What is pH and how do I test it?

You may vaguely remember your high school chemistry class and something about a pH scale, lemons, baking soda, and battery acid. But how do we apply that high school chemistry class to your life today? PH stand for Potential Hydrogen and the scale we use indicates Alkalinity and Acidity. The scale begins at 0 Acidic (think battery acid) and ends at 14 Alkaline (think bleach and drain cleaner). Pure water is neutral, about a 7 on the pH scale. This is important because the pH of your water (or soil) determines what will grow in it as it effects what nutrients are readily available for uptake. Most plants prefer a very slightly acidic environment, about a 5.5 to 6.5 on our scale. Variation in either direction will cause certain nutrients to become unavailable to your plants. Do yourself a favor and test your water EVERY time. You want to test the pH levels after your nutrient solution has been added to the water, it’s important to test AFTER the nutrients have been added as the nutrient solution will change the pH.

There are a couple ways to do this, from paper test strips which give you a reading by presenting a color that is matched to a scale, to pH pens that will give out a digital reading. Digital pH pens are the easiest method, especially since you will likely have to test multiple times as you try to balance it. You may notice that your water and nutrient reading is either acidic or alkaline every time and can then determine if you only need to purchase a pH Up solution or a pH down solution.

If you are not pHing your water, or are doing it incorrectly, your plants will tell you. If the pH is too low (too acidic), your plants will reflect an excess of manganese, aluminum, and iron, a deficiency of phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and molybdenum, and if growing in soil – soil life will be inhibited, say goodbye to those beneficial microbes! If the pH is too high (too alkaline), calcium, iron, and phosphates will not dissolve in your water, and your plants will be deficient in manganese, phosphate, and iron, as well as copper, zinc, and boron.

Click me for recommended pH products!

Vendor Day

Vendor day last weekend was a huge success! Thank you to our vendors, loyal customers, and new customers who came out! For those that missed it, fear not, there are more vendor days in our future. Make sure you follow us on Facebook and Instagram so you don't miss the next one. Check out a few images below!

Up and Running

Hey everyone! Grow It Big - Littleton has had a change of ownership! Don't worry, you'll still see a familiar face. Josh, your favorite Grow It Big employee, is now owner and operator. A little about Josh, he's a US Army veteran, father, and plant enthusiast. He loves talking with people and trouble shooting their plant problems to help them find a solution so they can achieve their best results. If you haven't stopped to chat with him yet come on by and say hey! He has a lot of new and exciting ideas for the shop, including this website and our brand new social media accounts (check us out on Facebook and Instagram, search Grow It Big Littleton #growitbiglittleton, or click the links at the bottom of the page). Get ready to see some streamlining and improvements at your favorite hydroponic supply store. We are also in the early stages of planning a vendor day and some other events so be on the lookout for more information about that. Let us know what kind of things you'd like to see happening at Grow It Big Littleton. We hope to see you soon!