Photo: electronic pH testers range from inexpensive, such as this model, to high-end. They are handy but can be less reliable than a liquid tester because you have to calibrate them regularly. For calibration you need to purchase calibration fluid for pH 4 and pH 7 and a simple thermostat.
- water quality
- growing medium (coco coir, rockwool, hydro correls, mixture of several mediums, other substrates, or mainly pure water such as aero-flow and bubbler)
- nutrient products used and their buffer capacity
- additional products or buffer agents used
- type of watering system & watering schedule
- EC of nutrient solution
- size of nutrient solution tank or plant container
- room temperature
- size of plants and their nutrient uptake
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All of these factors influence how the pH should be adjusted and how it changes in the containers or tank over a period of time. A fluctuation of one full point in hydroponics can usually be tolerated by cannabis as long as the pH is stabilized to the ideal range within 24 hrs. For best results the pH should therefore be monitored daily in a system with large fluctuation.
Photo: yellowing, leaf curl, circular burnt spots on leaves, and leaf drop are typical symptoms from water with a high level of sodium.
Take appropriate action if the water quality is low: a high EC or very low/high pH are indicators (i.e. pH below 6 or above 8). A household osmosis filter is the cheapest long-term solution to improving water quality if you have no other clean water source.
Tap water and well water are two main sources that need to be checked for quality. Both can be contaminated with toxic levels of minerals. High levels of sodium (Na) are often found in well water and can cause excessive damage to plants. Saline water on the whole must be avoided.
SOIL: pH tester, EC meter, bottle of cheap vinegar (6° acidity), measurement cup for 10-100 ml
HYDROPONICS: pH tester, EC meter, bottle of cheap vinegar or pH UP & DOWN, measurement cup for 10-100 ml
Wasser und pH The pH is the measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution or substrate. A low pH shows that the solution is acidic and a high pH that it is base/alkaline. The middle value
Allowing a pH range, regardless of the medium, ensures the plant is able to absorb the variety of nutrients required for optimum growth. For example, the plant’s ability to absorb manganese increases with a more acidic medium. Numerous pH and nutrient uptake charts are available online to illustrate the ideal pH for each element needed throughout the vegetative and flowering stages of growth.
Overfeeding a plant will likely result in nutrient burn, causing the plant’s leaf tips to turn yellow or brown. Left unchecked, nutrient burn will hinder growth and yield. Underfeeding will also affect the plant’s ability to reach its full potential.
Takeaway: Want healthy, productive plants? Dial in your potential hydrogen and you’ll be on your way to a thriving crop. We discuss the importance of achieving the right pH balance with a seasoned growing pro.
To find out what’s right for the strains in your garden, Hach é recommends starting with a low nutrient concentration in the cloning or seed phase of growth. The EC should gradually increase as the plant matures.
“When you think of the regions of the world where these plants come from, they’re complete opposites. All the factors would be different,” Hach é says. “Y ou can treat them exactly the same, they’re both marijuana plants, but you could probably be a little more efficient by fine-tuning indicas or sativas.”
The EC should peak about halfway through the flowering stage of growth.
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“A range allows marijuana to absorb what it likes,” says Hach é. “Your pH doesn’t change your concentration of nutrition, it changes the availability of nutrients. Even though the nutrients are there, they might not be up-taken, or they may be absorbed in excess.”
The pH and nutrient concentration of a cannabis plant’s medium is a lot like a transistor radio; you have to dial in the right numbers to unlock its full potential.
Want healthy, productive plants? Dial in your potential hydrogen and you’ll be on your way to a thriving crop.