By maintaining pH…
For soil growers, being aware of pH is important, especially those using liquid nutrients. For soilless and hydroponic growers, liquid nutrients and pH management are required tools that give growers a greater ability to affect plant growth – for better or worse.
Re-test to make sure pH is in proper range.
Of course, knowing what pH is doesn’t help you if you can’t measure your soil’s acidity. Fortunately, measuring pH is dead easy. Testing kits are available at many retailers for a nominal fee. There are several kinds of commercial testing kits, including treated paper strips, tablets, and electronic sensors. Each comes with instructions on the specifics of its use, but here’s a basic how-to. Simply mix a soil sample from your growing container with enough dechlorinated water (pure water is pH neutral – a 7 on the pH scale) to make wet mud. Insert whichever testing material you’ve purchased. Per the test kit instructions, the testing material will change colour or otherwise indicate the pH. Compare the results to the test kit instructions and you’ll know the pH of your soil.
There’s also a few homemade methods to test for pH, but these are less accurate and not encouraged for ideal cannabis production.
Measuring soil pH
For those who have been out of chemistry class for a while, let’s start with the basics. pH, which stands for potential of Hydrogen, is an indicator of how acidic or basic a substance is. pH is measured on a 14-point scale, from zero (the most acidic) to 14 (the most basic). It’s called pH because acidic molecules contain hydrogen, which has the chemical symbol H. At their extremes, both acids and bases are caustic, meaning they react violently with organic tissue, effectively burning or dissolving it. The range of pH found in soil is much more neutral, but vitally important to cannabis production.
Now that we know the importance of soil acidity for cannabis, and how to test for pH in your soil, it’s time to learn how to correct pH. pH can be corrected by, quite simply, adding more acid or base to the soil. However, it’s not quite that easy. While any acid or base will adjust soil pH, many are toxic to plants, animals, and microorganisms. BlueSky’s pH UP and pH DOWN formulas are simply measured and added to your plant’s water before watering. It’s naturally sourced, microorganism friendly, and won’t burn plants the way harsher pH adjusters can. It’s the best choice for cannabis pH management.
pH: A refresher
pH. Ugh. It’s one of those finicky things pool owners and chemistry students need to worry about. You probably know that pH levels are indicators of how acidic or basic a substance is but you may not know how it affects the growth and productivity of cannabis. Not to fear! Today we’re discussing the ins and outs of soil pH, and how to ensure your cannabis crop is getting the right soil pH at the right time.
On the pH scale, values less than 7.0 indicate acidity; values greater than 7.0 indicate alkalinity. Deionized water has a neutral pH of 7.0. The pH scale is a logarithmic function, so even small changes in pH values are significant. For example, a pH level of 4.0 is ten times as acidic as a pH level of 5.0. For plants, pH is important because it affects the form of the nutrients in the substrate.
For example, when pH is low, the solubility of some micronutrients like iron and manganese increases, making them more available to plants. This can cause toxicity. However, when pH increases, micronutrients, along with phosphorus, become less soluble and less available to plants.
05 Mar Best Practices for Monitoring pH for Cannabis
Regardless of the concentrations of your nutrient solution, unbalanced pH levels can create an antagonistic environment for nutrients and will make them unavailable to your plants. The figure above shows how nutrient availability relates to pH.
Testing pH with a Digital Meter
Best Practices for Monitoring pH for Cannabis