Can somebody teach me PH testing for dummies?

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TSD

TSD

I've done a few successful grows, but never really delved into testing PH. Can someone give me the basics? For reference, I start indoors and move outdoors when weather permits. Currently in weeks 3 and 5 of veg, respectively... some seeds were late and I got impatient. Anyway, I just got to thinking, I've been feeding these poor girls with my tap water, which is hard and then runs through a softener, so my PH is probably all out of whack. What's the easiest way to test my ph? I tested my tap water with one of my hot tub strips just for shits and it looks to be around 8. Have not measured runoff yet. Just praying to the weather gods that warm weather is here to stay and the ground warms enough to move outside soon where my ladies can thrive and this is less of an issue. Last year I did mostly clones and one random seed I found that actually turned out amazing, so this is my first year doing all seeds, they are feminized and hopefully good genetics. I'll add a pic, most of the ones on the perimeter are seeds I'm starting for my dad. Thanks for the help, trying to learn every year and this site is a great tool!
 
DankNugz420

DankNugz420

Hey there, if on a budget the vivosun ph pen does the trick but there are better ones. Calibration is needed before using also. What's your medium? Soil plants like ph somewhere between 6.5 and 7 if im not mistaken. I use promix hp and rarely have to adjust ph with general hydroponics flora trio nutrients and my tap water is a touch over 7 ph out of the tap. With yours being closer to 8 you may need ph down but I dunno your plants have good color. An experiment on lowering ph for one plant may be best to see if you need to lower or not.
 
Pushrod Monkey

Pushrod Monkey

Short range litmus paper is more than adequate for our purposes unless you are in true hydro. It’s cheap, accurate and never requires calibration.
 
TSD

TSD

They are in organic soil, trying to stay organic if I can. I have a brita and that water is closer to 6, but I need to get some real test paper to be sure. Once they are put outside I doubt I'll need to worry too much... I'm a garden gal, indoor stuff is trickier lol... but the ground is still cold as hell, so here we are.
 
Pushrod Monkey

Pushrod Monkey

They are in organic soil, trying to stay organic if I can. I have a brita and that water is closer to 6, but I need to get some real test paper to be sure. Once they are put outside I doubt I'll need to worry too much... I'm a garden gal, indoor stuff is trickier lol... but the ground is still cold as hell, so here we are.
If in actual soil - dirt - you don’t need to even check pH. Or adjust it.
 
Madmax

Madmax

I use blu lab ph soil pen that can measure ph in nutrients aswell .it helped tremendously when preparing outdoor soil for the gals..costly though but it paid for itself pretty quick..
 
JimmyCreedog

JimmyCreedog

Mostly out of curiosity, I got that GH ph control kit off Amazon for $20. Turns out my municipal tap water is right around 7(green). Takes me 1-2 ml of ph-down per gallon to get to 6(yellow).
 
Pushrod Monkey

Pushrod Monkey

I usually don't until I got to thinking I have hard water and a softener that is on it's last legs. I usually grow clones, first year going full seeds.
Bag that softener now. All that salt sucks. You’re better off watering with it straight from the tap.
 
AZLandshaper

AZLandshaper

Long long time fan of bromothymol blue. Three drops in a tbsp of solution and you couldn’t be more accurate
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

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Aqua Man

Aqua Man

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Bag that softener now. All that salt sucks. You’re better off watering with it straight from the tap.
This 100% absolutely NEVER use water from a softener. It exchanges minerals like calcium and magnesium etc for sodium. While sodium is a micro nutrient in that amount it will surely create issues if not outright kill your plants.
 
TSD

TSD

This 100% absolutely NEVER use water from a softener. It exchanges minerals like calcium and magnesium etc for sodium. While sodium is a micro nutrient in that amount it will surely create issues if not outright kill your plants.
Maybe I'll start hauling water up from my river like its the 1800s lol... my neighbor swears her garden does better on river water.
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

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Maybe I'll start hauling water up from my river like its the 1800s lol... my neighbor swears her garden does better on river water.
Hmmm idk if I would do that without sterilizing it and testing it. No issue in a garden as nature has its ways of dealing with pathogens.... not so much indoors.

A cheap RO is probably your best bet.
 
Pushrod Monkey

Pushrod Monkey

Maybe I'll start hauling water up from my river like its the 1800s lol... my neighbor swears her garden does better on river water.
I’m in Interior Alaska. I have to haul drinking water 50 miles back from town. The well water here is so bad bread yeast just lays there. Extremely high magnesium content and iron as well. No real analysis except those two from the water tech servicing two wells for neighbors. It smells terrible and tastes exactly like it smells.

My dream this outdoor season is a bigger water tank in case of no rain to collect. Rainwater. Free soft water! Check the pH. Before and after adding your nutes. Commonly between 5.2-5.5 at the highest here
 
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