[Market-farming] pH adjustment for irrigating tomatoes with high pH well water.

Andy Fellenz artisanfarms at gmail.com
Sat Apr 30 23:26:27 EDT 2011

I use an OMRI approved food grade citric acid injected with a Chemilizer to
manage my greenhouse water.  I'll be going to the same system in my high
tunnels this year.


On Sat, Apr 30, 2011 at 10:48 PM, Marlin & Christine Burkholder <
burkholders at glenecofarm.com> wrote:

> For the past few seasons I have been running into difficulties with
> irrigating hoophouse tomatoes from our well.  Last summer we did not have
> tomatoes in a hoophouse but there was a drought  and all tomatoes had to be
> irrigated.  The problem is that our well water is above 7 pH and irrigation
> raises the soil pH in the root zone too high for good tomato production.
>  This results in interference with adequate uptake of potassium (even though
> soil K levels are in the very high range) and causes greywall, a nutritional
> deficiency that damages marketability of the crop.  I have tried foliar
> feeding with potassium but this is still not adequate.
> My question is, what is the better product to add acid to the irrigation
> water to lower pH?  I have heard that some use battery acid (not very
> appealing to me) or vinegar (maybe I could handle that).  I have bought
> something called “Boraplex” but haven’t used it yet and wonder what
> experiences others have had with it.
> The other question relates to the tools used to meter the material into the
> water.  I have several Syphonjects (gotten very economically at an auction)
> that might work if I can figure out the proper dilution.  Other wise I am
> considering either Mazzie, Ez-Flo, or Dosatron systems, (more expensive but
> possibly easier to control) options.  Again I am interested in other’s
> experiences.  I have about  38 PSI at water hydrants and run water through
> 12 PSI pressure regulators at my irrigation header lines.
> Marlin Burkholder
> Virginia
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