In cannabis cultivation, the quality of soil and the presence of nutrient on it is an important factor that most growers should be more involved with. Nevertheless, the soil gives mineral and nutrients to the plant itself. Primarily, its plant’s medium towards obtaining food for it to grow healthy. That is why it is important to take care of the soil and make sure that it is in good condition.
However, it’s no easy judgment to determine the efficiency of soil. Looking or grasping it with your own two hands isn’t enough to know if its capable of its function. That is why we need tools in order to help us into this evaluation. Likewise, pH pen has been known to satisfy this function.
In this article, we will look at the basics of pH, its definition and how to use it into measuring the soil’s pH.
PH pens and How to use Them
Also called pH meter or pH tester, this portable device is used to measure the acidity or alkalinity of a given solution. Basically, the equipment consists of a voltmeter attached to a small bulb-like electrode which is highly responsive to the hydrogen ion activity of the solution. This electrode is usually fabricated from mercury-mercurous chloride or silver-silver chloride enclosed with a glassy texture on it.
pH pens usually don’t have a definite shape. Though, it should consist a display for which to read the pH, the voltmeter, and an electrode that will be immersed in the solution.
These devices is a must-have especially for cannabis growers who want to ensure that their plants will grow efficiently.
As known, growing cannabis plants is not that easy. There are things that one should take notice of the quality of light to the temperature and humidity that your plants will get involved with. That is why pH meters are excellent tools to have an excellent grasp to take control of some of the plant’s important parameters. While a lot of cannabis growers is still skeptical of buying pH pens. It has proven to be helpful on growing cannabis plants. Likewise, here are some few reasons why a cannabis grower needs to purchase these pH pens.
Examines the Soil’s Quality
It is important to check on the quality of the soil. The soil is the primary medium for which growers tend to plant their seedlings. Thus, an utmost care should be considered to plant’s soil. Maintenance and regular evaluation on the soil’s pH should be performed to ensure that the plants will get enough nutrients.
Most likely, the soil’s pH is a good measurement to closely indicate the nutrient content of the soil. Ideally, the optimal pH of the soil to obtain for viability is between 5.5 to 7.0. An acidic or basic soil could significantly mean nutrient deficiency will affect the plant’s growth and health. Likewise, it could also mean nutrient toxicity or water inadequacy for which the growers should immediately address upon.
To ensure that the soil will get the most nutrients and grow healthy, it is essential to maintain the soil’s pH within optimal range.
Evaluate the Water Quality
A pH meter is also vital to check on the water quality. Likewise, plants should get a slightly acidic to neutral pH (6.6-7) of water in order to assure that it will grow well. If it goes beyond (very basic or acidic), it will not just affect the soil’s pH but also uptake of nutrients will be difficult.
Aside from that, the presence of contaminants, particulates, or non-essential minerals will be easily detected upon reading the water’s pH. Thus, it is important to check on regularly the water’s quality to prevent risks of contamination into your plants.
Basic Guide to using the pH Pen
The first thing that most people should do before using the device is to read the instructions. A manual should be incorporated upon purchase for which people should read on as a guide on the utilization of the device.
After that, then you should understand how to calibrate the pH pen.
Calibration is an important thing should be done to ever reading in order to assure that you’ll get the most accurate pH readings. Though, there are pH pens who have incorporated automated calibration. It’s still important to realize how this process works. As to some pH meters, here are few steps that you should follow upon manual calibration. This includes the following:
Get a solution with a known pH preferably water with 7.0 pH.
Turn on the pH meter and immerse it in the water solution intuitively.
The pH meter will immediately display numbers pertaining to the pH of the solution.
If the pH reading isn’t 7.0, then adjust the dial into 7.0. This process will serve as the calibration for the pH.
Get the pH meter, turn off the device, and wipe over using a tissue the tip of the electrode.
Now, you are ready to start using the pH meter!
From calibration, now you could use the device. Similarly, just immerse the pH into the water where you’ll going to use on watering the plants and measure. As for the soil, this could be a bit harder. It is important to purchase a pH meter that will evaluate not just water but also soil’s pH. These type of pH meters have long with sturdily made electrodes use to directly install the pH meter for hardly clumped soils.
Aside from the soil, you could also use the pH meter to measure pH on other media that will be used for plants such as coco coir, compost, peat, and even nutrient solutions.
Cleaning and Storage
For longevity of the device, it is essential to know proper procedures for storage and cleaning of the device. These are easy to follow guidelines yet neglected by a lot of users.
Never store your pH pen with a dried electrode. Dryness could break the electrodes present on it.
After using, wash the electrodes with a cleaning solution. If it’s unavailable, then simply washing your pH meter with a distilled water would be enough.
Before capping it, pour a small amount of storage solution inside the cap. This is to ensure that the electrodes will be kept wet upon utilization.
Turn off the batteries and tightly cap the device as needed.