Proper pH levels are paramount with hydroponic 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 nutrient minerals from the water. pH fluctuations are a regular part of hydroponic gardening, so you will need to know how to adjust the pH of your hydroponic nutrient solution. Luckily it’s an easy process!
What’s The Best pH For Your Hydroponic Garden?
The proper pH level for your hydroponic nutrient solution depends on what you’re growing, but most plants do require a pH range somewhere between 5.5 and 6.5. For a better idea of the best pH for the exact type of plant you’re growing, check out this article on the best pH for your hydroponic garden.
You should measure the pH of your nutrient solution often, starting once a day until you become more familiar with your garden. If it’s out of range, you should correct it as soon as possible. Not adjusting the pH will lead to nutrient lockout, which leads to nutrient deficiencies and long term could result in the death of your plant.
What Is The Best Way To Adjust pH Of A Hydroponic Garden?
The most reliable and effective way to adjust the pH of you hydroponic nutrient solutions is to buy a product that is specifically made to adjust hydroponic pH levels. These products come with buffers that help maintain the pH level.
Supplies You Will Need To Adjust Hydroponic pH
|pH Meter – There are a few different ways to measure the pH of your nutrient solution, but I prefer to use an electronic pH meter for accuracy and convenience.||View Product|
|pH Up and Down– There are several companies that make products to adjust the pH of your nutrient solution, many of them are just called pH up and Down. I typically use pH up and down from General Hydroponics.||View Product|
Measure The pH Of Your Nutrient Solution
First up is finding out what the current pH level of your nutrient solution is. There are three different ways to measure the pH of your nutrient solution, if you’re using an electronic pH meter, make sure it’s calibrated to get an accurate reading. Once you have an accurate idea of what the current pH level is, you’ll know what direction you’ll need to go to correct it and which product to use (the pH up of the pH down).
How To Use pH up And Down
How much pH up or down you’ll need to use depends on how far you need the pH level to move. Start with 2-3 ml per gallon. After adding, stir well and wait 15 minutes test the nutrient solution again.
Repeat the process until your hydroponic nutrient solution is in between 5.5-6.5 or at the desired range for what you’re growing. If you add too much and pass your desired pH, no worries, just use the opposite pH product to correct it.
What Is a “Natural” Way To Adjust The pH Of A Hydroponic Garden?
So maybe you’re in a situation where you don’t have any pH up and down and it might be a few days. There are some supplies that you probably have around your house as a quick fix until you can get something more permanent. 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 and not meant to be ran through a hydroponic system. Household items don’t contain the pH buffer that commercial products do, which help maintain the pH at the level in the desired range.
Measuring pH is something you’re going to become really good at as a hydroponic gardener. Since you’ll doing it often, make sure to set things up to make measuring the pH of your hydroponic nutrient solution as simple a process as possible. To maximize your garden’s potential, measure the pH often, and adjust the pH of your nutrient solution as soon as you see go outside that 5.5-6.5 range.