In order to get the proper soil pH balance, we recommend using water with a neutral pH (7). If your water comes from an acidic or basic source, you’ll need to do some research and figure out what the pH of that water is. Then find a product that will adjust the soil’s pH accordingly.
Water pH is the measure of acidity / alkalinity in water. An alkaline pH is desirable for maintaining good plant health. Everyone strives for healthy soil and plants, but few realize the true importance of pH. Since pH affects plant health, shouldn’t you make sure your water is pH balanced?
Does lemon juice lower PH?
Lowering the pH level of your soil can be beneficial because over-alkaline soils can lead to stunted plant growth and even disease and pest infestation. While lowering the pH of your soil should be a last resort before fertilizing and/or liming, naturally acidic foods, such as lemon juice and coffee grounds, can act as emergency solutions
Though pure lemon juice may lower the pH of water, it might be harmful to plants. So, does lemon juice really work to lower your pH? We dug up the answers for you. Can it be done safely? This is not so clear cut. Most of us have a “natural inclination” that adding Citric acid to water will eventually drop the pH level.
The juice from lemons is used as an antimicrobial agent, specifically wiping out bacteria and fungi. While beneficial in water and soil, it destroys the microorganisms that grow plants into big, healthy cannabis plants!
There are many way besides using lemon juice to adjust the pH in water or soil. For example, you can mix peat moss with the soil or use a pH up buffer solution.
Why is lemon juice acidic? The main component of lemon juice is citric acid, which is a weak organic acid and is also found in fruits such as oranges and limes. Citric acid molecules have the ability to split their hydrogen atoms from their oxygen atoms to form very negatively charged ions called protons. These protons bind very well to the much more stable hydrogen ions (H+) in water, lowering water’s pH.
Adding lemon to water is a great way to reduce acidity (the pH level) and kill bacteria too! A pH of less than 4.6 is sufficient to prevent the growth of botulism (caused by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum ) growing mediums.
Even when adding a small amount of lemon juice and keeping the pH at a reasonable level, lemons can still kill bacteria. The reason is that lemons contain flavonoids, which are antioxidants that can destroy many types of bacteria.
Ascorbic acid gives lemons their antimicrobial properties. When you add lemon juice to your garden or hydroponic system, you run the risk of oxidizing the ascorbic acid, leaving the beneficial bacteria to die off.
In addition, some bacteria are responsible for making nutrients like ammonia and nitrogen salts available to the rest of the microbiome. These compounds provide nitrogen that is essential for plant growth.
What does nitrogen do for plants? It is one of the main nutrients that helps a plant grow. Nitrogen is one of the three primary nutrients plants need to grow, and its a vital part of chlorophyll. That green color you see in leaves is actually because of it.
Chlorophyll is a pigment in plants that gives them their green color and is essential for photosynthesis, a process by which the energy (sugar) in the sun can be used to produce food through a chemical reaction. Without chlorophyll, plants couldn’t create energy. Why? Because chlorophyll absorbs light and creates oxygen. It does this by using a pigment called “chlorophyl” to interact with the water in cells.
Now we know why you should not be using lemon juice to lower pH in a garden or hydroponic system. We’ve discovered how damaging it can actually be for your plants and the soil environment. So why not use the juice of citrus fruits, such as limes, oranges, or tangerines, when trying to lower pH in your hydroponic system?
We don’t recommend lowering the pH of your garden or hydroponic system with citrus juices. It can be difficult to control the amount of acid used, which can have negative effects on soil microbes and plant growth. Instead, use a product that is designed to lower pH to an optimal level for your plants.
Hydroponics: lowering PH levels
So what is the best way to reduce pH in your garden? The answer lies in the balance between speed and caution. Slow-acting elemental sulfur will lower your soil’s pH the most, but it can take a long time. On the other hand, quick-acting nitrogen fertilizers will lower your soil’s pH quickly, but you have to be careful not to burn your plants with a fast drop in pH.
Lowering the pH of a hydroponic system is as easy as adding pH Down. This powerful food grade liquid solution is formulated to quickly and safely lower the pH of your system. Food grade is a term you will often see while shopping for hydroponic supplies. This definition states the acid used in pH solutions is safe to use during the growth of plants intended to be consumed by humans.
As a general rule, you will save money the more product you buy. However, if you are just starting off as a beginner it may be more economical to purchase smaller quantities of nutrients until you’re sure what your hydroponics system will need.
How to avoid mistakes when changing PH?
Always follow the label directions when adjusting pH. Excess sulfur could make your soil more acidic, adversely affecting your plants. Use only sparingly. It’s important to be careful when applying. Even though it is a water-soluble product and you can apply it directly to the soil, never pour it over a plant’s leaves. This will cause leaf burn, resulting in browning and curling.
You will find that pH DOWN is very easy to use. Start off by adding a small amount to your water. Just add less than you think you need, since pH DOWN is very acidic and you don’t want to burn the roots of your plants.
You should start by adding very small quantities to the water and waiting 30 minutes to see how much the pH of your water changes. If you go a bit high up with pH down, then you can actually use pH up to bring it back down to the proper range. This is safe and won’t be wasted because if you have more than 1 reagent, you will have already depleted your other one by this time.
While the pH scale goes from 0 (acidic) to 14 (basic), most plants will thrive in a slightly acidic soil with a pH of about 6.0. Above 6.5 and below 5.5, most plants will be stressed, though some varieties can handle more extreme pH conditions than others. And let’s not forget that changing the pH level of your soil is not a one-way street; you’re also going to affect the pH of your water as it