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What is soil pH?

Updated: Jan 26, 2023

Understanding Soil PH

pH stands for Potential of Hydrogen, it is an indicator of how acidic or basic a substance is. It is measured on a 14-point scale. Zero is the most acidic and 14 the most basic. Acidic Molecules contain hydrogen (H). At their extremes both acids and bases are caustic meaning that they react violently to the organic tissue, burning or dissolving it. The range of pH found in soil is much more habitable but vitally important to understanding how plants grow.

Testing Soil pH

There are a wide range of products for testing and monitoring soil pH from electronic readers to treated paper strips and tablets. Each comes with instructions. Most procedures call for the soil sample to be diluted in dechlorinated pH-neutral water and add a tablet or soak paper strip. The. Corresponding color revealed in this way and compared to the kit's instructions.

Soil pH for Hemp Production

Hemp plants require slightly acidic soil to do their best – pH in the 5.5 -6.5 range. This range for hemp helps facilitate nutrient uptake and therefore growth. Without the proper acidity in the soil, hemp cannot fully utilize the available, Nitrogen, Potassium, and Phosphorus in the soil.

Adjusting Soil pH is as simple as adding an acid or a base to the soil, however, many additives can be harmful to your microorganisms in your soil. There are a number of products that are nontoxic as well. pH up or pH down. An easy recipe for starting soil can be balanced using Peat which is acidic and Lime which is basic. At a rate of about half a cup of hydrated lime per gallon of peat. During the course of growing all fertilized watering should be measured as well. Kelp and other fertilizers can be very acidic and will need adjustment as watering over time will lower your pH over time.

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