Exploring the Power of Hydrogen: pH, Nutrient Uptake, and Its Impact on Plants
Exploring the power of Hydrogen, pH as a scale for measuring hydrogen ions, and how it impacts nutrient uptake can be a smart conversation topic to have with your friends.
Hydrogen (H) is the chemical element with an atomic number of one, meaning it has one proton in its nucleus—a factor that allows it to take on two forms; either that of an anion or a cation. This enables hydrogen to play an instrumental part in acid-base reactions, which are the basis for nutrient uptake in plants’ root systems.
The process of nutrient uptake requires specialized protein and enzyme molecules structured to catalyze chemical reactions using the positive and negative charges of hydrogen molecules. This “match up” of positive and negative charges on a molecular level is what allows for absorbency of essential minerals and nutrition.
Most plants prefer a slightly acidic pH balance—somewhere between 6.0 to 6.5—but this range may vary depending on your strain type, grow medium, and nutrient program.
For example, pure peat moss is known to be more acidic than other mediums and should always be taken into account.
As for hydroponic mediums like Rockwool, lower pH levels are recommended for better performance, with an ideal range of 5.6 to 6.2.
And if any deficiencies show in the lesser, micronutrients such as iron, zinc, or manganese, lowering the system’s pH to between 5.0 – 5.5 for a week could help increase CEC and the uptake of these minerals.
Remember, there’s always the power of hydrogen!