What is pH and why is it important?

Author: BlueLab  


What is pH?

  • pH (short for potential Hydrogen) is the measurement of acidity and its opposite, alkalinity in a solution. Neutral pH is 7.0 pH. Acidity measures below seven pH (7.0pH) with alkalinity measuring above it (7.0pH).

 
Why is it important to measure pH?

  • It is important to maintain a hydroponic nutrient solution at a pH level where the elements in the nutrient solution are consistently available to the plant. If the solution is too acidic or too alkaline it can cause “lock up” – a situation which restricts certain elements essential for growth from being absorbed by the root structure.
  • Deficiencies in the required elements become apparent in the plants growth and can lead to crop failure. Additionally the pH of the water we drink is crucial to our health, the pH of a swimming pool is important, not only for our skin and eyes, but also for the efficiencies of sanitizers and pool equipment. Again the pH of the water a fish lives and breeds in is critical to its existence as certain species require a particular pH to survive.
  • The elements we add to a solution will either increase or decrease the solutions pH measurement. Only accurate measurement of the pH level will allow complete control of the outcome.

 
Mastering pH

  • When the pH is slightly acidic most nutrient elements are available to a plant.
  • Individual crops have their own preference for pH values. That is, they do best at certain pH levels. Whatever food solution you use, keep your pH in a fairly tight band. Consistent balance gives consistent growth.

It’s not just the nutrient mix... it’s the right pH that delivers the food.

Recommended pH range for plants grown in:


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