“Incorrect pH belongs to the most serious nutrient disorders in organic-soil gardens. Many complex biological processes occur between organic fertilizers and the soil during nutrient uptake. The pH is critical to the livelihood of these activities.” (Marijuana Horticulture, Jorge Cervantes)
*Vinegar is a neutral acid that is completely harmless to plants when diluted in water. It should be used to adjust the pH of the water for soil cultivation to prevent overfertilizing of plants. The commercial pH DOWN products all contain potent nitric or phosphoric acid that raise the salt level in soil and can burn your plants. Especially seedlings and young plants easily suffer from regular watering with pH Down.
Fertilizing a plant that is suffering from a pH imbalance usually increases the cycle of problems. It may show a brief respite to symptoms, but only because the fertilizer added to the water may have changed the pH favourably for a short time. Without paying attention to the actual problem and adjusting the pH to the correct range your plants will continue to suffer and you will lose yield on a daily basis.
- single nutrient deficiency or multiple nutrient deficiencies causing any of the following: stunted growth, yellowing, dark blotches on leaves, small dark-blue leaves, contorted shoots, shriveled growth, leaf curl or burn, leaf drop, delayed flowering, low yield, etc.
- higher ratio of males during sexing
- appearance of male flowers on females
- vulnerability to mold and fungus
- vulnerability to pests
Many plant problems that are attributed by the grower to lack of fertilizer or poor genetics are in actual fact caused by the wrong pH of the growing medium or water (most often of water).
*Vinegar is a neutral acid that is completely harmless to plants when diluted in water. It can be used for Hydrofarms with hydro correls and on rockwool. Not all growing mediums may be suitable. run a test if you are using coco coir or other substrates.
Test the quality of your water by checking the pH and EC range. Take into account any unusual colour or smell of the water. Make a chemical analysis at a pharmacy if you think your well water or tap water is heavily contaminated.
Photo: yellowing, leaf curl, circular burnt spots on leaves, and leaf drop are typical symptoms from water with a high level of sodium.
Wasser und pH The pH is the measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution or substrate. A low pH shows that the solution is acidic and a high pH that it is base/alkaline. The middle value
- Add a small amount of PH Up to bring it up
- Add a small amount of PH Down to bring it down
Tap Water Can Be Easier to pH Than RO or Highly Filtered Water: Tap water or mineral water has an extra buffer of extra minerals and other “stuff” in the water. This helps prevent the pH from swinging up too high or too low quickly and can make pHing easier. RO water has very little buffer (it’s basically pure water) and tends to swing up and down in pH easily with just a little pH Up or Down. Do you need special water or is your tap water good enough?
If runoff pH is…
The most common way to test for the pH of water is probably using drops or strips. These work by taking a water sample, and you compare the color produced to a chart. These give you a rough idea of the pH.
The very first time you pH your water, it will take a little trial and error to figure out how much PH Up or PH Down to add to get to the right number, since everyone’s water is a little different. The general idea is to start with a little bit, maybe a few drops, then retest and add more if needed. Continue this until you get the water in the proper range. PH Down is much stronger than PH Up, so be extra careful with PH Down! After the first time, it will be much easier to measure out how much you need.
Think about the pH of the water that you watered your plants with. You made sure it was in the right range. So if the pH that comes out the bottom is outside the range, that means you need to either raise or lower the pH to get it back where it should be.
In a hydroponic setup, you will almost always be using liquid or powder nutrients, so save yourself a ton of trouble by watching and adjusting the pH as needed! The pH will naturally change over time, and you only need to correct it when it starts going out of the 5.5-6.5 range.
Gently Shake or Stir Your Water
Learn how to easily adjust pH up and down if needed for your cannabis grow. It helps prevent nutrient deficiencies!