That’s Why pH Is Crucial In Indoor Growing
The question from which our reflection starts is this: why is the pH of the nutrient solution so important for cultivation? When this value shifts from the parameters defined as ‘normal’ the plants start to slow down their growth and the foliage turns yellowish. These symptoms may also hide other problems, let’s be clear. But the first thing to do in this case is to carry out a test.
Just The Right pH For Healthy Growth In Indoor Cultivation
With the pH level we can measure the acidity and basicity of an aqueous solution or possibly a chemical compound. When we are at the neutral point we have pure water, whose value is 7. What we find between 0 and 7 are acidic compounds, while alkaline (also called basic) compounds range from 7 to 14. If it is true that each substance has its own pH level, it is also true that a plant must have its own values in order to grow properly. A good indoor cultivation therefore needs the right pH levels, which are neither too high nor too low. In these two cases the roots will have problems absorbing nutrients.
When we see signs of deficiencies in our plants you don’t have to add nutrients right away. First, as mentioned earlier, we need to measure the pH. With an incorrect level the nutrients may be in the substrate but not be able to reach the roots. And the first thing to avoid in this case is an overdose, which causes the death of the plant.
The Irrigation Phase
If and only if the pH stabilizes in the right range we can allow our plants to absorb nutrients. And that goes hand in hand with irrigation. We will then have to analyse the solution with which to irrigate the plants. With the pH meter we can then find out whether we are dealing with an acid or basic compound. If the solution exceeds the acidity level, it will have to be corrected by means of the pH+. It contains potassium carbonate which is used to increase the value when the vegetation is growing and flowering.
If it is too basic, work with the pH-, which contains phosphoric acid to reduce the level. In general, the optimal average value is 6.3 – 6.8.
When we are going to test this value we should always check the water deposited in the saucer to assess any accumulation of salts. If the output pH is higher than the nutrient solution, there is a possible accumulation of salts. For this reason you should avoid recycling the soil and above all wash the pots well before using them.
How To Manage The pH: Mistakes Not To Be Made
Growing in grow boxes with soil we will notice that the pH tends to drop. If we are talking about hydroponic cultivation the effect is the opposite and therefore tends to rise. This means that if we make a mistake, it will have a faster and more dangerous impact. It is necessary to carefully control the concentration of fertilizers, knowing that in hydroponics the nutrient supplied must maintain a pH between 5.2 and 5.8. For short periods it can tolerate 6.5, but do not risk it!
Avoid fluctuating its value excessively, but keep the level within the limits provided. This way you can be sure that you will be able to assimilate the different nutrients. It’s a good idea to test the level at least once or twice a day, as the value varies depending on the different conditions we recreate in the grow tent.
When the pH level is showing control problems, the problem is often caused by an excess of fertilizer. This happens when we use too much nitrogen in the vegetative phase, or when there is a lot of chlorine in the water used for irrigation. In this case leave the water standing for a couple of days before using it.
If the pH value is abnormal, act immediately and use a digital pH meter to evaluate the acidity or alkalinity of the substrate.