Growing your own cannabis doesn’t have to be hard, but there are a lot of different steps and procedures that you have to go through, to make sure you’re producing the best product. One of these steps is ensuring that your plants have the correct pH.
This measurement, which is also known as potential of hydrogen, tells you how acidic or basic a liquid is. To measure pH, there are many tools available to use, but one of the most popular ones is the pH Pen.
Keep reading for information on what this pen is and how you should use it.
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What is it?
A pH pen is a device that allows you to measure the pH of the water you’re using or the soil that you have planted your plants in. It’s called a pen because it is long and cylindrical, much like a pen that you write with. In terms of cannabis plants, pH is something that you will need to closely monitor, in order to get the desired results.
There are also other reasons you may need to test pH as well, like if you wanted to check the water you drink to see if it is acidic or alkaline. The pen will work for this purpose as well, if this is something you need to use it for.
What does it do?
Since it measures the pH, it tells you how basic or acidic what you’re testing is. Plants can only grow well in soil that has a specific pH range, which is something you’ll need to know ahead of time.
This type of pen acts pretty much like a thermometer, in that you have to expose it to the soil or water to get an accurate reading.
They are easy to use and interpret, and come in different models, everything from basic to advanced. Most have an LCD screen that tells you the number of the reading in a manner that’s straightforward to read, and some models also measure the temperature for you as well.
Once you find out what the pH is, this can tell you how to fix a problem. If a soil is too acidic, there are things you can do, but they are different from what you’ll have to do if the soil is too basic.
Again, this is something you’ll have to read up on ahead of time, since you’ll need to quickly make changes after your readings if something isn’t quite right. The faster you can handle the problem, the sooner you’ll know that your plants will keep growing properly.
How do you use it?
Each pen is likely different, and you can read the manual that comes with the model you choose to see how to take advantage of all of its features. Essentially, the end of the pen has to be submerged in the material you are testing and it will read the pH value.
Then it will tell you the number on the screen. Models vary in how precise they get, so you’ll want to make sure to get one that is sophisticated enough to be useful, but not so fancy that there are lots of features that you don’t need. It’s likely that the more features it has, the more money it costs.
Where do I get one?
Many people purchase their pens online from a variety of different sellers. They can be found on some of the largest online marketplaces, no matter what type you are looking for.
This is something that is good for you because when you look at various items on these sites, you can read other people’s reviews of the products.
These can give you a better understanding of what a certain model is used for and if it does its job well or not. Of course, any time you are reading reviews, you should remember not to trust them as fully truthful, since people occasionally only want to hurt brands or troll online forums.
Sometimes a product works just fine, even when some that have used it say it doesn’t. It’s up to you to read between the lines and ascertain if the product will work for your needs.
Do I need any accessories?
You will have to buy some accessories for this product, which is the major reason why there are people who refuse to use pH pens. You have to buy a number of solutions to keep the device clean and working well.
For example, you have to purchase 2 different products to help keep it calibrated, a cleaning product, and a storage product.
Each of these products is necessary, since you want to extend the life of your pen. You will have to clean it and calibrate it regularly if you want it to work properly, so these are accessories that will see a lot of use.
The bad thing about these solutions is that they are usually expensive. In some cases, they can cost more than the pen that you have chosen to use. At the same time, each bottle will last for a long time, so you shouldn’t have to keep replacing these costly solutions.
It isn’t all gloomy though. Many models will last for quite a long time and run on cheap small batteries that won’t go out very often. Some batteries can last for years at a time, especially since you probably won’t be using this machine every day.
Who should use it?
Another thing to consider is if you will even need this type of gadget. If you just want one, of course it is fine to purchase one to use. However, if you are just growing plants casually, you probably don’t need this.
This is especially true if you are purchasing specialized soil that has already taken the pH into account. With this type of soil, the pH will always fall into the proper range, so you won’t have to worry about that when you start growing.
If you use your own soil mix or are growing plants using hydroponics, there is a better chance that you will need this pen. In these instances, it’s important to keep monitoring your pH so that the plants don’t die or end up not properly growing.
If you need to check the pH but you don’t want to spend a lot on pens or solutions, there are a couple of alternatives for you. You can purchase special testing strips or drops that will let you know the pH as well.
Both of these things will work efficiently, but they may not give you an accurate reading like a pen can. In many cases, a pen can give you highly accurate results with very little margin of error.
There is a lot of calibrating you’ll have to do in order to keep your pen working properly, which is why you’ll need to get more than one solution for that purpose. If this doesn’t appeal to you, it might be a good idea to test the pH in a different way.
Unless you have a specific need for a pH pen, you may not want to even bother with purchasing one, mainly because of the amount of upkeep you have to do on it. You have to clean it and store it properly each time or it will become damaged.
This is because the part that gets submerged, the electrode, which is made of glass, has to be cared for properly. If it is not, it’s likely to become damaged and won’t work in the proper manner. When this happens, it also won’t be able to give you the proper readings.
Do not waste your money with a pen if you don’t intend to properly upkeep it. There are other options that are cheaper that won’t require any upkeep. They are unable to give you readings that are as accurate as pens, but you may not need to know the exact number, so this isn’t that big of a deal.
Depending on if you are growing hydroponically or in soil will determine which nutrients you will be using. Be aware that your nutrients can affect the pH level and should be measured after it added to your water.
A pH pen is a really cool device to use when you need to test the acidity of soil, water, or another type of substrate. If you’re trying to grow plants, it can come in really handy, but there are other options to consider as well.
A novice planter can use something a little more low-tech, while someone who is more experienced and is growing more plants would likely benefit greatly from a pen.
While it’s not absolutely necessary for anyone to have one, it can be a nice tool in your arsenal to help you keep track of things. Keep in mind that there are many different models to choose from, which range in price.
However, each of them will need many different solutions to make sure that they are always working properly. You’ll also need to be well informed on how to use these solutions, which may take a bit of work on your part.