Need Help Adjusting soil PH

john216(5)April 13, 2014

Hello All I Recently Planted Some Banana Sweet peppers in 5 Gallon containers,, well thing I did a soil test and if I am correct its well above 7.5 darker than the darkest color on my color chart so how in world do I correct this ? so I need to re-pot tjhem?

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Potting mix is typically pH adjusted. I also suggest that home pH testers are notoriously terrible. I'll wager that the pH of the potting mix is just fine.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 9:46PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

The manufacturers of potting soil will try to make the pH of that mix what the plants that will be grown in them what those plants need. So a general use potting soil will be made for a pH in the 6.2 to 6.8 range while potting soils for other plants, well marked, will be different.
That what ever you used to check the pH of that potting mix indicated such a high value indicates the problem with using them, they are not very accurate.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 6:54AM
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toxcrusadr

What did you pot them in? Commercial potting mix, homemade, ??? Are they growing OK?

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 1:21PM
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john216(5)

Soil Mixture
45% Dehydrated Composted Cow Maanure 2-2-2
45% Potting Soil With Peat Moss Already Added
10% Perlite

Added To Soil ; 1 Teaspoon Of Each
Garden Tone 3-4-4 / Bone Meal 6-9-0 / Muriate of Potash 0-0-60 / Epsom Salt

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 1:57PM
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Slimy_Okra(2b)

None of those ingredients are alkaline. I wouldn't worry about the pH, especially one measured with a home kit. Did you ensure that you measured the pH of a filtered soil slurry? Use a coffee filter. Soil particles can stain pH paper and produce an erroneous reading.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 5:35PM
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john216(5)

No I Brought one these in that picture looks just like that but the color is tad darker exactly as it shown in that is why im worried but I guess im stressing for nothing

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 7:12PM
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Slimy_Okra(2b)

Did you use distilled water to do this test?

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 8:44PM
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john216(5)

no should have I? I used spring water

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 8:47PM
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Slimy_Okra(2b)

That explains it then. Spring water and mineral water tend to be high in calcium and magnesium bicarbonate, with a pH generally in the range of 7.5 to 8.5.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 11:11PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Animal manures tend to make soils they are applied to more alkaline.

Here is a link that might be useful: pH of animal manures

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 6:37AM
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ericwi

Try using your soil pH test kit to test a water sample, the water that you are using to irrigate your plants. Knowing the pH of the irrigation water will help you succeed at gardening.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 9:43AM
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john216(5)

This For ericwi
Do You Mean This API Freshwater PH Test Kit - I Picked One Up From A Pet Supply Store To Test My Waters Ph Because Here Where Im At It High

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 9:56AM
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toxcrusadr

You should use distilled water for pH testing. And I agree with filtering it first, it won't change the results as long as it's well mixed and allowed to stand for a couple minutes before filtering. Anyway on my computer monitor it looks like 6.5 - 7.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 11:03AM
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john216(5)

i take and let tap water sit out for 1 week before using it

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 11:08AM
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ericwi

The indicator dye in any soil test kit will also work on irrigation water, and should give valid pH test results. Just use the published color chart to judge the sample, and note the pH.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 7:47PM
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toxcrusadr

I haven't goofed around with this in the lab (although I'm an environmental chemist), so this is based on theory. The problem with using tap water with minerals in it, even if the pH is neutral, is that certain minerals have a buffering effect. They resist changes in pH and basically absorb some of the acidic or basic nature of the sample. The resulting reading will not be totally accurate. It's impossible to say how much of an effect there would be without knowing what's in your specific water. If you get water from a limestone aquifer, it not only may be around pH 8, but it's buffered at that pH. It will screw with the results.

Spend $1.49 for a gallon of distilled and do it right. You need some for your iron and your car battery anyway, right?

This post was edited by toxcrusadr on Wed, Apr 16, 14 at 13:49

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 11:36AM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

$1.49 for a galloon of distilled water? Its available here for $0.98 or $1.09 per gallon dep0ending on which store you go to.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 6:15AM
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toxcrusadr

Well there you go. I didn't want to lowball it in case people were in places where things cost more. After seeing the price of mulch in NYC in that other thread, whew!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 12:11PM
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