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pH Balancing Your Water
pH balancing of water is sometimes called buffering. It is important to understand why pH is necessary. Plants like to be able to feed easily. If the water pH is too high it will make the nutrients unable to break down and the plant will have a hard time up taking the nutrients it needs. If the pH is too low the plant will not be able to get enough nutrients and will eventually die. So to make your plants thrive well you need to pH balance your water. Here is a quick and easy way to do this.
Most water is too high on the pH scale for plants. It is usually around 7.0 to 8.0 or higher. We want it to be between 5.5 and 6.5. This means you will need to purchase a pH meter, not pH paper. The pH meter is the most accurate and easy way to check your water. Meters can cost from $75.00 and up. We recommend the Milwaukee Digital pH Meter from our store.
To reduce the pH, for Small scale growers can reduce their water's pH by taking a 55 gallon drum of clear and clean water and add a small amount of acid, usually ½ ounce of acid. Stir the water very vigorously. The acid must mix or it will fall to the bottom of the drum and just sit and do nothing. Now take your pH meter and test the water. If the pH is not in range of where it should be, just add a little more acid into the water. Remember if you put a lot of acid in the drum, the water pH will change very rapidly. If you get the pH too low, (below 5.5) you will need to empty the drum and start the test over. When your meter is showing a consistent pH level number (preferably 6.0) you need to remember how much acid it took to get to that level. It will take the same amount of acid every time you mix for feeding. So write it down somewhere so you will have the information readily available. This is a critical test, so take your time and make the corrections needed and you will not experience growing related problems later.