Fertilization part 2: pH
For many a difficult item, for plants the difference between to be or not to be.The following advices are general guidelines and plant behavior is always subject to local circumstances. Growers should always follow up on local legislation and consult a professional agronomist when in doubt. Syngenta does not accept any liability in any business damage resulting from the advice.
Food for plants
The influence of H+ ions in the sample
pH is an abbreviation of potency Hydrogen (H+). Good nutrition is essential for growing plants successfully. One of the first questions to consider when you want to improve your production, is: "Have you tested your substrate?" The pH is a measure of how acidic or alkaline (the opposite of acidic) your substrate is. This pH is important, since it affects the growth of plants and the severity of some diseases.
pH affects the ability of plant roots to absorb nutrients. Calcium, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium are likely to be unavailable to plants in too acidic substrates. Plants have difficulty absorbing copper, zinc, boron, manganese and iron in too alkaline substrates. By managing pH, you can create an ideal environment for plants and often discourage plant pests at the same time.
Accurate tests are an excellent management tool. They enable you to avoid increased production costs, yield losses, or both. Experience has shown that substrates differ greatly in their capacity to supply these elements. It depends on several factors. Two important ones are:
- The type of material from which the substrate was formed as % sand, % clay, peat for instance, or cocopeat or coco fiber
- Which treatment the substrate has received since being placed under cultivation.
Factors influencing pH
Spray tank water
Desired pH levels
Testing your substrate (pot production) on pH yourself
I will now explain how you can test your substrate yourself.
Shake and wait
Lack of Iron (Fe) due to too high pH in Petunia and Vinca.