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Old December 2, 2017   #106
murihikukid
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Hi..I am always coming up with aspects I know nothing about..a perfect example is this.....Would water with food colour in it be harmful to soil...?? Its very difficult testing my cotton rope samples if the water is actually traveling along the rope so I thought the obvious would be to colour the water in the top of one of my drums and put the rope wick in it and see what happens .....Is cotton rope the logical item to use as a wick??

Its like Texas?? here?? Too hot to work ,it has not rained for ages and I am spending a small fortune buying distilled water so today I am putting up a spouting to catch all my roof water from my greenhouse and when it does rain it will go into a large plastic drum....Regards Ron
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Old December 2, 2017   #107
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AFAIK food coloring is inert. Sounds like a very interesting test.

Why distilled water? Is there something wrong with your tap water? Mine is quite alkaline (8.5 pH) but a ml of PH Down in 2 gal solves that. If NZ doesn't have it I guess you could use vinegar as an alternative.
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Old December 2, 2017   #108
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...Hi..Too much money?? I want the best for my tomatoes and the more I spend the worse they get...I recall three seasons ago I had beautiful plants I grew sitting in trays in the freezer chest that later turned into the ill fated growth chamber ..I used CFL lights in fact I have photos of them somewhere...so I wonder what went wrong since then...I look at the two Tasty Toms I bought at the beginning of the season and I am not impressed with either of them in fact one has fruit that do not look like the fruit I got last season.....I must do a Ph test on our tap water??

Last season it was the Mature tasty Toms I bought that saved my season....I am now buying similar but from another grower in the following weeks when i presume they contact me and tell me to take them away .....I actually think most of my plants are not looking that bad...They were not good early on being too spindly but I have planted them deep and then as they grew raised the soil level ..in fact I cannot raise it any further ...I think the foliage is not as it has been in the past but that could maybe be a good thing...I don't know?...The heat is probably upsetting them but they have fans on them 24 hours a day..I think i said in an earlier post that I am going to propagate another lot of seeds ..more to learn than anything else cause I would have to give them away ....There will be no "moss"?? but a proper commercial seed raising mix with perlite..

The worst aspect of my growing is when the varieties produce ripe fruit more than likely I will try one and spit it out vowing never to grow it again...I do have a friend that helps me in taste tests?? The only varieties from last season I grew again (apart from Tasty Tom) are Sweet Scarlet (dwarf) and Missouri Love Apple...all the rest were rubbish ...but last season was bad for everybody so it may not have been the varieties fault...people are very conservative here growing tomatoes ....Popentate,Moneymaker and Russian Red dominate the plant market although I am sure Tasty Toms (or Campari) are getting more popular each season and now there is another Tasty Tom being marketed..under another name...

I should mention i chopped a number of varieties that were very susceptable to powdery mildew last year including Stupice , Aunt Ginny's Purple,Sweet 100's,Sungold, and even Bloody Butcher?? i am convinced that the powdery mildew came in with cheap plants I purchased so that is a no no this year..

I actually think some of my Tasty Toms grown from Hybrid seed are looking promising in the head ...They are very high and spindly but I think are showing development at the top so as yet I am not prepared to put them in the wheelie bin to go to the dump...and of course if I can get one with beautiful fruit ...be assured I will putting up photos everywhere ???

The one I am really waiting on is Myra's Delight ..If it is as good as I expect it will be having only tasted one tomato? I will be offering seeds to anybody who wants them...
Cheers Ron
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Old December 2, 2017   #109
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Quote:
I must do a Ph test on our tap water??
He!! yes!

Or would you rather spend a fortune on distilled water?
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Old December 2, 2017   #110
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"""The more I spend the worse they get.""""

You are spending too much money.

Why is it I can dig up yard dirt sprout and grow seeds in it and have a bountiful healthy plant by standing back and tossing fertilizer at it?
I have no idea but I am reading anyway.
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Old December 3, 2017   #111
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Hi I can basicly grow nothing in my section soil ..Its full of things like slaters,wireworm that eats any thing in the ground like potatoes etc and that is why I grow my potatoes/yams etc in fibre glass bath tubs in old tomato soil...I do have Rhubarb that thrives??

And now I have two nice vibrant tomato plants that are a beautiful green but they are partially shaded from the sun and I wonder if direct sun is too strong for my other plants so I am moving the small ones out of direct sunlight which I belatedly think is killing them .....the Sun is very strong at this end of the country in fact one can get severely wind burnt also down here.


I have a metal channel water catcher up now so all the water will come off the corrogated fibreglass roof into the channel and run into a drum however I have just realised I am hoping for luck that the water will run to the drum end?? Oh well if it doesn't I will just make a block and silicon it in and then the water has to run to the other end....I never put an angle on the roof when I built it ?? of course I need rain to see how it works.....Looking at the 10 day forecast there is heavy rain on Friday followed by a number of wet days so 5 more days of 20 - 25 degrees degrees...and we have a 13 degree / 0 degree day in 8 days time (Dec 12th ) just to bring us back to reality??...Cheers Ron

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Old December 3, 2017   #112
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Hi...Ph levels ..I do require some help here....First the Tap water is 4.5.....The Water I buy is 5.0...Most of my drums level off at 6.5....there are 3 or 4 that level off at 7.0 and perhaps could go to 6.5 if I tested in another position.....
There are 3 or 4 that instantly go down to 5.0 to 5.5 ...

Now I have no formula for correcting this..Sadly my taking comprehensive Ph tests was not carried out in past seasons ??.If I recall dolomite Lime raises the ph but what about lowering it.....and also the yara-mila fertiliser was only washed in 3 days ago and this could perhaps be still processing in the soil.....My tester immediately responds to water but takes a minute to find what i presume is a true reading in soil ..IE it comes down in 0.5 incrementals and finally stops...

I will retest the 5.0..ph Drums tomorrow ....It was so hot today I expect that I will get a reaction to lack of water tomorrow plus a change in high temperatures is not expected til late this week...
I see a difference in my plants when I go out in the morning and I am wondering if it would hurt if I left the door open during the night which could make it cooler and the fans go all night...
Regards Ron
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Old December 3, 2017   #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Worth1 View Post
"""The more I spend the worse they get.""""

You are spending too much money.

Why is it I can dig up yard dirt sprout and grow seeds in it and have a bountiful healthy plant by standing back and tossing fertilizer at it?
I have no idea but I am reading anyway.
Worth
I remembered reading threads on people who grows the 'Michelia Alba' trees, which are expensive and costing $100 or more for a decent sized one. This women keeps killing her trees. Her growing method is to constantly feed with salt based fertilizer with NPK numbers up to 30. And she said, "they keep dying, I'm keep buying more".
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Old December 3, 2017   #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murihikukid View Post
Hi I can basicly grow nothing in my section soil ..Its full of things like slaters,wireworm that eats any thing in the ground like potatoes etc and that is why I grow my potatoes/yams etc in fibre glass bath tubs in old tomato soil...I do have Rhubarb that thrives??

And now I have two nice vibrant tomato plants that are a beautiful green but they are partially shaded from the sun and I wonder if direct sun is too strong for my other plants so I am moving the small ones out of direct sunlight which I belatedly think is killing them .....the Sun is very strong at this end of the country in fact one can get severely wind burnt also down here.


I have a metal channel water catcher up now so all the water will come off the corrogated fibreglass roof into the channel and run into a drum however I have just realised I am hoping for luck that the water will run to the drum end?? Oh well if it doesn't I will just make a block and silicon it in and then the water has to run to the other end....I never put an angle on the roof when I built it ?? of course I need rain to see how it works.....Looking at the 10 day forecast there is heavy rain on Friday followed by a number of wet days so 5 more days of 20 - 25 degrees degrees...and we have a 13 degree / 0 degree day in 8 days time (Dec 12th ) just to bring us back to reality??...Cheers Ron
You don't have to wait for rain to know which way the water will run.

Use a level in several spots on the channel to see if your channel has any slope to it and to which side.
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Old December 3, 2017   #115
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The ph of pure water is 7. If your distilled water is reading 5, then the test strips are giving you a bad reading, or there is something else mixed into the water.
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Old December 3, 2017   #116
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It sounds like he is using one of those pH test meters that you poke into the soil and they are notoriously inaccurate but if his distilled water has been sitting around for a while especially in an open container then it will absorb CO2 from the air and become slightly acidic which will lower the pH.

Distilled water only has a pH of 7.0 right after it is distilled and then it starts to become lower over time.

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Old December 3, 2017   #117
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It's difficult to establish a specific formula for changing pH because of the unknown buffering effects of various growing media. Peat-based soils naturally buffer to 6.0 - 6.5 but can be overwhelmed.

My approach is to change the pH of the water. 1 ml of pH Down (citric + phosphoric acid) in 2 gallons (about 8 liter) will bring 8.3 down to 6.0 (pure water has no buffering). But what that actually does in the soil is unquantified - I'm relying on the buffering of the peat to keep it about there.

FWIW, I've successfully grown peppers in soils as acidic as 4.5. Erring on the acid side is much better than erring on the alkaline side.

How are you testing?
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Old December 3, 2017   #118
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Hi..I have a poke in 4 in 1 Meter....the soil in my drums is not peat based as far as I know .....I will re test later today especially drums that were down in the 5 Ph...Thanks Ron
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Old December 3, 2017   #119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole_Robbie View Post
The ph of pure water is 7. If your distilled water is reading 5, then the test strips are giving you a bad reading, or there is something else mixed into the water.
Hi..Is it pure water....according to the label its Drinking Water....Could be anything ...in a few days i will have drums and drums of rain waterin fact it has a rain feel about it today??...

BTW...The cotton company rang me again this morning re their samples.....I thought cotton rope would soak up the water but my testing is not showing anything ......I have the rope in the water at the top of my drum and hanging over the outside of the drum..(NOT in the inside and into the soil ) ..I am wondering if I am missing something here ...I was told to soak the rope first but the rope has just dried out....Maybe Polyproylene is better than cotton after all?? Regards Ron
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Old December 3, 2017   #120
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Yeah, you're right, it could be anything. In the US, some drinking water is actually tap water. It will say "bottled from a municipal source." But I'm sure labeling requirements like that are different in every country.
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