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 Post subject: citric acid
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 8:56 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2003 8:47 am
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Location: Richmond, TX
I would like to add citric acid to my irrigation water b/c my water, like my soil has a high pH (7.6). I found a source that sells it by the pound so I'm assuming it's dry. Can anyone tell me at what amount it should be mixed with water and then the rate of application.
Thanks!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2003 11:05 am 
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The main purposes for citrus acid in an organic gardening program is for pesticidal purposes, or a mild acidifier for tea brewing, but in teas it is only used sparingly. An abundance of citrus acid is bad news to many beneficial soil microbes. However, in an active hot compost pile, lots of citrus fruits break down over time ok, and the beneficial aerobic microbes win and take over fine in the final mature compost product.

If you want to adjust your soil pH, (after a recent soil pH test), stick with classic calcium carbonate or sulfur products to either raise or lower the native soil pH. However, in teas or in any liquid irrigation system, I would not recommend using any citrus products.

Using tons of compost and other organic matter, will add lots of humus and aerobic microbes, which will eventually over time, balance and buffer all your soil pH issues, and increase the availabilty of soluble nutrients in the organic matter as well as in your native soil.

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The entire Kingdom of God can be totally explained as an Organic Garden (Mark 4:26)
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 Post subject: Re: citric acid
PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2003 4:04 pm 
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flowergirl wrote:
I would like to add citric acid to my irrigation water b/c my water, like my soil has a high pH (7.6). I found a source that sells it by the pound so I'm assuming it's dry. Can anyone tell me at what amount it should be mixed with water and then the rate of application.
Thanks!


How much citric acid depends on how acidic you want the final solution to be and somewhat on what the ionic and/or alkaline agent(s) in the water is(are). One should be able to approximate the citric acid requirement based on an assumed primary alkaline agent, eg. calcium carbonate, and on using pure citric acid crystals. Citric acid is triprotic, and its three pKas appear to be within one order of magnitude of each other, depending on which reference source is used. Polyprotics are more complicated to calculate than are monoprotics, and the surest way is to titrate the water at the temperature that you use it, given the uncertain and/or complicated dissolved solid content of the water. Pure water is pH 7.0, so your water is virtually neutral; 7.6 really is not a "high pH." Why do you want to acidify the water more than that, and how acidic do you want it? Also, it probably would be wise to check your irrigation/plumbing equipment for acid tolerance before using it for much of a deviation below neutral.

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In theory, theory and practice are the same; in practice, they aren't -- lament of the synthetic lifestyle.


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