How to Adjust pH Of Hydroponic Nutrient Solution

Proper pH levels are important with hydroculture gardening. If the pH of the nutrient solution is too high or too low, then the plant will not be able to take in the minerals. pH fluctuations are part of hydroponic gardening. The pH of the solution is altered as the minerals are removed by the plant from the water.

The proper pH level depends on what you’re growing, but most plants do well in a pH range of 5.5 and 6.5. You should measure the pH of your nutrient solution often, starting at once a day until you see how things go. If your pH is off-balance, it’s important to adjust the pH levels back to the proper levels quickly. Not taking care of the issue in a timely manner will lead to nutrient lockout. To adjust the pH level, you must add an acid to lower your pH level or an alkali to raise it.

What Is Natural Way To Adjust The pH Of A Hydroponic Garden?

Household items such as white vinegar or citric acid can be used to lower pH, while baking soda can be used to raise it. The problem with using these household ingredients is that it’s only a short-term fix. These ingredients don’t contain a buffer to help maintain the pH level like commercial products do, so you often you will have the same problem occur in the next day or two.

What is The Best Way To Adjust pH Of A Hydroponic Garden?

The most effective way to adjust pH is to buy a product that is specifically made to adjust the pH of hydroponic nutrient solutions. Several hydroponics companies offer specific products for this issue, many simply called pH up and pH down. I would recommend keeping some on hand in case you do run into pH problems. As well as correcting the pH quickly, hydroponic pH adjusters also contain a buffer that keeps the pH regulated at the proper level. This will stop the pH problem from happening again in the next couple days.

How to use pH up and down

Using a pH adjusting product like General Hydroponics Up & Down is simple.

First, you should test your hydroponic nutrient solution to see what your pH level is currently at. This will let you know in what direction on the pH scale you need to go and by how much.

Typically it only takes 1-2 ml of pH Up or Down per gallon of water to correct the pH of your nutrient solution. I have hard water where I live so I use a little more.  If you over correct you and always add a little of the opposite to get it where it needs to be. Add a little pH up or down and wait about a half hour to test the nutrient solution. Repeat the process until you in the range of 5.5-6.5 or the desired range for what you’re growing.