Gardening

What is the pH of the water?

And that’s exactly where pH comes into play, also called Hydrogen ion potential (H +). The higher it is, the more alkaline it will be, and the lower it is, the more acidic. But why is it important for plants?

What are the characteristics of the pH of the water?

The pH of pure water is 7 at a temperature of 25ºC, which means that it has a neutral pH. When it comes into contact with carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, it drops to 5.2; that is, it becomes acidic.

In principle, water with a pH below 6.5 is acidic and could be corrosive. This means that it can dissolve iron, magnesium, copper, lead, and zinc, but it blocks others like calcium.

In contrast, water with a pH above 8.5 is alkaline. It dissolves calcium, potassium, and sodium, but blocks iron, magnesium, copper, lead, and zinc. In short, just the opposite that happens with acidic water.

Why is it important for plants?

Knowing the pH of the water is important when growing plants, since we will not be able to use the same to water them all. In general, those that live in temperate forests, such as Fagus sylvatica, Quercus and many Acer sp ( maples ), need it to be acidic or slightly acidic to grow.

On the other hand, those that are typical of the Mediterranean, for example, such as Ceratonia siliqua (carob tree), Prunus dulcis (almond tree) or Rosmarinus officinalis ( rosemary ), prefer a neutral or alkaline water.

If we don’t use the right one, problems could arise due to lack of minerals. Thus, if they lack iron, for example, we will see that their leaves begin to turn yellow, leaving the nerves well visible; On the other hand, if they lack calcium, their growth rate will slow down and they will acquire a sad appearance.

How is the pH of the water measured?

Knowing what pH a water has is very simple. Just go to the pharmacy and ask for pH strips, or buy these online, for example here. Once we have them, we will only have to insert a strip into the glass of water, extract it and then wait to see what color it takes. Later, we will only have to compare it with the scale.

How to modify the pH of the water?

Upload it

To raise the pH of the water you have to mix 16 parts of sodium bicarbonate with 2 parts of sodium carbonate. The first is sold in supermarkets or here, and the second in chemical stores or here.

Go checking the pH with the help of the strips.

Lower it

To lower the pH of the water, the first thing you have to do is know what its current pH is. For example, in my case the one that comes out from the tap at home is very alkaline, with a pH that is around 7.5-8. So, to lower it, what you do is mix the liquid of half a lemon in 1l of water.

Another cheaper option if you grow many acidic plants, is to add one or two tablespoons of vinegar to 5l of water.

You have to check the pH with the strips so that it does not drop too low.

I hope it has served you .

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