pH Level In Soil And Hydroponics
To grow the fastest and healthiest plants, it is vital to have the correct nutrients and pH level. With an optimal aquaponic or hydroponic system you will not only get luscious, healthy plants, but also plants that produce.
The affect of the pH level on plants
The most vital aspect of any growing operation is the nutrients that are introduced into the soil or water (in hydroponics). This is because plants get almost all of their nutrients through their roots. Too low a pH will lockout some vital minerals from the plant and it will not grow as well. When the pH is too high it can also lockout nutrients, and clog the lines in your hydroponic system. From Chemistry 101 we know that a pH of 7 is neutral, below 7 is acidic, and above 7 is alkaline. When growing plants the pH needs to be more on the acidic side, with each type of plant preferring a slightly different level. Not having the proper pH levels can cause a negative chemical reaction to your nutrient when using hydroponics, and also cause problems and disease in your plants.
pH Level and Mineral Lock-out
The following chart shows the minerals that are and are not available in soil and hydroponic (water) systems according to pH. The pH level is shown across the top of the chart, and the coloured squares indicate whether the mineral is available to a plant (green) or not (red).
Blue Lab has an easier to read general guide - Widest part of each nutrient shows maximum availability and tapering/narrow parts show minimal availbility.
Blue band from 5.5 - 6.3 is optimum for Hydroponics
Orange Band from 6.2 - 7.2 is optimum for Soil
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