Tap water pH level 7.5 -8.0

bitzppa(11)May 24, 2013

Tap water pH level 7.5 -8.0 should I add vinegar to water for citrus tree's or any other plants for that matter ?

thanks
BZ

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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

I do. Just retested my tap water and like you, it's just under 8.0. For my veggies, I add 1 tablespoon of 5% vinegar to a 2 gallon watering can, which knocks the pH down to a little above 6. For my blueberries I add 3 tablespoons of vinegar to the 2 gallons of tap water, and that brings the pH down to about 5. The pH scale is logrithmic, so it takes more vinegar to lower the pH as you go from 6 to 5. Bought an aquarium pH test kit from the pet store for about $10, which goes as low as 5.0 for fresh water. Just recently tested my rainwater, and it's about 6.5.

This post was edited by edweather on Fri, May 24, 13 at 14:11

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 2:08PM
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bitzppa(11)

thanks edweather great info !

do you dilute the vinegar to get the 5% solution for adding to the watering can ?

I was wondering about tomatoes as they do like slightly acidic conditions as well do you use vinegar on those ?

thanks again for your help very much appreciated.

BZ

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 2:35PM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

White vinegar is 5% as it comes in the bottle. No need to dilute. Yes I use 1 tablespoon of vinegar per 2 gallons for all my watering except blueberries where I add more. Seems like the 1 tablespoon per 2 gallons mimics rainwater fairly closely.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 6:54PM
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bitzppa(11)

Thanks Ed , didn't know that about vinegar the 5% thing , learn something every day :)
thanks heaps for all the info on what to do very interesting stuff :)
will give it a go and see what happens.
always something to learn on here !

BZ

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 9:37PM
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DWD2(10a, Sunset 17)

BZ, pH management of container substrates is a big subject and there are a lot of great resources out there. Relative to your water supply, the alkalinity of your water is the bigger determinant of whether you need to adjust the pH than pH alone. If edweather can adjust the pH of his water over 1 pH unit with 1 tbls of 5% vinegar (acetic acid, which is a fairly weak acid) in 2 gallons of water, then his water is not very alkaline. I would not bother with the vinegar with what he says he observes. Here is a link by the horticulture group at North Carolina State University that does a great job of explaining what you are asking about.
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/floriculture/plugs/ph.pdf

Your water provider measures the alkalinity of your water & can tell you what it is. Whether they will is another matter entirely. They usually will. The test kit the NCSU folks recommend is fairly cheap, easy to use & accurate.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 4:08AM
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bitzppa(11)

cheers thanks DWD2

its a good read and more info to piece the puzzle

BZ

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 8:11AM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

DWD2 is right about the Total Alkalinity. Mine is fairly high at 110ppm. Alot of people have a TA higher than that though. A good pool water test kit will include a TA tester.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 8:12AM
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bitzppa(11)

bloody expensive hobby :) but very rewarding I might add :)

pool tester on the list Ed :)

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 8:30AM
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