Hydroponic gardening is a unique method of farming that involves growing plants in water and nutrient solution sans soil. Hydroponic growing needs accurate amount of nutrients that your plants need. It is essential to measure and monitor the pH level of your nutrient solution on a regular basis. Maintaining pH at an optimum level provides better result and greater yields.
pH is used to measure the acidity or alkalinity of nutrients or growing medium. In hydroponic growing, the pH level of your solution is measured on a scale from 1 to 14. The required pH range of your hydroponic solution varies from plant to plant, however, a vast majority of plants fall in the range of 5.0 to 7.0. In hydroponic growing, each type of growing medium also helps to modify the pH. If you are growing your hydroponic plants with coco coir as a growing medium, you need to maintain the pH between 6.0 and 6.8. Rockwool has a slightly higher alkalinity than clay pebbles, so when you are using rockwool, you need to maintain the pH with a solution of around 5.5 to 6.5. If you are using pebbles, it should be in the range of 6 to 6.5 for the same reason.
Normally, pH stays within a desirable range for a considerable time and then rapidly rises or falls to an extreme level. If your pH levels are too high and you need to lower the pH levels, you can use phosphoric acid. Alternatively, you can also use nitric or sulphuric acid to lower the pH level. Do not forget to add the nutrients to the water before checking and adjusting the pH of your solution. Good monitoring and daily maintenance of pH levels will pay off in beautiful and healthy plants.