PH And Hydroponic Nutrient Solutions
The pH scale is a scale from 1 to 14; 1 being most acidic, 7 being neutral and 14 being the most alkaline. For every full point difference in pH, there is a 10-fold increase or decrease in acidity or alkalinity. As you can imagine, a seemingly small change on your pH reading of your hydroponic nutrient solution can have a large effect on your hydroponic plants well-being. Therefore it’s important that you check the pH of your hydroponic nutrient solutions at least every other day using a good quality electronic hydroponic pH tester.
The pH in hydroponic nutrient solution can easily fluctuate by a half point in either direction and not cause any damage to the vast majority of plants. However, larger deviations can effect your plants ability to absorb their nutrients.
So why do you need to check the pH of your nutrient solution so often? Well this is because plant roots take in different nutrients within the nutrient solution at different rates. For example, some plants may take in calcium faster than iron, or others may take in magnesium quicker than potassium. Because of this, the pH of your nutrient solution will drift off in either direction. This will cause the other nutrients not to be absorbed at the usual rate. Depending on what the nutrient deficiency is, the plant may be afflicted with differing ailments.
By making regular checks to pH and by then making the necessary adjustments to your hydroponic nutrient solution by using either pH up or pH down (more on this below), you can easily keep your nutrient solution at the perfect pH level for your plants to thrive. One extra point i shall make on measuring your hydroponic nutrient solution pH level is to take the measurement at the same time every day. This will ensure that the temperature, which can have an effect on readings is roughly the same each time you make the measurement.
Remember also that every hydroponic plant has different optimum pH levels. You need to find out what this level is and ensure you give it to your plant. You will be repaid many times over with healthy plants you can enjoy for a long time.