What does pH stand for?
The two most important factors in hydroponics are the nutrient concentration (EC) and the acidity level (pH) of the nutrients solution we use to feed our plants.
In order to have an excellent vegetables growth, the nutrient concentration and pH must be consistently balanced over time. This allow plants have what they need, when they need it.
A good understanding of these variables is essential for successful hydroponic gardening systems.
Let’s see in detail what does pH stands for and how to control pH in hydroponics.
pH in Hydroponics
All the nutrients in the world will not be enough if the plant cannot absorb them easily.
A major factor in determining a plant’s ability to uptake nutrients is the relative acidity, or pH of the solution from which they feed.
pH is taken by measuring a voltage (potential) in a solution and registering it on a scale of 0-14 that represents the concentration of hydronium ions in solution.
Generally, pH level, it is used to determine whether a solution is acidic or basic. In Few words pH indicate the acidity level of the hydroponics nutrient solution we use to feed our plants.
How to measure pH
There are several methods of measuring pH levels. The most accurate is to use a digital PH EC Meter that is submerged in the nutrient solution for a reading to be taken.
Our digital PH EC Meter is sold already calibrated using a solution that has a known pH and EC values. Don’t forget anyway, you must calibrate it every so often. Read our guide to know how to calibrate your pH EC meter.
Nothing beats the fact to have a digital PH EC Meter! This tool will help you to keep the nutrients solution pH and concentration levels where they need to be. Our best advice is to carefully follow the directions that come with the hydroponics nutrients solution you plan to use.
What does the pH scale measure? Acid and Base solution
The Ph scale measure the hydronium ions concentration in a solution. The pH scale goes from 1 to 14.
If your pH reading registers a 1 on the scale, this represents a high hydronium ion concentration (so you have an acid solution).
Pure water is considered neutral at a pH of 7.
A 14 on the scale represents the lowest concentration of hydronium ions (this represents a basic, alkaline solution).
When adjusting pH in hydroponics, it is best to give your fresh nutrient mixture several hours to stabilize before attempting to adjust it.
You should also be aware that commonly available pH control products are very powerful, and a little bit too much can sacrifice your entire nutrient solution fast.
pH nutrient uptake chart
As we just saw, The pH scale runs from 0 to 14. In hydroponics the ideal pH range is between 5.5 and 6.5. As you can see from the following pH nutrient uptake chart, this range provides the plant with the maximum availability of the most nutrients:
For this reason, it’s important to check the nutrients solution PH level with a digital PH EC Meter on daily basis.
Usually when you prepare the hydroponics nutrient solution (adding the Easy-Hydroponics Nutrient Solution AB to normal water) the PH of the nutrients solution tends to raise up.
How to lower pH levels in hydroponics ?
With the Easy-Hydroponics PH Down corrector for sale in our store, you can easily lower the PH value and keep the ideal value for your plants!
If you want to reduce the PH level of 1 point down: add 10ml of Easy-Hydroponics PH Down into 10Liter of your nutrients solution.
Please keep in mind every water is different depending on location. So please proceed slowly adding PH Down in small quantities.
Check the PH of your Hydroponics Nutrients Solution until you will reach the optimal PH value (between 5.5 – 6.5)
How to raise pH with baking soda?
If, for mistakes, you lower too much the PH level of your solution, you can raise it up using a bit of Baking Soda (use a very very little amount of it and check the PH value of your hydroponics solution with our digital PH EC Meter)