Mineral deposits and PH

Peg Cook pegcook at northnet.org
Mon Jul 10 07:06:31 EDT 2000


Peter,
The mineral deposits could be coming from the water and/or the fertilizer.
Most liquid fertilizers (chemical) have a "salt base" which could be
deposited.  In your case, being organic, if you are using Fish Emulsion,
that could also contain enough salts to be causing mineral deposits.  The
other questions is, do you have "hard" water.  This would be indicated by
Calcium and/or Magnesium deposits.  Also, Sodium could come into play here
as well.

As for the pH level, mineral deposits can raise pH levels, especially since
they are alkaline based.

Hope this helps!

Peg Cook, Agronomist
Cook's Consulting
Lowville, NY.

pegcook at northnet.org

----- Original Message -----
From: Peter Worsley <pwors at svn.net>
To: market farming <market-farming at franklin.oit.unc.edu>
Sent: Sunday, July 09, 2000 6:01 PM
Subject: Mineral deposits and PH


> I have a potential problem and a question-
>
> I use all drip irrigation, pumping water from a farm pond. I've noticed
> that over a period of a couple months, a whitish deposit accumulates
> around my emitters; eventually the entire top of my raised beds become
> white and crusty. I assume this is some kind of a mineral deposit. I use
> a 155 mesh filter, and one of those magnetic water conditioners that
> strap around the outside of a 1" plastic pipe. The deposits dissapear
> when tilling between crops, but eventually reappear. I've also noticed
> that the ph of my soil is gradually increasing- this year for the first
> time I had to add sulfur to lower the ph. Most of my crops seem ok,
> except those in a certain area, which doesn't drain quite as well as
> elsewhere. There, lettuce appears a little stunted, leaves less shiny,
> taste a little bitter. I have sandy silt loam soil and am in a creek
> valley which occasionally floods for short periods in winter. Soil tests
> show only that the ph is high- everything else seems within normal
> limits. My question is- Are raised ph and mineral deposits related? I
> must assume they are. Any suggestions about what's going on and what can
> be done about it? I'm organic, by the way. I'd especially appreciate
> hearing from anyone in coastal Northern California (Marin or Sonoma
> counties) which is where I am. Thanks- Peter
>
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