Hydroponic pH Soltuions
| One of the most overlooked aspects of hydroponic gardening is pH. In hydroponics, pH solutions are measured on a scale of 1 to 14, with 7 being neutral. Anything above 7 is considered as alkaline while lower than 7 is acidic.
If you are growing plants in a hydroponic system, make sure you pay close attention to pH. If the pH level is not proper, the plants will lose their ability to absorb the essential nutrients required for healthy growth. All plants have a particular pH level in which they produce maximum or optimum results. The pH level varies from one plant to another. However, most plants prefer an acidic growth condition ranging between 6.0 and 6.5.
If the pH increases above 6.5, essential nutrients start precipitating out of the solution and stick to the wall of the water tank or reservoir. For instance, iron starts to precipitate at a pH of 7.3 and by 8.0, there will be no iron left in your nutrient solution. For plants to use nutrients, they have to be dissolved in the water. Once the nutrients start to precipitate, the plants can no longer absorb them.
Hydroponic pH solutions help you to keep the right and optimum pH level of nutrient solution so that your plants always have the condition to absorb whatever nutrients they need to grow healthily. Usually people who are beginners do not have a clue about hydroponic pH solutions and keep wondering why their plants are dying or looking sickly.
There are many hydroponic pH solutions but the most popular are phosphoric acid to lower the pH and potassium hydroxide to raise the pH. Although these solutions are relatively safe, they can cause burns and should never come in contact with your eyes. Most hydroponic supply stores will sell these solutions in diluted forms so they are safe and easy to use. Avoid concentrated hydroponic pH solutions as they can cause large changes in the pH and adjusting thereafter can be quite frustrating.
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