp stuff.  I checked the PH after mixing it out of habit and found it had dropped to a 4.  I figured this would not be beneficial to the soil life?  I like the idea of using the kelp with the purified water as it will add back some of the cal, mag and other beneficial minerals that had been stripped out but if I can only use 5-8ml a gallon but i am wondering if i should just skip it all together, and i just may.  10 bucks for the kelp stuff isnt going to break my bank and I could always give it to my tomatoes. 

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If, the basic nutes from dr. earth are complete then you don't need to add the kelp at all. They have added many extras just like the chemical companies did but you don't need most of them and in many cases none of them. imho.  weed is simple give it the basics of what it needs and results will be sweet with all other conditions being proper of course. ijs

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3 hours ago, Sacred Plant Warrior said:

weed is simple give it the basics of what it needs and results will be sweet with all other conditions being proper of course. ijs

Lets hope.  Just trying to get things as simple and repeatable as possible.  If I can eliminate the problems caused by my tap water by using purified water and eliminate problems I cause by mixing the nutes I should be in a good position to just leave them alone.  My goal is to get the system down to

1. Water 1-2 times a week

2. Scratch a scoop of the fert into the soil every 2 weeks

3. Keep the plants happy by using a water soluble organic with a 1-1-1 ratio as needed (watching leaves)

4. Recharge/re-amend my soil for re-use after harvest (stop carrying 20cf of soil up 3 flights every few months)

If i can I should be golden.  Then its just a matter of if this style of growing works will blumats.  If so, I'll have it down to set-and-mostly-forget

DB

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Yea you so don't want to use food to adjust PH, you're messing with more than one variable at a time.

Check your tap every watering, you'll find it runs from 8 to 9 ish if its like ours.  We have soda ash added to raise the PH so the water does not eat the old city pipes.   If its 8 or less your good. if more just use regular PH down, you won't need to drop to 7, just get down below 8.

Then feed or whatever as normal.

Reusing soil is also a bad idea.  

Physically you are not going to be able to retain the particle and capillary sizes you want, think soggy cereal in milk.  

Chemically the buffers and amendments put together by people who know their soil stuff better than we do will not be easy to replicate.

Biologically there will be dead root mass throughout the soil you are reusing that have not been composted yet, which means your planting in the wrong bacteria.

Blumats are the best possible way to water, good call.

 

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3 hours ago, Darth Budder said:

Lets hope.  Just trying to get things as simple and repeatable as possible.  If I can eliminate the problems caused by my tap water by using purified water and eliminate problems I cause by mixing the nutes I should be in a good position to just leave them alone.  My goal is to get the system down to

1. Water 1-2 times a week

2. Scratch a scoop of the fert into the soil every 2 weeks

3. Keep the plants happy by using a water soluble organic with a 1-1-1 ratio as needed (watching leaves)

4. Recharge/re-amend my soil for re-use after harvest (stop carrying 20cf of soil up 3 flights every few months)

If i can I should be golden.  Then its just a matter of if this style of growing works will blumats.  If so, I'll have it down to set-and-mostly-forget

DB

i get you're trying to do kiss  style growing the organic way. just keep in mind that happens after your learning curve, which you are dealing with now. stick with your goals and you'll run right into success. :)

find folks who don't pay for water and just get a few gallons from them on the regular. apt dwellers usually have water included in their rent. 

blumats will do great for watering your plants. don't forget to get the larger ones based on your plant size if need be. btw don't try to use them with any chunky solutions that will clog them up. use them for watering only until u figure out more. 

there are other inexpensive simple gravity fed water systems too suited to more traditional multi-plant applications.

drip works https://www.dripworks.com/drip-irrigation/irrigation-kits they have stepped up their game and offer cannabis watering kits complete. Yes, price gouge weed folks as usual.  Ironically weed folks have been using their plant irrigation IDEAS FOR YEARS WITHOUT THE NEW HIGH COST CANNABIS KITS THEY OFFER NOW. smdh 

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A true LOS soil mix is far superior to any bag soil you can buy and even in the short run it's less expensive, less work, less infestations, no bottled nutes, no Ph meters, and yes you can reuse it because the older it is the better it becomes. Watering is the biggest problem for anyone growing in soil, Blu Mats are great and as @Scone_Of_Ark said, long as your (chlorine removed) tap water ph is around 8 your good for soil, it helps buffer. Regarding maintenance you only have to occasionally feed the soil with teas and then top dress after first run. Outdoor beds I don't even pull plants, just cut off at ground, indoors I cut the main stalk below the soil line, but leave the roots, the LOS will take care of the rest without enzyme additives. There's all kinds of recipes online, just don't over think and go for the complicated ones, look at the ones that are given in parts so it's easy to match the recipe to grow size, your not measuring nutes, simple is better, also regardless of the chemicals (organic or Syn) thrown in the pot,  healthy plants produce the most bud.  Just try it for a few plants in a grow to get a handle and keep the rest on what you know.

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the soil recipes here will put you on easy mode.  the soil recipe I write on, changed many a growers direction who had issues from here.  

ph will be perfect.

http://culturalhealingandlife.com.www413.your-server.de/index.php?/topic/22-soil-recipe/

 

regarding reusing soil, add 10 to 15 percent worm castings or similar with a layer of compost on top of the media.  you may need a bit of calcium and magnesium but use at 1/4 original recipe and adjust as plants indicate for the following round.

Biochar (charged) is great when reusing soil.  homes for microbes.

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6 hours ago, Hempyfan said:

the soil recipes here will put you on easy mode.  the soil recipe I write on, changed many a growers direction who had issues from here.  

ph will be perfect.

http://culturalhealingandlife.com.www413.your-server.de/index.php?/topic/22-soil-recipe/

 

regarding reusing soil, add 10 to 15 percent worm castings or similar with a layer of compost on top of the media.  you may need a bit of calcium and magnesium but use at 1/4 original recipe and adjust as plants indicate for the following round.

Biochar (charged) is great when reusing soil.  homes for microbes.

TY Hempy for that link and always your expert advice, @Mr Goodfellow there you go, a wonderful recipe for soil :)

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I agree. Hempy has the goods in his info. It's all in there.2That soil recipe is basically exactly what I'm doing but with Roots Organic dry nutrients. It has all of the essential ingredients in one bag. 

I use ProMix or Sunshine #4, and cut it with a good soil. I normally use FF Ocean Forest. My guy keeps it on sale most of the time. I add worm castings into the mix, too

Then I add in the Roots Foundation and Grow mixes and mix into the soil before up potting. Then I scratch it into the dirt once a month. 

- Foundation Mix - http://aurorainnovations.com/uprising-foundation.html

- Grow Mix - http://aurorainnovations.com/uprising-grow.html

- Bloom - http://aurorainnovations.com/uprising-bloom.html

I amend once a week with their liquid Surge, fish based mix. Once blooming starts I also use their HPK and HP2 as flower boosters. It's an easy way to get into organics without trying to learn it all on the first go. This stuff has all the best ingredients all mixed in and in raw form.

I use their Oregonism microbe mix regularly, too. Feed them with some humic acid and molasses and they break it all down for my roots. 

It's been real easy to deal with as I learn more about the details of organic gardening. Their products seem to be a really good deal to me to have everything in one bag. I've gone a couple of years now on one each of the 3lb. bags. I do notice wonderful flavors and aromas. Organic rules.

Now that I'm settled in and know that I'll be staying here, I can get back to building soil and compost. It's always the best.

peace

mrG

 

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I've posted this before, it's one of the best and most simple recipes out there, it's all you need, perfected by Gas and Coots over 30 years time and simplified.          

Base:

1 part sphagnum peat moss,no additives.This can be as cheap as 15 dollars a bail at home depot. The preferred brands have no additives,like Alaskan peat.

1 part pumice and/or perlite. Pumice is preferred due to perlite aggregate separation

1 part earthworm castings and/or high quality compost

Food and minerals:

1 cup per cubic foot of soil base mix volume on each amendment

1 cup fish meal
1 cup kelp meal
1 cup pacific pearl oyster shell calcium
1 cup basalt rock dust
...any other additional amendments go in at this ratio,but you will need to know what they are as additional food sources will need to be accounted for.

The bio-char will act more a aeration amendment,but indeed still function with the negative ion exchange capability we put it in there for in the first place.

So when mixing base mix add char in the pumice/perlite as if it is part the aggregate portion mix. Mix on a large flat surface or a large trap that can be roll-mixed with two people. That's it,no need for ph meters or added bottled nutrients. Just topdress or make botanical teas,etc. It's the soil food web,it needs food too,so feed with the idea that you are feeding microbes,not just plants.
Congratulations,you've just built your own soil food web negative ionic exchange battery.

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13 hours ago, Scone_Of_Ark said:

Yea you so don't want to use food to adjust PH, you're messing with more than one variable at a time.

Check your tap every watering, you'll find it runs from 8 to 9 ish if its like ours.  We have soda ash added to raise the PH so the water does not eat the old city pipes.   If its 8 or less your good. if more just use regular PH down, you won't need to drop to 7, just get down below 8.

Then feed or whatever as normal.

Reusing soil is also a bad idea.  

Physically you are not going to be able to retain the particle and capillary sizes you want, think soggy cereal in milk.  

Chemically the buffers and amendments put together by people who know their soil stuff better than we do will not be easy to replicate.

Biologically there will be dead root mass throughout the soil you are reusing that have not been composted yet, which means your planting in the wrong bacteria.

Blumats are the best possible way to water, good call.

 

Thank you for that.  It answers my question about using the Alaska as PH Down perfectly. 

I am done with my tap. I do not think you guys believe me when i say my tap is like 9.7-9.9 consistently.  Its just horrible.  I am going to be using purified water I am getting delivered. At some point maybe Ill get a few rain barrels going. My concern using the purified water is some folks have said it could screw with my soil, but i think that is only if it is distilled?

As far as soil re-use in containers, I know this is one of those debates that can go back and forth forever.  I am going to give it a try with these next few grows and see what happens. 

Bluemats look to be the last upgrade to my room :)

DB

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13 hours ago, Sacred Plant Warrior said:

i get you're trying to do kiss  style growing the organic way. just keep in mind that happens after your learning curve, which you are dealing with now. stick with your goals and you'll run right into success. :)

find folks who don't pay for water and just get a few gallons from them on the regular. apt dwellers usually have water included in their rent. 

blumats will do great for watering your plants. don't forget to get the larger ones based on your plant size if need be. btw don't try to use them with any chunky solutions that will clog them up. use them for watering only until u figure out more. 

there are other inexpensive simple gravity fed water systems too suited to more traditional multi-plant applications.

drip works https://www.dripworks.com/drip-irrigation/irrigation-kits they have stepped up their game and offer cannabis watering kits complete. Yes, price gouge weed folks as usual.  Ironically weed folks have been using their plant irrigation IDEAS FOR YEARS WITHOUT THE NEW HIGH COST CANNABIS KITS THEY OFFER NOW. smdh 

Learning curves are a bitch.  But this thread has done it's job in attracting exactly the information I was looking for. I am excited to get past it and see how lazy my grow can get :)

11 hours ago, baqualin said:

A true LOS soil mix is far superior to any bag soil you can buy and even in the short run it's less expensive, less work, less infestations, no bottled nutes, no Ph meters, and yes you can reuse it because the older it is the better it becomes. Watering is the biggest problem for anyone growing in soil, Blu Mats are great and as @Scone_Of_Ark said, long as your (chlorine removed) tap water ph is around 8 your good for soil, it helps buffer. Regarding maintenance you only have to occasionally feed the soil with teas and then top dress after first run. Outdoor beds I don't even pull plants, just cut off at ground, indoors I cut the main stalk below the soil line, but leave the roots, the LOS will take care of the rest without enzyme additives. There's all kinds of recipes online, just don't over think and go for the complicated ones, look at the ones that are given in parts so it's easy to match the recipe to grow size, your not measuring nutes, simple is better, also regardless of the chemicals (organic or Syn) thrown in the pot,  healthy plants produce the most bud.  Just try it for a few plants in a grow to get a handle and keep the rest on what you know.

I hear ya Baq about building your own soil and I am happy to see you here.  I am not sure how building/mixing my base potting soil is going to be less work though.  The last time i built a soil was about 7 years ago when I made my raised beds in the back yard.  I do not compost on my own, never will, so this involved hand mixing ... shit what was it... 60 cubic feet? I think so, 10 bags each of garden soil, lobster compost and some other bagged compost mix.  I threw in 6cf of perlite with it.   It was a bitch, but I have had a crazy garden since then.  Last year I got like 140lbs of giant pumkins! 

image.thumb.png.df3a8c29450c8302c3ec5a91135a5d95.png

This year its sunflowers and a bushel or so of Roma's

image.thumb.png.f8cc56d4e2fae1f6bbfba8191fa79c93.png

But i would really rather just buy something mixed to start with and amend as needed now.. I prefer to save time and effort over money but we will see what happens after the second run, maybe I will start over with the same recipe i used outside. 

8 hours ago, Hempyfan said:

the soil recipes here will put you on easy mode.  the soil recipe I write on, changed many a growers direction who had issues from here.  

ph will be perfect.

http://culturalhealingandlife.com.www413.your-server.de/index.php?/topic/22-soil-recipe/

 

regarding reusing soil, add 10 to 15 percent worm castings or similar with a layer of compost on top of the media.  you may need a bit of calcium and magnesium but use at 1/4 original recipe and adjust as plants indicate for the following round.

Biochar (charged) is great when reusing soil.  homes for microbes.

Hey Hempy!! Good to see you here too.  So after each round I was expecting to top dress with BioChar, Compost, and 5-5-5 organic dry mix.  One thing i do not see in any of my fert mixes or soils is EWC, which almost everyone recommends.  Should I add this to my list of stuff, or is it just another form of organic N?  Now that i read you again i see "Or Similar" :)

DB

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1 hour ago, Mr Goodfellow said:

I agree. Hempy has the goods in his info. It's all in there.2That soil recipe is basically exactly what I'm doing but with Roots Organic dry nutrients. It has all of the essential ingredients in one bag. 

I use ProMix or Sunshine #4, and cut it with a good soil. I normally use FF Ocean Forest. My guy keeps it on sale most of the time. I add worm castings into the mix, too

Then I add in the Roots Foundation and Grow mixes and mix into the soil before up potting. Then I scratch it into the dirt once a month. 

- Foundation Mix - http://aurorainnovations.com/uprising-foundation.html

- Grow Mix - http://aurorainnovations.com/uprising-grow.html

- Bloom - http://aurorainnovations.com/uprising-bloom.html

I amend once a week with their liquid Surge, fish based mix. Once blooming starts I also use their HPK and HP2 as flower boosters. It's an easy way to get into organics without trying to learn it all on the first go. This stuff has all the best ingredients all mixed in and in raw form.

I use their Oregonism microbe mix regularly, too. Feed them with some humic acid and molasses and they break it all down for my roots. 

It's been real easy to deal with as I learn more about the details of organic gardening. Their products seem to be a really good deal to me to have everything in one bag. I've gone a couple of years now on one each of the 3lb. bags. I do notice wonderful flavors and aromas. Organic rules.

Now that I'm settled in and know that I'll be staying here, I can get back to building soil and compost. It's always the best.

peace

mrG

 

MrG this is exactly what i needed to see.  I am using similar products with the DR Earth pot of gold soil, Root Zone 1-2-1. Tomato and Herb 4-6-3, and Flower Girl 3-9-4.  I plan to maintain with the Alaska Kelp and water soluble 3-3-3 from Jobes as needed.  What you are doing sounds like the same thing with different brand names, Ill call that proof of concept for my proof of concept run :)

DB

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with what you are going to add, i would add a handful on top of media, then put compost on top of that.  their are good microbes and good fulvic acids that plants can use right away. 

fyi, do not use fulvic acid from rock like leanardite.  plant cant use it.

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OH I agree, this post should be pinned. Great info here.

I had no idea you did all that mr G. You don't need advice lol

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44 minutes ago, gardenartus said:

OH I agree, this post should be pinned. Great info here.

I had no idea you did all that mr G. You don't need advice lol

Yeah Garden, I ran into Hempy very early on when I joined, and with all of that information I decided to make it easier on myself at first while I understand more, what the different components do and when I need them. So, reading through his stuff and getting familiar with it, really helped me.

I kind of just happened onto the Roots Organics from Aurora Innovations, when @agreenpassion recommended them to me. They had it all figured out for the home guy. I was and still am, very impressed. I've been very happy. I could always add more of their amendments in to the mix when I have money to burn, lol. I'm sort of a minimalist anyway. Less is more, sometime,  kind of thing, heh.

But it all fit into what hempy had presented in his papers, so I feel pretty good for now. I'm getting a much better feel for some of the ingredients and the feel for when to use them. It's so cool to know what you are doing is promoting healthy earth practices, too. It carries right over into your veggie garden, too, in the most awesome way. You've never grown a garden like this until you introduce the same practices to it, too. Food tastes much better, too.

peace

mrG

 

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I trust Hempy completely. He is a professional, not just saying expert, he is a pro! lol We are lucky he is a kind person and shares all this knowledge with us. :)

I have to go back and read, then read again lol he is so intelligent and I learn so much, he overwhelms this old brain just a bit.

I really think Medical changed the way folks grow, taking it more serious not to use these harsh pesticides and synthetic nutes. The cannabis is so much better. Back in the day, I think that paranoia came from bleach, pesticides, and a bit of Mexican Sweat lol maybe some donkey spit in there too ha ha

I dont hear of folks getting paranoid now, maybe too high on dabs lol but not paranoia, If I got paranoid, I would suspect pesticides or synthetics.

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EWC's are the key, impossible to use to much, you can open a bag and plant directly into it. Make your tea's with it too. You can use with or without compost. If you must go with bagged soil then Roots Organic (original recipe) is the one, I've used it for years and still use it for the first pot up of clones till ready for the LOS beds outdoors and tubs indoors. The simpler the mix the easier it is to control, people always think more is better when adding stuff to soils.

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2 minutes ago, gardenartus said:

I trust Hempy completely. He is a professional, not just saying expert, he is a pro! lol We are lucky he is a kind person and shares all this knowledge with us. :)

I have to go back and read, then read again lol he is so intelligent and I learn so much, he overwhelms this old brain just a bit.

He gets it!:verrygood

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@Darth Budder Have you tried a water ionizer?(donnow how to name it in U.S.)
It can remove access calciumcarbonate thus lowering your PH,straight from your tap.
They cost some money,just like every piece of hardware for our plants.

Also makes stepping under your shower a bit nicer too,with water so hard it would take ages to get the soap of your body man:lol:

 

:grinning_respect: to all soil recipes i have read over here,i like it !

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