Marijuana Soil pH Problems and Solutions
Marijuana plants can be grown in soil or in a soilless medium as in the case of hydroponics and aeroponics. Most growers go for a soil medium considering that this method is quite straight forward. If you decide to plant your own weed plants in soil, selecting the right soil for your plants is very important. Marijuana plants require soil that is rich in nutrients and that which has a pH of between 5.6 and 6.6. While most growers select the right type of soil, this still doesn’t guarantee that soil related problems will not crop up.
One of the common problems that most growers face is alteration in pH levels in the soil, which can occur for a number of reasons. For instance, over fertilizing will no doubt create a pH imbalance in any type of soil used to grow plants. Organic soil additives tend to raise pH levels when used incorrectly while synthetic fertilizers may cause salinity, but effects vary depending on the actual chemical composition of fertilizers used. Purified water is also a major contributing factor that interferes with normal soil pH and especially tap water treated with chlorine.
You can tell that there is something wrong with the soil in which marijuana plants are growing when certain abnormities start to occur despite giving your plants adequate water, proper nutrients and lighting. When the pH level of soil is tampered with, a lot of problems can occur. For starters, older leaves start to curl and may also develop tiny yellow, brown or red spots. As the soil pH problem continues, these spots can start to appear anywhere on marijuana plants including the stalk. pH imbalance that is ignored goes on to cause nutrient intake problems by blocking out essential minerals for your plants. In fact, unsuitable soil pH is one of the causes of mineral deficiency disorders in cannabis plants.
It is easy to confuse mineral deficiency with pH imbalance when caring for cannabis plants because these two cultivation problems present almost similar traits. However, problems with pH levels are evident when fertile soil has been chosen for cultivating cannabis crops or when you have been following a proper nutrient feeding regimen.
The first step towards fixing soil pH is to test your water and soil. Water that has impurities may have a slightly altered pH, but a good reading should be close to 7. If the problem is caused by the water you are using to feed your plants, then you might want to consider changing to a different source of water. On the other hand, you can use a digital pH tester to demine the level of acidity or alkalinity in the soil. When the pH is too high, it can be adjusted in a variety of ways such as adding sawdust, lemon juice, wood chips, peat moss, composted leaves and leaf mold. Alternatively, addition of wood ash, potassium hydroxide, lime, bone meal or crushed marbles can help to adjust pH that is too high.
It is imperative to treat the soil gradually for up to a week before attempting o fix any mineral deficiency problems that you may suspect. Sometimes mineral intake or lack thereof may stem from pH imbalance in soil that is rich with all the essential nutrients that marijuana plants require.
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