Today, our team of professionals Eureka Grow Shop, explores one of the most important issues for a correct cultivation on soil and in hydroponics; it is well known that pH is a key factor for health, growth and flowering of plants, and if they have high values, the seedlings will not be able to carry out their life cycle at their best. Keep reading this informative article to become a true professional in the growing industry.
What is pH?
The pH of the soil or reaction is one of the most important factors for an accurate understanding of soil properties. We talked about various types of agricultural land (medium texture, clayey, sandy, etc.) through the analysis of the physical structure. However, when it comes to soil pH, our focus will be on the chemical properties of the soil. The pH directly affects the ability of plants to absorb the necessary nutrients. Of course, this greatly affects the ability of plants to “inhabit” a certain terrain. The responses measured with pH allow you to select the most suitable species for the environment and to make any corrections or changes.
What is the Ideal Soil pH for Indoor Growing?
The pH of the soil is an important factor because many chemical processes depend on the pH, in particular it is essential for the absorption of nutrients. The optimal pH range for most plants is between 6.0 and 6.5, but it also depends on the directions of the fertilizer used.
pH Levels in Hydroponics
Planting in hydroponics and growing plants with an inert substrate differs from soil in terms of pH. If you are growing without soil, such as in coir, the optimal pH for the root zone should be slightly below the ideal value for soil, which is between 5.5 and 6.2. The exact same thing goes for any hydroponic growing method.
How to Measure the pH of the Soil?
Measuring the pH of the soil is very simple, more than you think, in fact it will be enough to use a digital pH meter that can be purchased at low prices in our grow shop catalog. Using it is also extremely easy, here are all the steps for a correct pH measurement:
- dig a hole about 10 cm deep;
- loosen the soil and remove all the debris;
- fill the whole hole with distilled water, in order to create a “puddle”;
- insert the pH-meter probe, after making sure that it is well calibrated;
- leave the probe inserted for about 60 seconds and then read the results.
To get the most realistic results possible, repeat the measurements with the probe in different points in the garden: if the pH values are similar everywhere, you can average the values in this way; if instead you were to find points and remember to mark them to remember that the crops must be differentiated in these areas of the garden.
How to Raise the pH of the Soil?
It is also possible to increase the pH of your soil, especially if you have only fertilized with chemical fertilizers for a long time. To prevent this from happening again, try to use a fertilizer mix that is as neutral as possible. In the meantime, let’s see how to correct the pH of the soil by raising it, making it less acidic and more alkaline. At Eureka Grow Shop we highly recommend following one of these steps to raise the pH of the soil:
- Fertilize with ash, which is an alkalizing substance for the soil;
- Water with calcareous water, such as that of tap;
- Add calcium carbonate or lime to the soil. You can find both in nurseries, with all the instructions regarding dosage and distribution.