aqh88
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tannic acid water

I set up a 60gallon low sided stock tank last summer for my dog to drink and play in as well as to easily water the plants farther from the house. The oak tree dumped leaves and then acorns into it turning the water nearly black. Having fish aquariums I know this is actually desireable to some setups and aquatic plants but is the water good for terrestrial plants? Would it actually be helpful to use it to water my more acidic loving plants that are trying to grow in our alkaline soil or should I just drain it off to a corner of the yard and refill with fresh water?

TheLorax
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I don't see why not, it's definitely steeped if it's that color. I'd probably dilute it though since its been out there so long. You basically just described oak leaf tea which is used by many.

I make mine by filling up a large garbage can about half way full with leaves and then I add water and stick the lid on. After about a week it looks about the color of a strong hot tea. That's when it's done brewing for me.

If you've got acid lovers on your hands, you might want to consider 1T of apple cider vinegar to a gallon of water.

aqh88
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1T wouldn't have much impact on my nearly 9ph extremely hard (it can leave grit on your teeth when you drink it) well water. It seeps through limestone on it's way to my house. Which is why I use peat moss in the fish tanks and collect rain water in containers like that one. There are too many contaminants in that particular container to soften my fish tanks with it so I was hoping it would have another use.

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imagardener2
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So what I'm understanding here is that if I make a tea from my oak leaves and then use it to water my hydrangeas they'll turn blue? [img]https://geocities.com/d_m_g_s/emoticons/Ask.gif[/img]
"Our elders instruct us to always walk upon Mother Earth with respect, gentleness, and with thankful hearts. We must never deviate from the fundamental precept of stewardship, or we will be capable of causing great harm."

TheLorax
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Not exactly. Heredity plays into the equation but there are other factors. I leave mine be but you could add Hi-Yield Soil Sulphur it you wanted.

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imagardener2
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TheLorax wrote:Not exactly. Heredity plays into the equation but there are other factors. I leave mine be but you could add Hi-Yield Soil Sulphur it you wanted.
So the sulphur will turn them blue, but the oak leaf tea wouldn't? [img]https://geocities.com/d_m_g_s/emoticons/Huh_anim.gif[/img]

Would the tea be good for my blueberry plants?
"Our elders instruct us to always walk upon Mother Earth with respect, gentleness, and with thankful hearts. We must never deviate from the fundamental precept of stewardship, or we will be capable of causing great harm."

TheLorax
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Bad sentences together. Sorry about that.

There is nothing we can do to turn a white hydrangea blue. Hence the comments about heredity.

I've got a few hydrangeas here that are supposed to be "blue". In order to turn a hydrangea blue, it's my understanding aluminum must be present in the soil and the pH has to be low enough for the plant to use the aluminum. The Oak leaf tea didn't turn mine blue because it probably didn't drop the pH around the plants enough because I didn't apply it regularly (I brew that tea for my cranberries so the hydrangeas were only getting what was left when I remembered). I also think my oak leaf tea is a lot weaker than aqh88's tea and I've had to use it before it is completely "brewed" due to severe droughts here the past few years. The Hi-Yield Soil Sulphur worked best for me when I applied it once a month starting about right now but aluminum sulfate would probably work better if you don't know whether or not you have aluminum present in your soil. I must have some aluminum because mine blued up. I was experimenting about 5 years ago after I complained to a friend that his blue hydrangeas weren't blue for me and he taught me what little I know. I was able to turn mine blue and now that I know I can, I don't bother. The pinks with a hint of blue are fine for me and I don't need to remember to do anything to them. I started creating a windbreak using pines. White pine is a real tall tree that at maturity has no lower branches. The other species of pines are intentionally planted too close together so over time their lower branches will die off leaving an open space. It was my intent to toss in acid loving plants in this open space which is why I kept some of his ornamental hydrangeas. My friend had shared this vision of beautiful blue blooms up against a back drop of the green of the pine needles and I liked his idea. Oddly enough, I changed my mind about using them in that windbreak so his hydrangeas are still planted in an alkaline area and blooming pinkish.

The oak leaf tea I use when ever I can to water a small man made bog that has Vaccinium angustifolium in it. Admittedly, when I run out I will add a T of apple cider vinegar to the water for that little bog. Should help out your blueberries but coffee grounds should too and you can always add a Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to the water. I only grow one blueberry here and it's in with the cranberry and some other boggie type plants.

Editing to add-
Hey, there's a whole forum for hydrangeas here-
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=3
Why not ask about bluing up hydrangeas over there? Those people will probably know the answers to the mystery in their sleep!

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