Al or anyone. Can vinegar cause harm this way?

meyermike_1micha(5)October 31, 2012

I was wondering if vinegar can cause harm at a capful per gallon of water if ones water supply has a pH that is already very low and doesn't know it?

Can using vinegar to try and see if it may be the cause of a nutrient uptake 'in case their water is too akaline, cause harm to plants if they have a low pH already and is not aware of this?

We know it can help those of us with higher ph, and it has helped me since my water reads 8.5

But I don't want to give this suggestion, to use vinegar to someone who does not want to test their water supply or who is oblivious to their ph levels, and that may already have a very low 'pH' water supply.

So, if one adds vinegar to tap water at such small doses, can it harm their plants, make their water solution even lower in pH than it already may be causing more harm than good? Is it only for those with a certainty,,,,,, high pH water readings?

Sheesh, I hope you know what I mean. This situation has come up on the citrus forum and I do not want to dispense bad information.

Thank you.

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Here's a link that migh be useful...

This will explain what I mean. Please, look at the reaction of vinegar use.

Here is a link that might be useful: Vinger issue

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 7:27PM
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nil13(z21 L.A., CA (Mt. Washington))

If they don't want to buy strips to test pH they can use red cabbage.

red cabbage pH indicator

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 10:54PM
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nil13(z21 L.A., CA (Mt. Washington))

If they don't want to buy strips to test pH they can use red cabbage.

red cabbage pH indicator

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 10:55PM
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nil13(z21 L.A., CA (Mt. Washington))

If they don't want to buy strips to test pH they can use red cabbage.

red cabbage pH indicator

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 10:57PM
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Mike, I'm sure Al is the better 'go to guy' when it comes to comprehensively answering these kinds of questions, but let me throw a few caveats out there just for the heck of it...

Before adding anything to the water we use on our plants, we have to consider why we need to add anything, what problems we're experiencing and hope to solve, the source of the water we're using... and hopefully we do test it for pH before we do anything.

Water varies in several things from source to source, pH one of those things.

Some people like to collect and use rain water, but we need to be aware that, due to pollutants, the pH may have changed since it was assigned an average pH number years ago for gardeners to go by. We should probably test our collected rain water just to be sure.

Tap water varies from area to area, and source to source, so that should definitely be tested before adding anything.

Distilled water is, I believe, not recommended for use on plants because of the distillation process. I believe it has something to do with positively and negatively charged ions, though it is best to research the process so we understand what happens to the water, and whether or not we should use it.

Bottled drinking water is a good source, and I believe the pH would probably not differ too greatly from source to source... though this, too, might be better researched to make sure.

In my estimation, tap water that doesn't pass through a softening process is probably the better and most easily obtained, not to mention the most common source of water used for plants. To be sure it's a decent source to use, we should test it for pH.

There's an old saying... you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink... meaning, you can suggest testing for pH before adding anything or using the water source for containerized plants, but chances are that not everyone will test for pH of the water they use. In which case, the best you can do is explain why the addition of vinegar might be helpful to that person, let them know that pH testing is a good idea first, and leave it at that. The actual testing is in their hands. You've done all you can do.

Personally, I've never used vinegar on my containerized plants. I've never had a need to.

In the linked thread, it appears that the OP is having issues that stem from more than just water. The issue appears fungal or viral, or even caused by cold ambient temperatures, to my untrained eyes... I've never grown citrus before, so I'm not sure what types of things they are susceptible to, aside from cold.

One thing I do know, however, is that a lot of issues can begin at the roots... I might un-pot the tree to see what's happening under that soil. I'd want to know what the roots looked like, whether they were healthy or not. I'd think carefully about the temperatures it's been exposed to recently... (I'm in zone 5, and we've been experiencing some drastic fluctuations that might harm a citrus). I'd want to ensure the plant had fresh medium that drained well, was free of bacterias and viruses, and I'd want to ensure it was able to uptake nutrition.

Aside from that, I'd leave it to the experts... I'm no expert when it comes to growing citrus. But I do know we each have our own little micro-environments to adjust for... one-size-fits-all growing doesn't really exist.

Happy Gardening!

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 12:34PM
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