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Lesson 1, Topic 1
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2.4 Soil pH and Cannabis Nutrient Uptake

Cartier April 11, 2023

Soil pH plays a critical role in cannabis cultivation, directly influencing the plant’s ability to absorb essential nutrients. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral. A pH below 7 indicates acidity, while above 7 signifies alkalinity.

For cannabis plants, the optimal pH range for nutrient uptake in the soil is between 6.0 and 7.0. When the pH level falls outside this range, it can lead to nutrient deficiencies or toxicities, negatively impacting the plant’s growth and overall health.

Maintaining the correct soil pH is important because different nutrients are more or less available to the plant at various pH levels. For example, at a pH of 6.5, most essential nutrients are readily available to the plant.

However, if the pH drops to 5.5 or rises to 7.5, the availability of some nutrients may be severely limited, causing deficiencies and stunted growth.

To effectively manage soil pH, growers should follow these steps:

  1. Test the soil pH: Before planting, measuring the soil’s pH level is crucial to determine whether any adjustments are necessary. Soil pH can be tested using a pH meter, strips, or a soil testing kit. These tests should be performed regularly throughout the growing cycle to monitor changes and ensure optimal nutrient availability.
  2. Adjust soil pH: If the soil pH is outside the ideal range, growers can use pH-adjusting products to correct it. Use lime or wood ash to increase the pH (make it more alkaline). To lower the pH (make it more acidic), growers can use sulfur, peat moss, or pH-lowering amendments specifically designed for soil. Following the product instructions carefully and retesting the soil pH after adjusting to achieve the desired pH level is important.
  3. Monitor and maintain soil pH: Regularly testing and adjusting soil pH is crucial for maintaining optimal nutrient availability throughout the growing cycle. Fluctuations in pH can occur due to various factors, such as using certain fertilizers, watering practices, and the natural breakdown of organic matter. By monitoring the soil pH, growers can promptly identify and address any issues, ensuring their plants have access to the nutrients they need for healthy growth and development.

In conclusion, maintaining the optimal soil pH is essential for successful cannabis cultivation, as it directly affects the plant’s ability to absorb nutrients. By regularly testing and adjusting soil pH, growers can ensure their plants have access to the essential nutrients they need to thrive.

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