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Author Topic: How acidic is too acidic for irrigation?  (Read 402 times)

Triloba Tracker

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How acidic is too acidic for irrigation?
« on: June 15, 2020, 12:03:42 PM »
My soil is slightly alkaline. Maybe just a hair above 7 or right at 7.  It's sitting on top of limestone, only about 18 inches down or so.
I do not seem to have free calcium. Unfortunately i don't know the buffer pH.

I have to do some irrigation anyway, so i figured why not use acidic water, treated with sulfuric acid.

My question is - how potent can I make the water without risking any damage to the trees?

5.0?
4.0?


SeaWalnut

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Re: How acidic is too acidic for irrigation?
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2020, 12:13:17 PM »
I make the water 4,5 with pyroligneous acid to use it on my acid loving plants.

spaugh

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Re: How acidic is too acidic for irrigation?
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2020, 12:57:48 PM »
Why do you want to make it that acidic? 

Most plants like PH around 6
Brad Spaugh

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Re: How acidic is too acidic for irrigation?
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2020, 01:51:04 PM »
Right, well my idea, perhaps flawed, is that I need a net reduction in the pH. So if I water with Say 5.0, as it reacts with the basic soil, it will be muted and thus only move the soil pH incrementally.
I guess that’s where Knowing the buffer pH would help.  My understanding is that I have to overcome a sort of threshold to make Meaningful reduction in the soil.
That’s why I was thinking of going lower than 6.0 with my water.

spaugh

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Re: How acidic is too acidic for irrigation?
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2020, 01:52:44 PM »
You going to mix acid solution everytime you water?  Its easier to just use sulfer pellets and mix into the soil and be done with it.
Brad Spaugh

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Re: How acidic is too acidic for irrigation?
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2020, 02:07:39 PM »
yep for sure, i have used the 90% sulfur pellets and will continue to do so (need to put some more down).
I've done some plugging of soil around the trees and backfilling with sulfur/compost mix as well.

No i cannot keep acidifying the water long-term but was willing to do at least some watering with it. I don't have a ton of trees (but way more than i can water by hand).

Thanks!

K-Rimes

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Re: How acidic is too acidic for irrigation?
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2020, 12:44:57 PM »
I have been acidifying 2 gallons of water in watering cans for certain trees and seedlings and they have been honestly explosive this year with perfect healthy growth. They were lagging super hard for the last year till I started doing this. It's a hard job but well, I have a lot more time than usual right now. Also been dosing these same trees with flowering nutrients and it's been working - some of them never flowered before and now are.

I especially acidify my blueberry water, down to 4.0-5.0 since they are acid lovers and again, finally getting gorgeous green growth from them.

If I go too hard on acidifying the water, I see some weird growth that is lime colored on some stuff and it goes dark green again when I get the PH right. Being that my entire collection is in pots due to gopher problems, it's not too bad. If you have a ton of stuff in the ground, there is no way this would work imo and Brad is right with sulphur pellets.



Triloba Tracker

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Re: How acidic is too acidic for irrigation?
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2020, 01:00:48 PM »
Thanks K!
I’m going to keep fiddling with it.
I outfitted a garbage can with a spigot. I can fill it and treat it, then use as a drip irrigator.
I think I will keep water pH no lower than 5 I think.

spaugh

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Re: How acidic is too acidic for irrigation?
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2020, 02:52:40 PM »
You could possibly use a venturi fertigation system and a bucket of acid to acidify the sprinkler lines.  Its possible but big pain. 

The PH lowering stuff made for plants isnt cheap eaither.  I hear battery acid from autozone is pure sulferic acid and works fine but havent used it. 
Brad Spaugh

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Re: How acidic is too acidic for irrigation?
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2020, 03:03:47 PM »
You could possibly use a venturi fertigation system and a bucket of acid to acidify the sprinkler lines.  Its possible but big pain. 

The PH lowering stuff made for plants isnt cheap eaither.  I hear battery acid from autozone is pure sulferic acid and works fine but havent used it.

Thanks!
Yeah I am definitely too low-tech and lazy for a Venturi system  ;D

You’re correct - the orange  “pH Down” stuff i is terribly expensive. I am using a drain clog dissolver that is pure virgin sulfuric acid. It’s crazy potent. Battery acid from autozone is in fact what I plan to buy when this runs out.  I know a commercial grower who uses it.

JulianoGS

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Re: How acidic is too acidic for irrigation?
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2020, 03:43:42 PM »
You could possibly use a venturi fertigation system and a bucket of acid to acidify the sprinkler lines.  Its possible but big pain. 

The PH lowering stuff made for plants isnt cheap eaither.  I hear battery acid from autozone is pure sulferic acid and works fine but havent used it.

Thanks!
Yeah I am definitely too low-tech and lazy for a Venturi system  ;D

You’re correct - the orange  “pH Down” stuff i is terribly expensive. I am using a drain clog dissolver that is pure virgin sulfuric acid. It’s crazy potent. Battery acid from autozone is in fact what I plan to buy when this runs out.  I know a commercial grower who uses it.

Wow never knew about this acid stuff. Simple & Easy to remediate.
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spaugh

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Re: How acidic is too acidic for irrigation?
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2020, 04:03:28 PM »
You could possibly use a venturi fertigation system and a bucket of acid to acidify the sprinkler lines.  Its possible but big pain. 

The PH lowering stuff made for plants isnt cheap eaither.  I hear battery acid from autozone is pure sulferic acid and works fine but havent used it.

Thanks!
Yeah I am definitely too low-tech and lazy for a Venturi system  ;D

You’re correct - the orange  “pH Down” stuff i is terribly expensive. I am using a drain clog dissolver that is pure virgin sulfuric acid. It’s crazy potent. Battery acid from autozone is in fact what I plan to buy when this runs out.  I know a commercial grower who uses it.

Cool.  I've seen plants like avocado grown with PH down water and they do look good. 

I use a fertigation setup on my stuff but just hit it with fertilizer a few times per year.  Everytime would be a pain. 

I know you said no but if you want to see what's available they have these super cheap straight from china.  Takes a few weeks to ship. 

https://www.amazon.com/Kangkangk-Irrigation-Fertilizer-Injectors-Agriculture/dp/B07SCXRWD9/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Venturi+fertilizer&qid=1592337696&sr=8-1
Brad Spaugh

EddieF

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Re: How acidic is too acidic for irrigation?
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2020, 05:41:01 PM »
You guys really use sulf acid?  No ill effects?  Guessing a few mL per gallon?
I have brass venturi garden hose adapter i use to feed iron to 4 dozen arec palms.  16:1 so i use milk gallon mixed weak for syphon.  It cuts flow in half so i remove it when done.

Acid- put 1 vitamin c 500mg tab in gallon of water & test.  Goes below 6 which my pool strips stop at.  Yellow color on strip.

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Re: How acidic is too acidic for irrigation?
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2020, 06:40:13 PM »

 Nitric acid is a good alternative and provides nitrogen besides lowering pH.
 Where I am is considerably cheaper than sulphuric acid.
Sérgio Duarte
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Triloba Tracker

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Re: How acidic is too acidic for irrigation?
« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2020, 07:18:47 PM »
Whoa - sulfuric acid is no plaything, but nitric acid sounds downright scary.
Mmmm no thanks :)

K-Rimes

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Re: How acidic is too acidic for irrigation?
« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2020, 07:47:50 PM »
You could possibly use a venturi fertigation system and a bucket of acid to acidify the sprinkler lines.  Its possible but big pain. 

The PH lowering stuff made for plants isnt cheap eaither.  I hear battery acid from autozone is pure sulferic acid and works fine but havent used it.

Thanks!
Yeah I am definitely too low-tech and lazy for a Venturi system  ;D

You’re correct - the orange  “pH Down” stuff i is terribly expensive. I am using a drain clog dissolver that is pure virgin sulfuric acid. It’s crazy potent. Battery acid from autozone is in fact what I plan to buy when this runs out.  I know a commercial grower who uses it.

I used the orange PH Down from GH, it was indeed expensive and needed a lot per gallon. Been using Advanced Nutrients PH Down which is MUCH stronger - even 1ml per 2.5 gallons is too much so it goes the distance. Need one of the micro-pipettes to dose. It's much cheaper, but still not super cheap. If I keep this up I'll probably search out nitric or sulfuric.

 

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