Self taught Chemistry lesson for making acidic water
Let me start off by saying: WOW! HOLY &^*#!
I am an avid gardener and decided that i wanted to plant blueberries and other fruit bushes. After having read all about them I decided that I could grow them, i'd just need to make a shortcut to make the soil they live in more acidic. Blueberries like a PH of somewhere around 4.5-5.5 to produce good fruit. Our soil around here is often a high 7 due to dissolved limestone. Here's where my chemistry lesson starts to unfold.
I decided that i could make my own acidic water to lower the PH of the soil around these blueberries. At this point i'm thinking i'm pretty smart. Should be easy to do. After about 3 failed attempts to hardware stores and other places i found an auto parts store that carried Sulfuric acid for car batteries. Hmmm, Now if i dilute it down with water i can slowly lower the PH of my soil by simply hauling water to my bushes.
Fast forward to my garage this evening. I have the 6 qt box propped up and cut the tip off the hose. I jam a tear dropper in the nozzle to get a small sample to test with some PH strips my buddy hooked me up with. Immediately battery acid squirts past the dropper and onto the floor and a bit on my hand. I rush to the sink to rinse off the burning acid. Okay...I guess I need gloves. Should'a paid attention in chemistry class. Luckily i was already wearing glasses. Meanwhile, the floor is sizzling and turning white. Okay....I need baking soda. Crap! I run to the deep freeze in my garage only to find that the box is missing (probably from some other emergency use). I grab some bleach after a quick google to see if it is in fact a base. I pour it on and hope that an explosion does not occur. Finally crisis diverted and the mess is somewhat neutralized.
So, on with the experiment. I grab a small glass tupperware bowl and meter out a miniscule amount into the glass with plastic bags over my hands because apparently my wife hid the rubber gloves somewhere between our house and Limbo. I use the dropper to add real close to 2 tsp to a cup of water. The PH strip just stared at me unfazed like i was an idiot. Okay, 3 more cups of water....still nothing. More water...more water. I take my ratio up to 16 cups of water and finally i see a sign that my PH is coming up above the previous mark that was less than a 1. I'm now up to 32 cups of water and barely reading a 4.0. Only two teaspoons of battery acid in my experiment equates to me having approximately enough acid to mix 1152 gallons of water for approximately 7 blueberry bushes. (that is approximately 230 - five gallon buckets!)And thats if I go with a 4.0 mix and not a 4.5.
When the sales clerk asked me which size I wanted, I'm glad I opted for the 6 qt acid container instead of the 5 gallon! I wish I paid closer attention in Chemistry class.
Has anybody else experimented and have a more precise ratio on how to achieve a 4.0 - 4.5 water mixture using battery acid?