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Author Topic: Irritating Container Citrus with Hard Water  (Read 965 times)


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Irritating Container Citrus with Hard Water
« on: September 02, 2015, 10:52:00 AM »
Hi all,

I recently obtained a few citrus trees (an unidentified Lemon? as an air layer in January, a Meyer Lemon on Carrizo a couple weeks ago, a Persian Lime airlayer in early August and a White Grapefruit on Volkamer Lemon, as well as one or two seedlings). All my citrus trees are in containers as our soil sits on a large layer of hard oolithic limestone bedrock. Since the city water is pumped from aquifers in this bedrock it is also considerably alkaline  (tested 8.3+ on my dad's pH kit).

Has anyone any experience with acidification for their water for container plants? I realize growing ground is a bit different from growing in containers. I have some battery acid on hand, but do my have a pH tester that goes under 7 to see how much I need to lower the pH to around 6 (and 5 for my blueberry). One teaspoon of 3.3% concentration battery acid drops it to just above 7, but I'm not sure that 1 teaspoon always causes 1 unit drop in pH. Any advice appreciated!

Also, I read that Volkamer Lemon is more tolerant of alkaline conditions that Carrizo. If so perhaps I could try growing it in ground if I can figure out the irrigation situation? My soil is very sandy and low organic matter, basically a mirror of south Florida. I would probably have to mulch for moisture conservation. Thanks in advance! I have questions about fertilizing as well but those can wait.


Central Floridave

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Re: Irritating Container Citrus with Hard Water
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2015, 02:12:55 PM »
I'm not too sure on acidifying water like that. I would think the battery acid would leave salts in the water. But, am not a chemist.   Can you trap rain water?

I have high alkaline well water also. What I do (only when in drought conditions), I fill up a small pond.  Then throw oak debris in it and let is sit for a few days.  I think that makes the water acidic. 


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Re: Irritating Container Citrus with Hard Water
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2015, 10:40:42 PM »
I get my water from a well,that supplies water with high bicarbonate and carbonate levels.  Over time the water caused much trouble with my trees.  Since then I have put approximately 100 55-gallon open top barrels under the eves of my two barns to collect rain water.  Rain water supplies excellent tree growth. For every 55 gallon I add 3 gallon of well water which adds calcium.  As for the addition of acid, go ahead and add an other teaspoon of acid and test to see how it affects the pH..   The pH will not hurt the trees growth as much as high levels of bicarbonates. Being in Florida you should gett ample rain to be able to collect a good amount of water. - Millet


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