pH- and EC-value: what is that anyway?
- pH = Potentia Hydrogenii: The pH value provides information about the acid or base content of the water or substrate. The pH scale ranges between 0 and 14, i.e. between acid and alkaline. A value of 7 is neutral, everything below is more acidic, everything above is more alkaline.
- EC = Electric Conductivity: The EC value indicates the electrical conductivity of a substance. The higher the salt content, the higher the electrical conductivity and therefore the EC value.
The right pH level for growing
The pH value is decisive for the nutrient uptake of the plants. If the pH value in the root area is too low or too high, some nutrients cannot be absorbed properly. Drastic deviations from the ideal pH value lead to the nutrients depositing as solid crystals in the soil and no longer being available for the plant. Extreme values can even result in a complete blockage of the uptake of one or more nutrients, which causes nutrient deficiency and can be fatal for the plant.
The correct pH value varies from plant species to plant species. The cannabis plant prefers a slightly acidic environment around the roots. In this environment it can absorb all necessary nutrients from the growth medium to a sufficient extent.
The perfect pH for soil
If you grow on soil, you should maintain an optimal pH value between 6 and 7 in the root zone. It can even be helpful for your grow if the value fluctuates a little within this window. This allows the plants to sometimes absorb more of one nutrient, then more of another, which supports an optimal nutrient supply. However, if the pH level is above 7.5, nutrients such as iron, manganese, copper, zinc and boron can no longer be absorbed in adequate quantities. If the pH value is too low, on the other hand, the supply of phosphorus, calcium and magnesium is reduced more and more with decreasing pH levels.
Ideal pH-value in hydroponic systems or on coco
The optimum pH for hydroponics and coco is between 5.5 and 6.5. If you grow on coco, perlite or hydroponically, you should monitor and control the pH value with great care. Unlike on soil, there is no buffer to compensate for pH fluctuations. Instead, the water reaches the roots directly. To avoid shocking the plants, it is therefore important to be careful when giving nutrients.
The ideal EC value for cannabis - is there any?
As the perfect EC value / the ideal fertiliser quantity depends on the strain, the growing medium and the climate, there is no exact guideline value. It is generally advisable to increase the EC value slightly during the course of the cultivation cycle in order to cover the plant's increasing nutrient demands. For each manufacturer there are fertilisation schedules which provide a good reference for the dosage. It should also be noted that the EC value fluctuates strongly with temperature, it is therefore recommended to measure the EC at "watering temperature" (18-22°C).
Control pH and EC
Numerous practical instruments allow us to precisely monitor the values of our irrigation water, the growing medium or the outflowing water. Our product range includes everything from simple pH test strips and uncomplicated pens for pH and EC, to pH meters for measurements in the substrate and monitors and controllers that automatically measure the values and correct them if necessary.