pH UP AND DOWN
WHAT IS pH UP AND DOWN?
Acidifier and Alkalizer
pH Up and pH Down regulate the pH for optimal nutrient uptake, stable beneficial bacteria colonies, and help prevent nutrient deficiencies.
Emerald Harvest professional base nutrients and supplements are pH buffered, so if you’re using our full product line as directed, your garden should already have a balanced pH. When the pH of the nutrient solution is too low or too high, certain elements (e.g., iron or manganese) could be wholly or partially “locked out.” The sweet spot, pH 5.8–6.3, is the ideal pH range for high-value plants grown in hydroponic gardens. To ensure that their plants can take up the optimal amount of nutrients, growers need to keep the pH of the nutrient solution balanced. If the pH is just a little too high or a little too low, it can leave plants suffering from nutrient deficiencies.
In 1909, S. P. L. Sørensen was the head of the Carlsberg Beer research lab in Denmark. He discovered that the concentration of hydrogen ions in proteins correlated to acidity or alkalinity. For example, when too high of a concentration was present, the beer clouded and unwanted flavors were pulled from the wort, making good beer even better. Sørensen devised a scale that was closest to the pH scale we use today. His scale measured the “potential hydrogen” in a liquid. The pH scale goes from 0—most acidic—to 14—most alkaline or basic. If a liquid measures 7, then it’s neutral.
THE pH SCALE
The pH scale is logarithmic, which means that each value on the scale is actually 10 times lower or higher than the value next to it. Liquids with a pH of less than 7 are acidic. (lemon juice, vinegar etc.) Liquids with a pH of more than 7 are alkaline. (hand soap, baking soda)
pH RANGE AND NUTRIENT UPTAKE.
At Emerald Harvest, we talk a lot about the “sweet spot”. The best range for hydroponically grown cannabis plants is pH 5.8 to 6.3, although you’ll often see that expressed as 5.5 to 6.5 to give a wider margin for measurement. This range is a kind of compromise among the various optimal pH ranges of all the essential plant nutrients, ensuring that plants absorb at least the minimum. A big challenge for growers is that each essential nutrient enters plants best within a certain pH range:
- Nitrogen has a fairly large range
- Iron is best taken up when the pH is slightly acidic.
- Molybdenum is best when pH is slightly alkaline
Chelation can expand the pH range of micronutrients. Chelation is when one element or compound assists another in being taken up by the plant. It is important to use the entire Emerald Harvest line because many of our nutrient products aid in chelation.
WHY USE EMERALD HARVEST
pH UP AND DOWN?
Emerald Harvest pH Up and Down are very concentrated and very pure. They provide a very consistent and accurate formulation that growers can depend on. Most growers, whether commercial growers or hobbyists, won’t need pH Up or pH Down. If they’re using the core Emerald Harvest product line, without any outside supplements or competing products, then in most circumstances they won’t need to adjust the pH. Our base nutrients and four core supplements are pH balanced already—and formulated to stay that way when used together. But if growers mix in products from competing lines, or if they use certain growing media such as rockwool or coco coir, they may need to apply pH Up or pH Down to get the nutrient solution back in the sweet spot. Supplements such as Sturdy Stalk may also throw off the pH.
USING pH UP AND DOWN.
We recommend that growers check the pH of the nutrient solution before feeding and before and after watering for most grow setups.
- Pre-empt lockout – Avoid nutrients deficiencies by keeping the pH stable.
- Increase uptake – In the pH sweet spot, all essential elements remain available.
- Safeguard plants – Imbalanced pH can damage—or even kill—your plants.