One of the most common mistakes among new cannabis growers is failing to consider a huge deciding factor in determining the health of you plants: pH. If you are unfamiliar with the grow process or just starting to learn, you may not realize that pH is such an important consideration. Not only do you need to be aware of the pH of your grow medium, but you also need to monitor the pH of the water you are using. The ideal pH for your plants is between 6 and 6.5, so you might wonder about the best way to control this.
Your best bet for monitoring and adjusting pH to ensure that your plants don’t become too basic or too acidic is to invest in a high-quality pH meter. Now that citizens have the ability to grow marijuana legally in Canada, there many pH meters on the Canadian market available for purchase. But not all meters are created equal by any means, so here’s everything you need to know about pH and cannabis.
Why is checking the pH of cannabis plants so important? Healthy soil is naturally slightly acidic and it is the best growth medium for promoting healthy plants. The best places in the world to grow weed outdoors have soil pH levels that are at the optimal value, so anything more acidic or more alkaline is less effective and even potentially harmful. If you are treating your plants with the improper pH, they will grow with deficiencies and fall flat in terms of THC and CBD levels (meaning your weed will be much less potent if the crop even survives).
What is the difference between a digital pH meter and manual test kits? If you are willing to spend a bit of extra cash, the much better option for any serious cannabis grower is to invest in a digital meter. There give you a digital reading of the exact pH of your water or other liquid substance and are generally very easy to use. Typically a pH meter resembles a large pen and you use it by first calibrating and then inserting the end of the device into your solution.
Manual pH testing on the other hand takes more work than this. It is usually done with a kit that involved dipping color-changing paper strips into the solution and the color determines the pH value. Manual testing is ok for new growers with a small operation, but not ideal at all for large-scale growers with many crops. An important thing to keep in mind is that your soil pH will differ from your water supply; soil should be between 6 and 7 while water so measure a bit lower between 5.5 and 6.5.
What is the best way to adjust the pH of a solution? There are plenty of products on the cannabis market for adjusting your pH. The ideal products are called pH-Up and pH-Down, so fairly self-explanatory. This is by far the easiest option, and be sure to use small amounts at a time – a little bit goes a long way. There are also plenty of options for naturally adjusting your pH with organic materials and compounds.