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.
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.
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.