More Information on pH - The topic of pH measurement and control is often confusing for the beginning grower, however it is not a difficult subject to fully understand. With this understanding comes the ability to completely control the health of your hydroponic system. This ability allows one to eliminate frustration and wasted resources, and to truly enjoy the wonderful world of hydroponic gardening.
Technically, pH is a measure of the relative concentrations of H+ and OH- ions present in solution (in disassociation theory). A solution with an excess of H+ ions is called an Acid, while on with more OH- ions is called a Base. pH is typically measured either with litmus paper, which changes color based on the acidity of the solution, or more conveniently with an inexpensive digital pH meter, which directly indicates the numeric pH level in the form of a digital readout of a number.. Neutral pH (as in distilled water) is arbitrarily assigned a value of 7. Measurements of Acidic solutions have values below 7 and Basic solutions have values above 7.
This, of course, means nothing to the average grower .... so we will cut through the scientific jargon, and 'cut to the chase' of pH understanding. pH can be thought of as an electrical measurement of the nutrient solution. All plants have a relatively narrow range of pH within which they are able to break down complex molecules into their constituent ions for uptake. Because these simple ions are generally charged, the electrical state of the root zone must be within a very narrow range in order to not repel the nutrient ions. When the state of the root zone exhibits a pH (electrical charge) that does not allow the nutrient ions to be utilized, a condition known as nutrient lockup occurs. Because the plant cannot utilize the required nutrient components due to the electrical imbalance, the plant exhibits nutrient deficiency symptoms.
Since nutrient deficiencies are readily apparent, due to discoloration in vegetation and other visible plant symptoms, the distressed grower usually begins to add nutrient supplements of varying types to attempt to correct the problem. Unfortunately, this is often in vain, since the root zone condition which originally caused the nutrient lock-up has not been corrected. This futile process generates tremendous frustration and expense into the growing process. This, by the way, also points out one of the tremendous advantages of reduced medium hydroponic gardening over traditional growing methods, namely, the root zone is easily accessible to both solution and oxygen, allowing for very accurate pH and nutrient concentration measurements and maintenance.
Many systems claim complete pH control, however The World's Greatest Growing Machine system is the only unit in production that has actually eliminated the factors leading to improper pH control .... by design!  Our reduced growing medium system eliminates the pH potential of the growing medium, yet maintains mechanical support for the plant with our proprietary PotLocks. In addition, the remainder of our system is 100% pH neutral, eliminating the need to correct for any inherent system pH bias. Our built in mixing within the reservoir, segregated from the plants, ensures totally accurate pH and nutrient concentration measurements .... prior to distributing the solution to the plants. Want more information on Mixing? Select here.
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