Beginner's Section, Grow, Growing with Hydroponics

The Importance Of pH Water Balance – Why And How To Do It

I dont have a PHD but I can tell you that you are having a pH problem.

Are your plants showing signs of limp folliage, sluggish growth and stressed yellowing leaves? Well i’m here to tell you about viagra for plants. No i’m just kidding. A quick and easy thing to check for is the pH level of the water or nutrient solution you are feeding your plants. Whether growing in soil or hydroponically it’s vital for proper nutrient uptake that your water or solution be pH’d properly. I get to talk to a lot of growers who are new to gardening. They often come to me with problems they face in the garden, giving me plant symptoms and asking for diagnoses. Having a PHD in watching YouTube videos to diagnose my own plants i’m incredibly confident playing doctor. Let’s start dissecting.

pH Problem In Plants

Proper pH balance is essential for plants grown in water or in soil. pH is the measure of how acidic and alkaline the water or soil is and it’s measured on a scale that ranges between 0-14. If the pH number is under 7, the water or soil is acidic and above 7 indicates alkalinity. Most plants prefer their roots to be somewhere in the middle, between 6.5-7.5. There are exceptions to the rule, such as tomatoes and azaleas which prefer an acidic soil and many perennial flowers and vines prefer an alkaline (also known as sweet) soil or water in which to grow.

Why pH Balance is Important

The pH level in soil or water determines the solubility of nutrients. In other words, the proper pH balance is crucial for the plant to survive. If the pH level is too high or too low, the nutrients in the soil or water will not break down enough for the plant to be able to uptake and assimilate them during the growing process. The plant will starve to death or be so undernourished it’s unable to reach maturity and produce. Water and soil can actually become toxic when heavy metals are present and the pH level becomes too low. The plants will uptake an overdose of trace metals and die unless the pH is kept above a certain number, depending on the plants being grown.

How To Test pH Level

HM Digital pH Meter

Testing the pH level in soil or water is simple. A soil test kit, which is available at any garden supply dealer, is all that’s needed to test to determine the pH balance of soil and what organic or chemical components need to be incorporated into the soil to bring it into optimum growing balance. A digital meter to test water pH balance is useful not only for gardening applications, but is also a handy tool to have on hand to test the pH level in home swimming pools, spas, aquariums and drinking water.

How to Adjust pH Level

Adjust pH Solution

The growing method (soil or hydroponics) will determine how to either raise or lower the pH level. For soil lime or wood ash raises the pH, sulfur and phosphoric acid lowers the pH. The components are added directly to the soil and mixed in well for soil-grown plants. For hydroponics, use a simple pH up or down. pH up/down is mixed in the water prior to feeding to your plant. Add liquid pH up/down into your water very slowly as all pH adjusting solutions are incredibly strong. A 1ml eyedropper full of solution will usually adjust my 20 gallon reservoir of water between .1-.2.

In Conclusion

The pH levels in most water can be very unstable. You might get perfect acidic 6.5 pH water from the tap one day and have it alkaline +8 the next day. If you are growing high value crops that cant take any risk of failure its incredibly important to check your pH levels EVERY TIME you feed your plants. It only takes a few minutes to check and it will save you and your plants a lot of pain and suffering in the future. For more information about Green Envy Supply, go to our Green Envy homepage

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *