“To find out how far you can go, push. It is a matter of trial and error and knowing your plants. Make sure you take notes and keep track,” he said. “There's also early telltale signs you can see if you’re pushing too much.”
“Water is a big factor that can affect your pH. City water, pond water, or river water, whatever set-up you have, every water source is different,” he says.
“You can definitely manipulate how often and how much you feed individual strains,” Hach é said. “The fast-growing plants will be very hungry. You can afford to feed them more and keep pushing them. If you were to do the same to a shorter, slower growing plant, you might push them too much.”
Students enrolled in the Cannabis Professional Series at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, based in Surrey, British Columbia, learn about the importance of ideal pH levels early in the course.
“When you think of the regions of the world where these plants come from, they’re complete opposites. All the factors would be different,” Hach é says. “Y ou can treat them exactly the same, they’re both marijuana plants, but you could probably be a little more efficient by fine-tuning indicas or sativas.”
Soil pH meter – Rukawajung/Shutterstock
A gradual increase, as well as a slow decline, in EC will allow you to determine how far you are able to push your plants while avoiding possible shock caused by drastic swings in nutrient concentration.
Cannabis plant with tips of the leaves burned by overnutrition. – Moha El-Jaw/Shutterstock
“It's something that’s misunderstood, often overlooked, and it's highly important,” says Nico Hach é , one of the program's instructors and a horticultural consultant with Root to Shoot Solutions. “People talk about nutrient lockout, that’s generally pH related.”
The pH scale — which ranges from zero to 14.0 — provides insight into how chemical compounds will interact with one another based on their ionic state. It is good to remember, pH reflects the concentration of hydrogen ions in a solution. More intuitively however, pH from a practical sense can be understood in terms of acids (vinegar, ammoniacal nitrogen) and alkaline bases (baking soda, potassium bicarbonate).
05 Mar Best Practices for Monitoring pH for Cannabis
Editor’s note: Balancing pH is a critical component to ensuring nutrient solubility and uptake for cannabis. As part of the upcoming release of the Fluence Cannabis Cultivation guide (available later this month), we are releasing tips on how to measure and monitor pH to ensure your fertigation strategy is not a limiting factor to your use of high-intensity LED lighting.
We hope these tips have been a helpful reminder of how to leverage pH tests in your grow.