3 Ways To Measure pH Of Nutrient Solution

When hydroponic gardening it is important to measure the pH of your nutrient solution on a regular basis. A plant needs the pH of the solution to be within a certain range or it cannot take in the minerals needed from the nutrient solution. It depends on what you’re growing, but most plants do well in a pH somewhere between 5.5 and 6.5.

Measuring the pH of your solution is not difficult. There’s actually a few different ways you can do it. Here are the 3 different ways you can measure the pH of your hydroponic nutrient solution.


 Litmus Test Strips To Measure Hydroponic pH

Litmus pH test strips

Testing your hydroponic nutrient solution with litmus test strips can be one of the cheapest ways of checking the pH. The strips contain a pH-sensitive dye that changes color when dipped into your nutrient solution. The strip is then compared to a chart explaining what different color shades mean.

Measuring pH with test strips can sometimes be difficult due to the fact that the color differences can be subtle. Since it’s hard to sometimes distinguish the exact color the strip is giving, it is less accurate of a measurement. With that being said, you can still give you a pretty good idea if the pH of your hydroponic nutrient solutions is in the area it needs to be.

Liquid Test Kit To Measure Hydroponic H

liquid pH test kit

While a little more expensive than the litmus test strips, using a liquid pH test kit to measure your hydroponic nutrient solution is a little more accurate. Many are familiar with this type of pH testing if they have owned a pool.

The liquid pH test kits work by placing a few drops of a pH sensitive dye into a small amount of the nutrient solution. The color of the resulting liquid is then compared to a chart showing what color represents which color of pH. Liquid pH test kits are easier to read so are more accurate that test strips.

Electronic Meter To Measure Hydroponic pH

Electronic pH meter

The most accurate way of measuring the pH of your nutrient solution is by using an electronic pH meter. There are a variety of different pH meters ranging in sizes and prices, but as a hobby gardener, I suggest simpler pen like version. These pens come with a LCD screen that will show you the exact pH measurement.

Before measuring the pH of your nutrient solution it will most likely need to be calibrated. pH meters are sometimes sensitive to elements and need to be well taken care of for accurate readings.

If your pH measurements of your nutrient solutions aren’t falling in that 5.5 to 6.5 range don’t panic. It’s easy to adjust the pH of the nutrient solution back to proper levels.

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