Announcements

Job offersmore »



Tweeting Growers

Top 5 - yesterday

Top 5 - last week

Top 5 - last month

Exchange ratesmore »




"pH should stand for plant health"

When someone hears the term “plant health” the most common association that comes to mind is “fertilizer.” Fertilizer provides essential nutrition to plants and growers must decide what types to use in order to maximize yield and salability, which are a direct result of optimum plant health. The aspect of health that is most often overlooked is pH (a.k.a. the potential of hydrogen.)

The pH measures the acidity or alkalinity of a liquid solution; in this case, the nutrient solution. If the solution is acidic, it has a lower pH and lots of hydrogen ions (H+) floating around. In a basic solution, there are lots of hydroxyl ions (OH-) floating around. Acid or base just describes which ion has a higher concentration in the solution. Water, which is considered neutral with a pH of 7.0, has equal amounts of hydrogen and hydroxyl ions. As far as plant health is concerned, these ions control what nutrients are still dissolved in the solution and which nutrients plant roots can absorb. Take a look at the chart below:



These are the essential nutrients; every one of these ions is required by plants in order for them to grow. They are absorbed in varying amounts depending on availability and the crop being grown. The chart visually expresses how pH affects the availability of each ion in the nutrient solution. The blue region is the ideal pH range for a hydroponic nutrient solution, but some fluctuations in pH are expected and not really a big deal so long as it is monitored and corrected on a regular basis. For most common greenhouse crops like tomatoes and lettuce, keep the pH just below 6.0 which is ideal to maximize uptake of every nutrient. Allowing the pH to fluctuate too high or low can result in some ions precipitating out of solution and becoming unavailable to the crop. For example, at a pH of 7.5, manganese, boron, and phosphorous are virtually unavailable to the crops which will lead to deficiencies if left unchecked.

From this point forward, pH will be an acronym for “plant Health.” This is one of the most important aspects of growing plants and cannot be overlooked without expecting an unhealthy crop and poor marketability. Since hydroponic growing systems often involve plant roots coming in contact with the nutrient solution regularly, if not constantly, the potential of hydrogen must be corrected to the appropriate range to maintain optimum “pH.” If we want to be healthy by maximizing our intake of nutrient-rich foods, we must make sure crops are rich in nutrients by maximizing their uptake.

Source: Cropking

Publication date: 7/19/2017

 


 

Other news in this sector:

4/12/2018 "‘Extreme bacteria’ could be game-changer for organic vegetable production"
4/12/2018 DCM Micro-Mix Minigran RHP approved
4/10/2018 Water and nutrients in fertigation in soil-grown vegetable crops
3/26/2018 Fertinnowa develops water book
3/19/2018 PHL-Australia project explores soil management to increase vegetable production
3/2/2018 Magnesium deficiency of hydroponic and container grown basil
2/23/2018 US: Four scientists join Inocucor Scientific Advisory Board
1/29/2018 Local raw material provides alternative to coconut products
1/25/2018 Portugal: Asfertglobal wins Green Project Award 2017
1/23/2018 PRO-MIX is launched in France
1/19/2018 US (NC): Yara opens new warehouse facility in Wilmington
1/18/2018 UK: Amendments to AHDB Nutrient Management Guide (RB209)
1/18/2018 US (CA): WISErg raises $19.2 million to build California plant
1/9/2018 Video: Why your controlled release fertilizer didn't work as expected
12/21/2017 Levity CropScience appoints American distributor
12/7/2017 Use of biostimulants to increase in the UK, says survey
12/6/2017 "UK fertiliser industry faces twin challenges of being in the EU and leaving it"
12/5/2017 Chinese growers show interest in Italian expertise in biostimulants
11/30/2017 China: Price of winter storage fertilizer continues to rise
11/24/2017 AkzoNobel breaks ground for European micronutrients expansion project