Maintaining Proper pH and Nutrient Levels when Growing Cannabis
Did you know that maintaining a proper pH balance helps prevent nutrient deficiencies in your cannabis plants? A neutral pH reading is 7. The range of pH levels is between 1 and 14. Most setups are naturally either too high or too low. It’s tough to create that perfect pH, unless you’re using super soil. That gives you the best shot of maintaining great pH levels throughout the growing process.
pH Maintenance Benefits
By carefully managing and monitoring the pH levels of your soil throughout the growing process you’re likely to avoid problems with the leaves. It also helps prevent nutrient deficiencies. When nutrient issues don’t come into play, your plants can produce more and grow faster.
The Right pH Per Grow Type
The conditions of your grow matter a lot when it comes to knowing what the proper pH levels are. If you are growing in super soil or pre-mixed options, you want a pH level between 6.0 and 7.0 during all phases of growth. For the absolute best results, keep your pH levels between 6.2 and 6.9 specifically when growing in soil to maintain the slightly acidic soil environment that cannabis loves. You should be more concerned with monitoring pH levels in soil grows when you’re using liquid nutrients as these are tougher to keep regulated.
Now, if you are using hydroponics, bubbleponics or coco coir methods, your pH level should read between 5.5 and 6.5. Maintaining these levels helps your cannabis plant absorb the right amount of nutrients. When using one of these methods, it is best to give yourself a pH range rather than a target number. However, it should never be lower than 5.5 or higher than 6.5.
Consistency is Key
Choose a pH range based upon the ranges provided above. Stick to this pH level range. Don’t let the range fluctuate too much because it can stress your cannabis plant out which can lead to nutrient deficiencies and other grow problems. Maintain your range by testing the pH levels frequently. You don’t need to test as often when using super soil.
Adjusting Nutrients Appropriately
Cannabis plants need to be fed properly while they’re growing. Always mix nutrients with water per the exact measurements on the container. Never add nutrients to your cannabis plants straight – you’re likely to end up with dead plants that way. Before feeding your plants, make sure the water/nutrient mixture is shaken or stirred to ensure even distribution.
Test the pH level of the mixture before feeding your cannabis plants. If the pH is off a little bit, use pH Down or pH Up depending on what your test results are. Do not give your plants the mixture if the pH level does not test properly. Keep adjusting, little by little, until the pH is within a proper range.
When you maintain a proper pH range throughout the cannabis growing process you can avoid a lot of problems. Nutrient deficiencies are common, especially when using a soilless growing process. It may seem like a tedious process, but once you have the right mixtures down and maintain levels for a few weeks, you won’t need to test as often.
Image Credit: Flickr User Eric Gillingham