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Discuss water requirements, "soil" (growing media) and suitable planting containers

Moderator: Matt

By marmotamonax
Posts:  23
Joined:  Sun Feb 28, 2021 10:24 pm
My tap water TDS ranges from 60-90 TDS on any given day but it's usually in the mid 70s when I check it. I have 4 trays outside where they can get rainwater when needed I top them off with the hose which I always check the TDS before I use it. immediately after filling them with the hose water the TDS in the tray will read around 90 usually... but the next day the number will shoot up to 150 -250 TDS. we have had 2 days of pretty consistent rain and the numbers are still in the 120 range.

My inside trays which I use tap water for as well stay under 100 so I'm not sure what the difference could be from. Could pollen and dust in the air cause the jump? The only other thing I could think of is I think maybe my cat peed in my bag of peat. when I was potting these plants up I definitely smelled ammonia. I didn't put 2 and 2 together until a few days later when I saw my cat jump out of the bag of peat.

any ideas should I get a few gallons of distilled water and flush it all out?
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By optique
Posts:  885
Joined:  Fri May 24, 2019 11:15 pm
My TDS is very low so i don't know if what works for me will work for you. That being said i over fill my out side treys to push out higher TDS water caused by evaporation to prevent build up. Collecting rain water and topping off with it should really help too.

I would avoid cat pee at all cost. I keep my peat outside but cover it with a plastic storage bin flipped upside down.
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By Panman
Posts:  1662
Joined:  Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:41 pm
I would say that you need to flush it repeatedly and test the output water until the TDS level is lower. I watered my plants with 72ppm water but it also regularly got rained on. That allowed it to flush out the minerals. When the water in the trays got over 100ppm, i would empty them and refill them.
By steve booth
Posts:  925
Joined:  Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:15 am
Hi marmotamonax

If the high TDS is regular in your tray it is unlikely to be pollen or pee. it could be rotting organic matter, if the tray gathers leaves and other matter that rots and isnt cleaned out.

How long have your plants been in the same peat and do you know its PH?

If they have been in the same soil for over a year what can happen (not saying it is this) is that with constant watering the soil in the pots start to get less acidic and once this happens as the PH rises the soil start to decompose and release nutrients into the soil which gets washed out into the tray.

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