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Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify water

Posted by nandakumar 7 (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 3, 13 at 10:21

Hi,

I'm told to mix White Vinegar or lime/lemon flesh (left over after juice extraction) to the water to make the water more acidic for watering Blueberry.

Please share your thoughts on this.

Regarding Blueberry watering, member 'Blueboy' suggested that rainwater is one of the best option. We had some rain in Dallas yesterday and I have collected about 20-25 gallons and it seems to rain today as well, plan to collect more.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

  • Posted by ericwi Dane County WI (My Page) on
    Wed, Apr 3, 13 at 11:17

Blueberry shrubs do best when soil pH is near 4.5, but they will grow over a wider pH range, 4 to 6.5. If your irrigation water has dissolved limestone, and a pH much over 7, it will raise the pH of your blueberry shrubs a little each time they are watered, and eventually the shrub will develop iron chlorosis, or yellow leaves. It is true that mixing vinegar with tap water will lower the pH of the water, and this will lower the pH of the soil around the blueberry shrub. Here in Madison, WI, I have used 12 fluid ounces of 5% white vinegar(standard grocery store item) added to 4 gallons of cold tap water, successfully. However, the positive effect of vinegar disappears within a week or two. It seems that bacteria in the soil consume the vinegar, and it goes away. That's why sulfur, either horticultural sulfur, or agricultural sulfur, is often used to lower pH around blueberry shrubs. A tablespoon of agricultural sulfur applied to the soil surface, and covered with mulch, will take about two years to be consumed and metabolized by soil bacteria. The bacteria convert the sulfur to acid, slowly, over time.


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

I would skip the fancy concoctions and use rainwater if you've got it. The reserves of soil acidity vastly overwhelms whatever acidity there is in water so as long as your soil pH is adjusted correctly you don't need to acidify your water too. You can use tap water too, although if your tap water is alkaline (hard) then it will gradually attack the acid in the soil. Rainwater is best, that's what they get in the wild.


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

Eric Is correct 100%. To go a bit deeper it is the bicarbonates in the water that build up in the soil over time and will make the soil too alkaline no matter WHAT soil mix they are planted in. It just all depends on your water. Vinegar works but needs to be applied every time.

If you are using tap water that is hard (has a high level of bicarbonates) and have already built that alkalinity up in your soil it has to be removed. Sulfur will do that over time but far easier is to just use battery acid, sulfuric acid. It is what the professional growers here use though a much higher concentration acid than battery. Batter acid is about 33% and we use 93%. The sulfuric acid permanently neutralizes the bicarbonates and changes it in to gypsum which is neutral in the soil. It works like A FREAKING DREAM btw and unlike vinegar it is not a temp fix. The plants respond to the acid like you would not believe.

TRUST ME on this one......I have done it both ways, sulfur and acid it isn't even a contest.

Once your soil is back to being acidic and all those nasty bicarbonates neutralized rain water is the best if you can do it.

This post was edited by bamboo_rabbit on Wed, Apr 3, 13 at 16:11


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

Rainwater is ideal, if you have the space to place huge tanks of water! I dont have that room.. I do have 110 gallon water stored, but it doesn't last long, and I have to lug gallons of water which is inconvenient, to say the least.. Instead of just the bicarbinates, how about the chlorine and other chemicals damaging your soil? Vinegar might neutralize the pH, but you will still have accumulations of bicarbinates and other harmful chemicals.. The only way to get around this is filter out all the harmful substances.. The answer is a water filter! I have a carbon block, as well as a aquasona shower filter,behich makes the water acidic, because our skins acidic.. Which is ideal for all plants! If you have the time and space to store tons of water, more power to you, I try to.. But you'll be hurting if you don't get rain for a month or two! Do yourself a favor, get a filter for your plants, and yourself! Don't let all your hard word, slip down the drain because of something is tap water, water filters are cheap!

Joe


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

Thanks to all for the detailed responses.

Looks like rain water is better option if it can be collected and stored.

I have a large trashcan in which I can collect about 100G but once rainy season is over and the water is done, then I have to look at other options proposed in this thread. I just started Blueberry growing this year with 4 bushes, hope I can manage the watering.


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

Nandakumar,

I have almost 200 blueberry plants now so storing rainwater for me just won't work.....here in Florida we have a dry season right when the fruit is forming and maturing so I would have to store 15,000+ gallons of rain water.

Don't let the acid scare you:) It is what the university of Florida recommends and is easy to handle with a little common sense. Add a couple drops to a 5 gallon bucket of water and test the ph and keep counting drops till the PH hits 5. If it takes 10 drops then next time add ten drops and you are good to go.


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

I got 12 60gallon drums rigged together and another big 500 gallon tank tied into the drums. Fenced it all in to make the wife happy cause its kinda of an eye sore in the back yard. Then ran pvc to all the beds and buried it a few inches under ground. Intsalled a pump and a lot of valves! It was a pain getting it all together but well worth it! Only problem now is I have too many plants and not enough water storage, I think? This will be a trying year depending on the amount of rain fall we get. I did the whole sulfuric acid thing for the first year and had good results but now I dont have to worry about it. The worst part is having to clean the tanks out. Talk about a pain in the butt!


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

You may find that your tap water is just fine. I have 25 plants and my well water has a ph of about 7 and I water them heavily all summer right off the tap and the ph of my ammended soil is actually too low.

My soil is a mix of peat, fir bark, and native soil. I have treated it with sulfur at least once and fertilized for two years with ammonium sulfate. My soil ph in the last test I on 6 seperate locations ranged from 3.5-5.

What I am saying is, your water may push up the ph and it may not.......mine does not. This summer I am going to use a general purpose fertilizer to try and raise the ph a little bit. I would have to collect a hundred barrels of rainwater to cover what I'm using and it wouldn't be feasible.

RM


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

Could someone point me in the right direction to get information on using Sulphuric Acid on Blueberries.?


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

  • Posted by ericwi Dane County WI (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 4, 13 at 0:30

It is not safe to use sulfuric acid on blueberries until you have a rock solid method of measuring pH. Too much acid will kill the shrub for certain. Since most tap water has some degree of hardness, and this will react with the sulfuric acid that is added to lower pH, a pH test is used to determine exactly how much acid to add to a given volume of water. The final product should have a pH value around 5.


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

  • Posted by DWD2 10a, Sunset 17 (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 4, 13 at 3:47

There is a lot of good advice above. The following links provide a more complete explanation of the relationship between pH and alkalinity along with some of the pluses and minuses of the various acids you can use to adjust the pH of your water. The Greenhouse Grower article contains links to other articles about the impact of pH on growing plants.

http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/floriculture/plugs/alkalinity.pdf
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/hil/hil-558.html
http://www.gpnmag.com/understanding-water-quality-0
http://www.greenhousegrower.com/article/22285/understanding-plant-nutrition-irrigation-water-alkalinity-ph

If there is even modest alkalinity in your water, a weak acid like vinegar will prove a poor choice in my experience.


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

As Riverman said it all depends on the water. We could both have PH 7.4 water and mine could take 10 drops of acid to lower the PH to 5 and yours could take 5 drops.....That is why just looking at the PH is misleading. It all depends on the amount of bicarbonates in the water. The acid has to neutralize those bicarbonates before the PH will fall.

Far as testing the ph just get PH paper about $12 on amazon for 100 feet of it. Add acid to whatever container you choose in small increments until the test paper shows PH 5. You will use the same amount of acid each time and don't need to use the paper.

It will take sometime for the soil PH to fall as the bicarbonates already applied to the soil have to be removed but in time it will but the plant will be much happier during this process.


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

Organic growing standards don't allow the use of sulfuric acid. City tap water is almost always over 8 to prevent the leaching of lead from pipes. Working with sulfuric acid and accurately mixing is really hard to do consistantly and safely. You don't need to adjust the water pH. Just keep monitoring the soil and add sulfur as needed.


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

Blueberryhills,

Organic (rolls eyes) you could dump crude oil on the plants and sell them as organic. The acid is listed as GRAS by the government and is used on thousands of acres of blueberries.

It is not hard to use the acid or unsafe. It is as simple as simple gets.....

Soil sulfur is a pain in the neck you will constantly yoyo the PH and you will NEVER have plants as happy and healthy as they would be if you used the acid.

For those that have problem water the acid is the best solution.


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

Thanks to all for the responses, I'm learning a lot from this forum.

@bamboo_rabbit, I'll definitely try the sulfuric acid option to see how it lowers the pH. I have already ordered pH testing strips.


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

Bamboo,
I think you will kill your blueberries dumping crude on them. I know that sulfuric is used, I have used it myself in the past, I'm just telling you what it takes to be certified, if you don't care good for you.
Sulfuric is very dangerous and one mistake and you can kill your plants. It's much safer to water with high ph water and adjust your soil through other means. For commercial growers, you're not going to mix it by the bucket. For the thousands or gallons I needed I needed an automatic mixer and that's fine, but for the average gardener, stay away from the acid.
And my bushes are just as happy as yours. A stable soil environment is much better for all soil organisms.


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

Each of us has his own approach to gardening and all of us have a unique set of growing conditions. For me, I think it makes the most sense to control ph with soil ammendments and sulfur. Peat moss has a low ph and if you are having trouble with your ph use the peat and bark as a mulch combined with ammonium sulfate sprinkled at the dripline and you should have no problems. I do know of a grower in this area using an acid drip, very nice plants but he is routinely testing ph too because it will occasionally get too low. Other growers use ammonium sulf to control the ph and have equally healthy plants. To each his own I guess but to me sulfur and soil ammendments make the most sense and are not very difficult to manage with periodic ph testing.

RM


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

In my experience, Bamboo R offers the best plan for plant care. There is no filter that will remove hardness or alkalinity from your water. If there were, water softeners would not exist. The drops of acid in the bucket of water is an easy way to determine how alkaline your water is, and how much acid you will need. This is also a great idea when you are adding a water soluble fertilizer to the water, which will change your pH. You may also want to get your water tested. When you do, here is a great calculator to determine exactly how much acid to add to your water:

http://extension.unh.edu/Agric/AGGHFL/alk_calc.cfm

Marc


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

Mark5:

You mentioned there's is no water filters to remove the alkalinity of the water..

Where do you get this? Look at reverse osmosis - it filters out 99.9% of everything - it has nearly o dissolved solids, the pH of that water is acidic.. There is a special medium in my shower filter to make it more acidic to
benefit our skin.. Water softeners aren't nearly as good is filter.. Water softeners add stuff and it doesn't remove pollutants.. Filters do just that filter out unwanted and even something want substances(mineral).. I think quickly snapping on a water filter is one of the easiest and best things to for your garden if you are watering from the tap..

Joe


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

Blueberryhill,

You take a 5 gallon bucket fill to a mark an inch from the top with water.....you add acid until your PH paper says 5. Lets say that takes 10 drops. How exactly is that difficult to replicate? How is a person going to make one mistake and kill their plants? You check your soil Ph and go from there.

Now lets look at sulfur applied to the soil.....

Average gardener applies the sulfur .plants don't respond so they add more then more. Because sulfur takes many months to work it is problematic. What happens if you get your PH too low? You have to add chemicals to bring it back up.....that is the yoyo I mentioned. All I have to do if I get my PH too low is water the plants again with no acid added, the water has built in buffers that are gentle and natural.

What happens if your PH gets too high? Add sulfur and wait months for it to lower or add another chemical or a couple chemicals to raise it quicker? Every one of those steps includes with it the chance of making a mistake and hurting the plants.

You are an experienced grower but not everyone is. Using acid keeps the process simple. Even one of our better growers on here had to unpot and rinse the soil out of the roots after he let the PH get too low using sulfur.

There is no right and wrong because water varies so much. In PA I never used acid. We gave each plant a couple T a year of sulfur and the plants were great. Difference was the water.....there the water was PH 7 but was quite soft and lacked bicarbonates. When I moved here I resisted and resisted changing my approach but in the end did and it was the right decision.

What I am saying is in some parts of the country your approach is best and in many places it is not. If someone in an area with high bicarbonate water tries your way it is not going to work.


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

Bamboo,
I grow blueberries by the acre not by the plant, so mixing 5 gals and hauliing water in a bucket is impossible.
For the average gardener I said it was possible, but why???
Start with the soil with the correct pH, you can do that if you are only planting a few bushes. The blueberries will be perfectly happy in a range of ph, no need to be exact. An annual application of sulphur and water. The KISS method. For the average gardener, more damage is done by too much attention than too little.
I test the soil in the spring and apply sulfur as needed. I do foliar analysis in the summer and another ph test. Never does it vary by more than a couple tenths and that variation I can get just moving around the field. During field establishment, is the only time I have resorted to acid. Because the is considerable variation over the field, I have spot applied acid to lower ph in a section until a proper balance could be reached. But only when the plants in that area were extremely stressed and I was in danger of losing them anyway.

If it works for you, great. keep doing what you are doing.
My point is that it is not the only way and if you don't have to don't.


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

Correct me if Im wrong but I believe Bam is speaking of growing SHB and Blueberry Hill is speaking of growing Rabbiteyes? They can be grown in the same ways but SHB are not as forgiving as Rabbiteyes to grow regarding soil composition and ph. I know because I grow both. I belive you could forget about a Rabbiteye and it would still be there in a few years. Not so with SHB. For the home gardener attention to detail with SHB is a must to achieve great results. Not so with Rabbiteyes thats why they are highly recommended for the home gardener.


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

Blueberryhill,

We are not talking about you and I......we are talking about the average guy out there that has a few plants. What I am telling you is your way of growing the plants works where you live with your water and your soil. Your approach to growing used in places that have problem water and soil will not work. So your telling people just do blah is setting them up for failure and frustration. You are failing to understand that not everyone has ideal soil and water.

There is a reason the University of Florida the world authority on SHB blueberries recommends the use of acid.


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

That's why I said, each of us has his/her own set of growing conditions and applying a "one size fits all" probably isn't the best advice.

I essentially do actually what Bluerberry Hill has outlined, I test the PH a couple times of year and go from there. I think it's very easy to get hung up on having your plants at exactly 5.0 ph when most plants will probably do fine over a wider range. My soils here have a ph of about 7, sometimes higher. I carefully ammend the soils but the other day I was walking and noticed a neighbor had 6 or so plants. I started talking with her and all she did was put the plants in the ground and put bark around them, that's it! She also fertilizes with an acid loving fertilizer. So just the tiny bit of bark on the surface is apparently enough to drop the ph a bit and let the plants grow. Her plants are not growing as fast as they could but they do look fine and they are producing.

Anyway, this is an interesting discussion and we are all learning.

RM


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

Raw N.....a bit off topic, but OK, you got me on RO....but not a true filter in my book! Otherwise, I don't believe there is a filter that can remove bicarbonates.

Marc


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

  • Posted by DWD2 10a, Sunset 17 (My Page) on
    Sat, Apr 6, 13 at 3:02

marc5, you can remove bicarbonate from an aqueous solution with an anion exchange column.

Here is a pdf on growing blueberries for Florida gardeners by Paul Lyrene, one of the most respected blueberry scientists alive today, and 2 other blueberry experts at UF. For better or worse, they seem to advise home gardeners to use soil amendments like peat moss, pine bark and sulfur to get the soil pH down. There are several other publications from them that I did not look at. Possibly the use of sulfuric acid is discussed there.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg359


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat


Just some helpful information about water filters. A RO filter will not remove 99.9% of water impurities, it's just a marketing pitch. Now if your talking about an RO, DI and a UV filter, that will remove 99.9% of all water impurities. The RO filter removes 95%-97% of impurities, but it does not remove a lot of other impurities.

Click here to see different types of filters and what they remove.


Click here to see what impurities are removed by an RO filter.

This post was edited by prestons_garden on Sun, Apr 7, 13 at 13:03


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

2 questions: I have a thin layer of soil over 'concrete' solid caliche. My plants are in containers. Our water ph is around 9. 1) Would the acid allow me to plant in ground. 2) Is it safe for containers?


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

In ground in a very raised bed perhaps but BB are quite comfortable in containers. The acid won't hurt the pots.


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

Follow-up on this.

I heard that pH requirements are different for Rabbittye and Southern High-bush varieties. Have couple of plants in each varieties and also a Pink Lemonade blueberry.

I used rainwater for blueberry watering and I ran out of it, so plan to use battery acid (sulfuric acid) to alter the pH of city water. Please suggest the ideal pH for each of the varieties.


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

You don't need to eliminate all the bicarbonates and drop the PH of the water too low. It is better to be safe than sorry especially in pots. I would just use PH 5 as your goal for both types.


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

Thanks Bamboo, first time I'm going to use sulfuric acid to lower pH. Hope it works out.

Thanks


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

Once you have the amount down it is easily repeatable. If you are doing a small amount of water don't use much acid to start your testing....it may take very little acid to make the change you need. It all depends on your water.


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

If anyone is interested in reading up on the U of FL's extension bulletin on neutralizing excess bicarbonates in irrigation water, here's the link below. As Eric correctly pointed out, with irrigation it's all about the water quality as it relates to calcium (lime) in the water.

Acidifying water with bicarbs. cause the bicarbs. to be converted to carbon dioxide which then off-gasses and gypsum which will not react with the soil. Sure it would be nice to neutralize all the free Ca in my calcareous soil, that would be expensive via ag. S additions and even more so with sulfuric acid. I can stroll blocks over and get the ag. S by the ton or 5 gal. bucket full at the elevator. For now, my berries and fruit trees do fine by keeping the irr. water bicarbs. in check with the addition of vinegar injected to pH 4.5 - 5.0 and maybe a soil drench of Sequestrene 138 Fe in the Spring.

Yes, we all have our own situations, mine is extremely hard water, low rainfall, and very high lime soil. I decided a few years ago to manage the soil pH with ag. S additions depending on the crop, and acid injection through the drip system for all irrigation. I use vinegar because it works fine and isn't too costly on my scale; in addition, it is far safer to handle than conc. sulfuric which would be my 1st choice if I wanted to handle concentrated acids again. Ten years of lab work handling concentrated acids and bases with no accidents, I count myself as lucky and prefer not to handle them anymore:)

Concentrated acids and bases MUST be properly stored, what are you going to do with that bottle when you decide not to use it anymore? And let's see, which was dangerous and can cause a violent exothermic reaction, adding conc. acids to water or water to conc. acids? Do your homework first before handling these substances!!!

Here is a link that might be useful: UF bulletin on irrigation water & bicarbonates


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

as a side note I find the 93% sulfuric I have now easier to handle than the 33% sulfuric. Due to it's viscosity almost that of baby oil it does not splash easily. I use 6 oz's to 300 gallons of water which takes me down to PH 5. In addition to that the 5 gallon boxes from NAPPA of the 33% are hard to dispense from. With the 93% it is in a 55 gallon barrel (well 3 55 gallon barrels because I divided it) And the barrel sits on a stand and there is a faucet. Put cup under faucet turn....dispense....shut off. Very easy and very safe.

This post was edited by bamboo_rabbit on Thu, Jun 20, 13 at 17:07


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

Hey rabbit, not trying to be a snot, but, you have a spill containment unit for those barrels?

How much do you plan to water with that acid dilution? If my math is correct you'll end up with 352,000 gal. of acid treated water? Six oz. to 300 gal. water and 55 gal acid on hand. Must have a lot of planted ground.


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

Michael,

A spill containment unit is not required for home owners as far as I know.....there is actually no restrictions what so ever on the sale or storage of the acid for private individuals in Florida. For that matter the commercial farms I visit have no spill containment either so I assume it is not required for the commercial folks either. The acid is strictly an over the counter purchase...so to speak as the barrel weighs 700 pounds and was delivered.

I have about 200 blueberry plants and use between 0-1800 gallons of treated water a week depending on rainfall. Yes I know it will last a long time. Safety is why I broke the acid up in to 3 barrels and ease of movement even with a front end loader. The two spares are capped and tilted so water does not sit against the bungs.


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

For the first time I modified city water pH of 7 using Sulfuric acid to pH 5 for blueberry watering. I stored pH modified water in a 64 Gallon plastic trash can and I use the same can for rainwater harvesting. The can is in my backyard and is shielded from late afternoon/evening sun. These days weather here Dallas is 100+, would like to know whether summer heat will have any impact to the water pH and quality in the trash can.

Thanks

This post was edited by nandakumar on Sun, Jun 30, 13 at 0:10


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

The sun will heat up the water during the day for sure. My rain barrels are in full sun as well and the water can get quite warm! I put a tarp around my barrels to shade them from the sun. I keeps the water from heating up. Keeps it cool enough I can water mid day if I have to and not worry about cooking my potted plants.


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

The heat won't change the PH.


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

Thanks Blueboy and Bamboo rabbit, will try to cover the water can using Tarp.


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

  • Posted by mrclint z10SoCal Valley (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 30, 13 at 14:32

I'm going to throw in with don555 & BlueberryHillsFarm regarding acidifying water. It isn't something that I have to do, so I don't do it. It also isn't something that I have to talk people into or out of, so I won't do that either. My blueberries are in pots and it would be hard for me to imagine them doing any better. I use straight tap water (pH 8+) or rain water when I have it.


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

MrClint,

Lets see some pictures of your bushes with say a deck of cards in the picture so we know they are yours:) What you fail repeatedly to understand is water varies greatly from one location to another. The PH of the water does not matter nearly as much as the bicarbonate load.

Sorry but dumping 8+ PH tap water on your plants and you can't imagine they could be better...I call BS. If you can just use rain water......well in that case it is very easy to keep the PH right and the plants happy.

So lets see those pictures:)


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

  • Posted by mrclint z10SoCal Valley (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 30, 13 at 21:37

Please excuse me while I step over the steaming pile of message-board-hero-wanna-be nonsense.

It is unreasonable to suggest that you have to use acidified water in order to be successful with blueberries.

Here are some reasonable quotes from this thread:

BlueberryHillsFarm:
"...but for the average gardener, stay away from the acid."

"If it works for you, great. keep doing what you are doing.
My point is that it is not the only way and if you don't have to don't."

riverman1:
"To each his own I guess but to me sulphur and soil amendments make the most sense and are not very difficult to manage with periodic ph testing."

Hey, I've got your picture right here...


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

It is difficult with PH 7 water but with PH 8+ water? Each whole number on the PH scale represents TEN TIMES so PH 8+ water is TEN TIMES more alkaline than PH 7 water. TEN TIMES.

Riverman and BlueberryHill can chime in but I guarantee you their water is not PH 8+.

Some people use no amendments at all because they have perfect soil and perfect water. Blueberries are not a one plan fits all plant. There is no right and wrong as what is right for Riverman may not work for me and vice versa.

It is unfair to make claims the way you do Clint.....other posters see those comments and wonder what they are doing wrong and get discouraged.

Can you grow blueberries with PH 8+ sure but they are not going to be as nice or as productive as they could be if they were kept under better conditions.

Under ideal conditions of PH, fertilization and sun blueberries can have leaves that approach the size of a deck of playing cards......because you stated you could not imagine your blueberry bushes being any better...lets see those pictures so we can compare them to plants growing under ideal conditions.


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

My 4 yo plant set fruit but only a couple ripened, the rest slowly got smaller and smaller before they dropped off. Is it most likely the alkaline water? I got a couple of tasty handfuls the 2nd year. But the 3rd year was like this one.
It's container grown in mostly peat with azeal fertilizer.
A couple of the other bb plants still have a few plump green berries.


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

  • Posted by mrclint z10SoCal Valley (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 1, 13 at 22:46

"It is unfair to make claims the way you do Clint.....other posters see those comments and wonder what they are doing wrong and get discouraged."

"Under ideal conditions of PH, fertilization and sun blueberries can have leaves that approach the size of a deck of playing cards."

We have completely different approaches and goals to say the least. Blueberries are not as hard as you claim because I am following very reliable instructions from reputable vendors. If more folks did that they would have fewer problems from the beginning. I've never seen your approach detailed from a to z in one place, but patching it together it looks like a many step, many input process. I feel that is more discouraging to posters than sharing my personal experiences and sharing easy to follow links with proven results. I'm not growing bushes to take to the county fair, I'm not growing them for their leaves, and I really don't want bigger and heavier pots to move around, or greater disease and pest pressure. I want easy care and enjoyable gardening, with healthy harvests. That's what I have. How in the world can that be discouraging? What is better than that?

So please post your approach in a new thread with step by step instructions, from a to z. I will post a new thread as well, with my approach and some pictures, including some of my 'Jubilee' next to a yard stick, and some leaves next to a credit card. It's the largest leaved BB I own and I hate having to move it.


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

Clint,

Actually I have always said blueberries are easy to grow....Fruitnut took me to task on that one as he has the opposite opinion:)

Far as your quotes in bold above, so? I am letting people know with the best care what they can expect from the plants. With that said the best looking BB I have ever seen don't belong to me:) I have way too many plants BB and otherwise to give them that much individual attention.

What you are telling people here is that you can dump PH 8+ water on the blueberries and they will flourish and that is just not true. I am truthfully stating the "ideal" you are trying to sell snake oil and are now upset because you were called on it.

Why you would want to follow the advice of a plant vendor instead of a knowledgeable source like a university is a bit odd. ALL of my advice is in line with the university recommendations.your "claims" are almost the opposite.

Can't wait to see in your growing guide your recommendation for dosing the blueberries in PH 8+ water and not being able to imagine them being any better lol.

Far as my personal written guide to growing blueberries it is already on Gardenweb....it is one of the FAQ's on the Florida board.

This post was edited by bamboo_rabbit on Tue, Jul 2, 13 at 9:43


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

  • Posted by mrclint z10SoCal Valley (My Page) on
    Tue, Jul 2, 13 at 16:03

I wouldn't actually use the phrase "dumping" water on my BB. I water my BB bushes with the water that comes out of the tap, just like everything in my yard, that's part of what makes gardening easier for me. There is no dumping of anything. I don't fetch my water from artesian wells, distil, or otherwise purify, clarify, filter or treat my yard water. It just comes out of a hose or a bucket if I can catch some rainwater.

Your ideal is not ideal for me. Again, I want low effort, easy care and healthy harvests. Futzing around with water is an extra step that I haven't had to do, so why do it? I'm still not sure what your goals are, or what you expect from your approach. "Ideal" is a moving target, a phantom that could lead people to take unnecessary chances to achieve perfection. More plants are killed by kindness and "winging it" than just about anything else.

The reason I follow vendor advice is because they have a vested interest in making sure that customers have success. Success for customers leads to follow up sales and referrals. Failure leads to the opposite condition.

There is no accountability for University recommendations, if you fail following their directions it's no skin off anyone's nose. They frequently move slowly with outdated information being the norm. University literature rarely addresses home grower needs and often lean heavily toward commercial considerations. Plus they are usually spray happy (ties to agri-biz?).

Sounds like you made it to message board hero status after all! Can you send a link to your FAQ and post some recent pictures of your plants?

This post was edited by mrclint on Tue, Jul 2, 13 at 22:49


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

Clint,

It is not my FAQ a person on the Florida board was having trouble growing BB and I wrote out a long diatribe of how I do it a couple of years ago. It was chosen by the person that gathers the posts for the FAQ's not by me. Far as a link....really? You don't know how to navigate Garden web? lol

"The reason I follow vendor advice is because they have a vested interest in making sure that customers have success"

So you listen to Donny and Gina from Lowes and Home depot and trust and follow their advice implicitly and completely reject the advice from the PHD's from the universities that had dedicated their lives to researching and growing plants? Wow.....

I post to help others grow plants and I ONLY add in comments on topics I feel I am qualified to do so..it is why I don't comment on stone fruit threads and the like. While I have 8 peach trees and a couple of plums I know squat about them other than what I have read and that is not hands on knowledge. So I read the comments from people who do know their stuff like Fruitnut and MrsG and others and learn.

Clint you have never tried growing with the acid so your comments on it hold no weight. I have grown the plants both ways and know of what I speak. Your advice of using straight PH 8+ water on the plants is BAD advice and does a disservice to anyone that reads it.

I have posted probably 100 pictures of my BB bushes on this site...I have yet to see any from you though...and don't forget to include that deck of cards in the pictures.


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

  • Posted by mrclint z10SoCal Valley (My Page) on
    Wed, Jul 3, 13 at 11:44

Getting advice from a Lowes cashier is the only thing worse than getting spotty advice from a message board hero. I always assume the best of intentions from people, so I have no doubt that you mean well. You do insult and attack other members that disagree with you. I usually skip over your posts because of this.

For reliable vendors I recommend the following:
Four Winds Growers: In business for over 60 years, family owned for four generations. Lots of great and easy to follow plant care guides, including blueberries, on their site.
Dave Wilson Nursery: In business since 1938. Great content, easy to follow directions, including blueberries.

I'm still waiting for your blueberry guide from a to z. I'm also still waiting for pictures of your "ideal" blueberries that sit in the full sun of Florida in July, with years of sulphuric acid irrigation and ammonia sulphate fertilization.


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

Just an FYI about rainwater -vs- TAP

there are good and bad with both
it depends on YOUR tap and the type of plants
(not to mention the PH)

heres some snips i found...
------------------------------------------

There are a few plants out there that can't handle common tap water chemicals like fluoride or chlorine even in trace amounts
--

Some very hard water can cause mineral buildup in the soil, and if your home has a water softener, the extra sodium can be hazardous to plants
--

According to a 2008 EPA study that looked at rainwater composition in North Carolina during a hurricane, minerals such as nitrate, mercury, chloride and sulfate were present.

Read more: http://www.ehow.com/facts_7282758_mineral-composition-rain-water.html#ixzz2XzuxsBUE
--

well water will generally have higher mineral and metal content depending on local soil conditions. In comparison, rain water will not have these issues, but may be adversely affected by local air pollution and debris in the rainwater catchment and conveyance areas (i.e. roof, gutters, downspouts, and pipes).
http://www.harvesth2o.com/rainwater_safe.shtml#.UdRHjD-5CUk


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Wed, Jul 3, 13 at 12:37

Mrclint:

Your contempt for this forums "gurus" is obvious. But that's not going to get you the hero's status you desire. So why not just get lost? No one will miss you.

If you want to discuss this my members page has emails enabled yours doesn't.

This post was edited by fruitnut on Wed, Jul 3, 13 at 12:55


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

Clint,

I have not insulted you at all in this thread.....you on the other hand have insulted me several times.

You are criticizing a technique you have never tried....it is like a kid saying they hate apples yet have never had one. Even though universities and professionals all embrace the technique you still take your advice from venders that are trying to sell you on their product.

Far as the ideal you will have to wait......Florida BB have just been summer pruned. I took about a foot off of all the bushes and removed almost all bottom limbs to encourage new bull shoots. The pruning was about 3 weeks ago so the top growth is all pretty light green and young still and have been busy pinching......you know that other technique you don't understand:)

These are all pictures of my bushes, I have 3 beds total and this is one of them. The picture quality is ok for a cell phone..these new Galaxy S4's are supposed to have a 13 mp camera I guess.

This bed is a mixed bag of 18 month old plants up to 9 year old bushes.
 photo 20130703_124048_zps1aae5799.jpg

This is a bed of sweetcrisps, they were planted 18 months ago. Yes they are wilted...they wilt every day in the heat but perk up as the sun drops, it is a trait of sweetcrisp.
 photo 20130703_124142_zpsf8d02056.jpg

While not huge huge leaves they are nice size and perfect (Emerald)

 photo 20130703_124122_zps283a4559.jpg

Now let's see yours:)

This post was edited by bamboo_rabbit on Wed, Jul 3, 13 at 13:16


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Back BB bed

And here is the third bed......it is in the back. Excuse the finger.

The row to the far left is Emeralds, they were planted 2 months ago. To the right and front are young Jewels planted last fall. Further down is a mixed bag of 3-5 year old bushes. You will see some holes in the rows it is where the rabbiteyes were torn out. I am constantly removing bushes and replanting new ones to try the different varieties. Where the Jewels are use to be southmoon and where the new Emeralds are use to be a mixed row of 7 year old bushes. Further to the left out of the picture is an entire empty row but mulched and has the irrigation in. That will be where the Ravens will go. The upright sprinklers you see in the pictures are not for irrigation, they are for freeze prevention during flowering.

Go ahead and zoom in on the plants Clint.....

Btw I have not given the blueberries anything except nitrogen this year, no P no K. But will soon. Just ammonium sulfate.

 photo 20130703_131853_zpsdaf6d0a4.jpg

Btw every one of these pictures was taken this afternoon.

This post was edited by bamboo_rabbit on Wed, Jul 3, 13 at 13:54


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

Some questions for mrclint:

1. I recall from another thread that you use the DWN recommended blueberry potting mix. Does this include the "handful" of elemental sulfur? If so, do you reapply annually?

2. How often do you repot? When you do, do you completely refresh the mix (i.e. bare root the plant)?

I'm wondering if one or both are what allow you to use alkaline water without adverse consequences. For example, I don't know why on earth DWN suggests adding sulfur (1 to 2 tablespoons, I would guess) to their recommended potting mix (1/3 pine bark, 1/3 peat, 1/3 acid potting mix). After all, those ingredients almost guarantee a pH that's appropriate for blueberries, so perhaps the sulfur helps to counteract the alkaline irrigation water over time? On top of that, I recall that you're fertilizing with Miracle-Gro's acid formulation (which contains chelated iron), which should also help to keep the pH down (at least to some extent). Also, if you completely replace your potting mix, bare root repotting would mean a complete reset. So, assuming that the upward pH creep is sufficiently gradual, perhaps one more of these factors is what allows you to irrigate with alkaline water without adverse consequences?

This post was edited by shazaam on Thu, Jul 4, 13 at 12:51


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

  • Posted by mrclint z10SoCal Valley (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 4, 13 at 15:11

Yes, the mix directions I followed called for 1 handful of soil sulfur per plant. The acid fertilizer recommendations eliminate the need for further acidifying of the water. People who started out with the DWN mix and then seek to reach some kind of "ideal" state --with daily acidified water may actually be doing harm to their plants. It is really important to follow a set of reliable instructions closely and stick to them when you are working with or trialling new plants.

I re-potted this year and will probably only re-pot again if production dwindles. I would also get a pH meter at the first sign of trouble.


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

Clint,

The acid fertilizer recommendations eliminate the need for further acidifying of the water.

LMAO umm no:) Small amounts of acid forming fertilizer used to feed the plants will not counteract the huge amounts of liming agents you are dumping on the plants on a daily basis with your PH 8+ water.

So if it is a handful what if it is a petite woman with small hands or a man with large hands? One will under acidify and the other will fry the plants by over sulfuring, great advice.

Still waiting to see those pictures of your plants with the deck of cards, I kept my side of the bargain:)


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

  • Posted by mrclint z10SoCal Valley (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 4, 13 at 18:56

The amount of sulfur is not critical, therefore easy to follow and rather imprecise amounts are fine. Again, until you post your methods no one can comment on them directly. DWN stakes part of its business on that imprecise amount of sulfur and I can vouch that it works.

I posted "My Blueberry Trials" on another message board. It's a message board that is actively moderated, so I chose to post there. And since FN wants to push me out the door here, I figured maybe he's right, none of the self-proclaimed gurus would miss me. :) But it appears that you and shazaam have kept the dream alive by asking me direct questions, so here I am still! LOL

Anyway, In that post I attached some pictures and a description of my approach. There are other members commenting that they are using the same approach and are happy with it. Let me know if you need more hints, I think it would be bad form for me to post a link to it in this context.

Bamboo, your blueberries look great to me. But I'm not sure if they are ideal, as you have not defined what ideal is yet.

Summer pruning and topping is a UFL recommendation, and not something that I do. Commercial BB growers in Florida use topping machines after harvest. The recommendations I follow call for winter pruning before the buds open.

I will stick around this message board a bit longer if you and the anointed ones don't mind. :)


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 4, 13 at 19:38

Mrclint:

As far as I'm concerned you are most welcome here if you wish to contribute to the forum in a positive manner. You have the knowledge and experience to make a highly positive contribution. We lack active posters from CA.

But when you compare the quality of the advice given on this forum to what you could get from the check out cashier at Lowes that's not only disrespectful it's contemptuous. There are a lot of knowledgeable and experienced folks here who make this by far the best fruit forum on the web.


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

  • Posted by mrclint z10SoCal Valley (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 4, 13 at 19:54

Yeah, that was a harsh statement I made. I'm not above telling you that if the shoe doesn't fit, don't wear it. But at the same time not all advice is equal. Some of it is self-serving and not very sound. Since I try to counter those sorts of issues as they occur, it makes me appear contrarian. Gardenweb is great. It is the most accessible and most indexed (by search engines) garden forum on the web. But it is largely unmoderated and not always conducive to the free flow of ideas. Louder voices can dominate. The blueberry topics are not very balanced at the moment.


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

I have to agree with 'fruitnut' here.
I think we should consider the very old adage. "Don't feed the Trolls" it's still current after all these years.


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

Mrclint,


You seem to have a lack of flexibility and refuse to even acknowledge new concepts in growing let alone to thoughtfully consider them.

Now before you just brush that off and get all defensive I want you to consider and really think about the following.

The logic of summer pruning.

You are missing out on a great opportunity as you are lucky enough to have the growing season length needed for it. The winter pruning is an old concept for us warm weather folks but still applies to those in the north. If you take the plant and June prune off all the stems that flowered that spring right behind the last bloom point and fertilize well the plant will respond by giving you an EXTRA flush of growth. As that flush of growth gets going if you pinch the growth you will get extra branches. Each branch you clipped will turn in to 2-3 new shoots and as you pinch them that will give you a total of 6 or 8 fresh branches that will fruit and with all the new branches that increased fruit load can be supported. So cutting off that 6 inches of old growth you gain 18" of extra growth. Not only that but the pruning will stimulate the plant to produce new canes from the base. There is ZERO negative to the technique, NONE there are MANY positives. Not only do you get more growth and a bigger bush faster so more fruit can be supported you also get brand new leaves in June which replace the spring leaves and will stay in much better condition till later in the season so they can better produce energy to the plant.

"But at the same time not all advice is equal Some of it is self-serving and not very sound"

You are correct on the first part. You have been growing the bushes for two years? Do you really think you are in a position to definitively tell what is and what is not sound advice?


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

  • Posted by mrclint z10SoCal Valley (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 4, 13 at 22:31

beeman, there's a better one that's even older than that:
"...neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you."

This post was edited by mrclint on Thu, Jul 4, 13 at 22:47


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

"unlike vinegar it is not a temp fix."

Actually it appears that is not true. Well at least some don't think so. Acid + bicarbonate=co2 + h2o + byproducts. This breaks down the acid too, and this reaction will occur before anything breaks down vinegar.
I was reading this article about cacti....

Here is a link that might be useful: Cactus_and_Alkalinity


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

Another question arises too, if you use sulfur, bacteria turn it to acid, then the acid is broken down by bicarbonates, making the sulfur available to the bacteria again? You may want to watch the total amount of sulfur added. At some point it may built up? I'm asking because I was not really thinking of the basic chemistry. I guess a certain amount is flushed away too with watering. Ironic in the sense vinegar may actually be the better alternative. In the article it mentions the formation of gypsum, and that vinegar actually makes the CA more soluble. It doesn't go into how. But the buildup of gypsum is probably not good either, Sure some is great, but too much of a good thing is not! We all know what too much nitrogen can do. Is their a problem with too much calcium?


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

Drew,

Beyond me.......all I know is the acid is what the universities recommend. Could I use vinegar? Sure but it would cost 100's of times more money for no gain.

Far as the document stating how vinegar acts in the soil who is the author? Sounds like he is a cacti hobbyist? I see no PHDs or university backing and they do state the work is theoretical so I would take what they say with a grain of salt.


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

Thanks for sharing this article, Drew. The chemistry is over my head, but it proved to be interesting reading nonetheless. The writers' point about pH rebound over time was new to me -- I think I'll try acidifying some of my well water, testing the pH, and then waiting a few days before testing again.

One thing that the article helped bolster in my mind is that vinegar is a perfectly acceptable acidifier for container culture. Al (tapla), who posts in the Container forum, has made this claim over the years, but I think I now have a better grasp of why. Yes, calcium acetate (the resulting chemical compound from the reaction of dissolved calcium bicarbonate and acetic acid) can be metabolized by microorganisms and converted back into bicarbonate, but that takes time. Since calcium acetate is water soluble, though (that's where this article comes in), it's going to be continually leached from the soil at each watering, so a buildup of bicarbonates in the potting mix would appear to be unlikely. Nonetheless, my grasp of chemistry is rudimentary at best, so there could very well be something that I'm overlooking...


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 25, 13 at 17:07

When sulfuric acid reacts with bicarbonates the product is calcium sulfate, gypsum. The sulfur and calcium are both tied up as gypsum. Gypsum is stable and doesn't adversely affect blueberries. So sulfur doesn't build up in the soil.

At least this is my understanding.


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

Bamboo, the article pretty much states you should use Sulfuric acid. Mentions it's the cheapest method and where to get it. And is what the authors use themselves! Nobody is suggesting you switch your methods. But I have 3 plants. Vinegar is safer, and a gallon will last me years! I don't have to buy protective gear, worry about storage etc. The article is more for me.
I don't know his credentials, but I do know the article is a reprint from "The Cactus and Succulent Journal" It appears one of many written by these authors. Another article is
linked below. Note the foot notes to back his claims, he did his homework obviously!
Shazaam and fruitnut, thanks for the info, I have over 30 credits in chemistry, yet I had a hard time with the article too. What you state is really important to know.
My only point in posting was to refute that vinegar is temporary, it appears it is not. And we learned about rebound, so now have to adjust our amounts we add. So far this year I have been able to capture enough rainwater, but nice to know I can convert my city water, and will do so for my other plants in the winter. My cacti have responded well to acidic water, take a look!

Here is a link that might be useful: Ammonium Nitrogen and Acidic Water for Xerophytic Plant Growth

This post was edited by Drew51 on Fri, Jul 26, 13 at 0:16


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

The linked article in above post is even more amazing than the first article! OK, so I get 1 tablespoon of the mixed fertilizers per 2.5 gallons. Is that right? (for humus soils).
The mixed fertilizers are
Ammonium Sulfate 2 parts
Schultz all pupose (20-20-20) no urea? 1 part

Which is the same as 2 teaspoons of AS and 1 teaspoon of 20-20-20 per 2.5 gallons.

To be safe, maybe use 1/2 that amount?

One variable missing is watering amounts. i water a lot, so you might add too much. Maybe use this once a week? It seems worth exploring considering what fruitnut found out, and what Al (of 5-1-1 fame) does, this is even more refined. What do you guys think???

This post was edited by Drew51 on Fri, Jul 26, 13 at 1:30


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

Drew,

Going to read the second article now but my only point was it is not a good idea to believe what you read on the internet. The authors seem to be hobbyist growers like us and I can't find where PHD's or universities agree with them that vinegar's effects are not temporary.


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

I had enough chemistry in college to see they are correct.
I'm convinced at this point. In potting culture it is better to use vinegar than sulfuric acid. As gypsum will form a white unattractive powder in the soil. It doesn't hurt anything, it just looks bad. Calcium acetate made with using vinegar will be leached out of the soil as it is water soluble. I also learned it can neutralize fluoride, yet another added benefit to gardeners.
Dentists use calcium acetate to remove fluoride which weakens dental glues. So it is an additive in the glue.
I see no where any evidence that bacteria can change calcium acetate which is also a medication back to bicarbonates. It is a permanent removal. If they could calcium acetate would not be used as a medication, or in dental glues.

I don't claim to be an expert, heck I missed the fact sulfur is bound up in gypsum when using Sulfuric acid. Duh!! Thanks fruitnut for pointing that out!

The claim that vinegar is temporary is false, I would need to see the chemical reaction to be convinced otherwise. One is introducing Hydrogen ions, and how exactly the bacteria neutralize those before bicarbs react would have to be pointed out to me, and confirmed by college professors :)

This post was edited by Drew51 on Fri, Jul 26, 13 at 10:04


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

Acetate in higher organisms is metabolized the same way fats are. Just think as vinegar as a 2 carbon fatty acid, in fact acetyl-CoA is the starting molecule in the krebs cycle which bacteria use, read the first line.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citric_acid_cycle
A little more info on acetyl-CoA
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acetyl%E2%80%94CoA_synthetase
After reading this post on blueberries I want to try growing them again. Anyway were I live the ph is 8.6 and the hardness goes off of the chart at 300 ppm so I will probably try using H2SO4. I know many people who have tried growing blueberries with vinegar and sulfur and they have failed.


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

The article mentions many acetates, but not calcium acetate, so it proves nothing. As a matter of fact all the molecules mentioned, none have calcium. And remember it's about changing it back to bicarb, not metabolizing the acetate. You're going to have to show me how they change it to bicarb. Anything else doesn't matter one bit. Only if they can make it basic again. Also even if they could calcium acetate is water soluble and chances are you are flushing it before any bacteria can change it back. if even that possible? So far no proof they can.
I used sulfur and vinegar and my blueberries are thriving. But I try and use as much rainwater as possible. When using city I store in a 32 gallon trash can and let the chlorine evaporate, use vinegar, and now will add the fertilizer regime mentioned by the same authors.

This post was edited by Drew51 on Fri, Jul 26, 13 at 12:21


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

"I know many people who have tried growing blueberries with vinegar and sulfur and they have failed."

That may be so, but that doesn't mean that vinegar and sulfur are responsible for their failures. If used properly, both can be effective ways of addressing the pH needs of blueberries. However, you're correct that calcium acetate can be metabolized by bacteria. This issue seems to come up a lot in aquarium culture. Here, for example, is an aquarium supplement that contains calcium acetate and magnesium acetate that are "metabolized by bacteria to create biologically available bicarbonate." So, yes, vinegar is only a temporary way of removing bicarbonates.


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

Thank Shazaam, i take that as proof they can. Very good info! OK, well I guess I'm going to have to use sulfuric acid. As I can't depend on always being able to flush the calcium acetate out. If my blueberries were in pots maybe but they are in raised beds. Either that or find a way to collect more rainwater. So far this year, i have had enough rainwater.
Good discussion!

This post was edited by Drew51 on Fri, Jul 26, 13 at 12:29


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

"The article mentions many acetates, but not calcium acetate, so it proves nothing. As a matter of fact all the molecules mentioned, none have calcium."

It proves everything the calcium is irrelevant because in organic and biological chemistry the reactions are solvated and the metal cation doesn’t directly participate in the reaction.

"And remember it's about changing it back to bicarb, not metabolizing the acetate. You're going to have to show me how they change it to bicarb."

The end product of acetate metabolism is carbon dioxide that dissolves in water to make carbonic acid.

"That may be so, but that doesn't mean that vinegar and sulfur are responsible for their failures. If used properly, both can be effective ways of addressing the pH needs of blueberries."
Your right but it just seemed with the extreme hard water that I have in my area that vinegar and sulfur didn’t seem to be enough. My brother is a big aquarium nut and is always testing the water for hardness, ph etc. He has tested the local water many times for hardness and it goes off the chart, literally his testing supplies can’t go that high. So it just goes back to the view that what works for some people isn’t always going to work for other people. To me using sulfuric acid is no big deal. I have had plenty of experience using dangerous chemicals and I actually already have some sulfuric acid.


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

Drew,

Like you said the best bet is rainwater. Even if what they said about the vinegar is now disproved I am still curious about the bounce back they mentioned. I am going to start that test today in my tank. I do think i read about the bounce back somewhere though that it was correct.


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

Just for clarity my claims were asking if vinegar was permanent, the authors never mention that, So I was wrong not them.
Yes it appears we are back to sulfuric acid!! I guess for a quick fix vinegar is ok, but for long term it seems to me sulfuric acid is better. In pots vinegar might be ok, as some calcium acetate is going to flush out.
Hey check the 2nd article out about fertilizer

Here is a link that might be useful: Ammonium Nitrogen and Acidic Water for Xerophytic Plant Growth


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

Drew you bring up a good point about the calcium acetate rinsing out of the soil. Acetates and most sulfates are highly soluble. I wonder if it is a problem to over water BB's when using either sulfuric acid or vinegar by washing out other trace minerals? In nature the main acid in the rain water would would be carbonic acid, and in the ground it would be humic acids. Most carbonates are insoluble and I don't know about humates.


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RE: Blueberry watering - mix vinegar or lemon peel to acidify wat

I did read the article on the fertilizer. A lot of commercial growers here supply all the NPK through the water. It is more expensive that way as you are watering row middles but saves labor costs so is a wash.

The plants especially in ground plants need the N constantly but you can just do the P and K now and then.


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