PH, an abbreviation of “potential of hydrogen,” is a measure of the concentration of hydrogen ions in a liquid. It is measured on a scale of 0 to 14, with 0 representing the highest acidity and 14 representing the highest alkalinity. Water that is neither acidic nor alkaline is neutral, with a PH of 7.
The PH of water is an important factor in determining whether it is suitable for plants to grow. Most plants prefer a slightly acidic environment and require a PH between 5.5 and 6.5. Water that has a PH higher than 7.5 can be toxic and prevent plants from being able to absorb the necessary nutrients from the soil.
Causes of High PH
High PH in water can be caused by several factors. The most common is the presence of high levels of calcium or magnesium carbonates. These minerals are found in hard water and can cause an increase in PH. Other causes include exposure to alkaline substances, such as fertilizers, detergents, and cleaning agents.
Methods of Lowering PH
There are a number of ways to lower the PH of water for plants. The simplest is to add an acidifying agent to the water. Common acidic substances include vinegar and lemon juice. Other methods include the use of sulfuric acid, phosphoric acid, and aluminum sulfate.
It is important to note that these acidic substances should be used with caution and according to the instructions on the label. Overdosing can be harmful, not only to the plants, but also to the environment.
Monitoring PH Levels
Once the PH of the water has been adjusted, it is important to monitor it regularly to ensure that it remains at a suitable level. This can be done with a simple PH test kit, which can be purchased at most garden centers or online.
The test kit should be used according to the instructions provided. After testing, the results should be compared to the ideal range for the plants being grown. If the PH is too high, the acidifying agent should be added again until the desired level is reached.
In conclusion, PH is an important factor to consider when growing plants. High PH can be caused by a number of factors and can be easily corrected with the use of an acidifying agent. It is important to monitor PH levels regularly to ensure that the water remains at the desired level for the plants being grown.