pH Perfect (Organic Origin)
The perfect way:
- Step 1: Measure the pH of soil/substrate as explained here
- Step 2: Prepare a pH down solution as explained here. Instead of nutrient solution take plain water (tap water is ok)
- Step 3: Add the solution to soil/substrate
The not so perfect way:
Measuring pH in case of soil/substrate repeatedly is a time-consuming affair and may not be practical for most of the home gardeners. As such, one can do the following:-
- Step 1: Prepare the pH down solution as explained in step 2 above.
- Step 2: Add approx 50 ml of that per liter of soil/substrate monthly.
The above is a safe approach to ensure that the pH is maintained in the right zone and your plants are not deprived of any nutrients. Since the pH down solution that you prepared above will have pH in the zone favorable to plant roots, it de-risks any chance of overuse.
- Step 1: Take 1 liter of nutrient solution in a glass jar or plastic bottle and measure its pH.
- Step 2: Add 0.5 ml of pH Perfect to the above solution. Mix it thoroughly. Wait for 4-5 minutes and measure the pH again.
- Step 3: If the pH is in the desired zone, move to Step 5. Else repeat step 4 till the pH comes within the desired zone.
- Step 4: Add 0.25 ml of pH Perfect to solution created in the previous step. Mix it thoroughly. Wait for 4-5 minutes and measure the pH again.
- Step 5: Now you know how many ml of pH Perfect is required for 1 liter of nutrient solution. Use this measure to adjust the pH of your nutrient solution.
Caution: The amount of pH Perfect solution required to bring pH in the desired zone is a function of starting pH of your nutrient solution. Thus, follow the above steps religiously every time when your starting pH is different from any of the earlier measures. (Doing this over 8-10 times and creating a journal will slowly help you determine the quantity of pH Perfect needed depending on starting pH and the volume of your nutrient solution)
There are specific devices available in the market for measuring pH of the soil. However, if you do not want to invest in them or are growing in a soil-less substrate, you can still measure the pH using following technique.
Take 20 gm of the substrate (or soil) in a glass container/jar and add 100 ml of distilled water to it. It is important to use distilled water so that the starting pH of water does not impact the reading adversely. Shake the jar to ensure thorough mixing. Let the solution sit for a day. Shake it again the next day. Now sieve the solution and measure pH using either a test strip or a digital meter.
Remember that plants need pH to be in specific zones. You can get an idea of same by using standard pH test strips used in Chemistry labs. If you have a small setup and a common nutrient tank, pH strips should suffice. However, if you are looking for growing commercially or need to check individual grow beds separately and frequently, it will make sense to invest in a digital pH meter.
You can bring the pH down by adding an acidic substance to the growing media. Most pH Down(s) solutions sold in the market are nothing else but industrial grade chemical acids.
You can now use CG pH Perfect (Organic Origin) which is an industry first formulation derived out of microbial derivatives.
The roots of the plants absorb nutrients from the growing medium (soil/ substrate/water) in the form of ions. These ions are available for absorption within a specific pH zone. Outside the zone, a lot of nutrients become unavailable to the plants (irrespective of how much nutrient or manure or fertilizer you may add).
Thus for proper nutrient uptake, it is important to ensure that the plant roots are maintained in an amenable pH zone.