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high PH and boron in my well water

Posted by gardenerkarin 8 BC coastal (My Page) on
Tue, May 6, 08 at 18:30

This is the first year in my new garden. We are on a well, which we had tested and found it to have a PH of more than 9, and a high boron content, over 8 ppm, apparently less than 1 ppm is common. Will the ph of my soil be affected if I water with well water? Also, does anyone know the effects of high boron on plants? I have a rain barrel, but not enough capacity to water the entire garden.

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RE: high PH and boron in my well water

Interesting. Are you in a geothermal area?
Keep us posted on what all you are finding out.
apparently the boron contributes to a high pH.

4.1.3 Boron
Boron, unlike sodium, is an essential element for plant growth. (Chloride is also essential but in such small quantities that it is frequently classed non-essential.) Boron is needed in relatively small amounts, however, and if present in amounts appreciably greater than needed, it becomes toxic. For some crops, if 0.2 mg/l boron in water is essential, 1 to 2 mg/l may be toxic. Surface water rarely contains enough boron to be toxic but well water or springs occasionally contain toxic amounts, especially near geothermal areas and earthquake faults. Boron problems originating from the water are probably more frequent than those originating in the soil. Boron toxicity can affect nearly all crops but, like salinity, there is a wide range of tolerance among crops.

Boron toxicity symptoms normally show first on older leaves as a yellowing, spotting, or drying of leaf tissue at the tips and edges. Drying and chlorosis often progress toward the centre between the veins (interveinal) as more and more boron accumulates with time. On seriously affected trees, such as almonds and other tree crops which do not show typical leaf symptoms, a gum or exudate on limbs or trunk is often noticeable.

Most crop toxicity symptoms occur after boron concentrations in leaf blades exceed 250300 mg/kg (dry weight) but not all sensitive crops accumulate boron in leaf blades. For example, stone fruits (peaches, plums, almonds, etc.), and pome fruits (apples, pears and others) are easily damaged by boron but they do not accumulate sufficient boron in the leaf tissue for leaf analysis to be a reliable diagnostic test. With these crops, boron excess must be confirmed from soil and water analyses, tree symptoms and growth characteristics.

On the link below scroll down for information on Boron and specific crops reactions to boron and the typical leaching methods used when irrigating.

Here is a link that might be useful: boron in agriculture

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