Watering cannabis is a key part of the cultivation process. Understanding the different types of water and how they impact growers can put them in the best position to get the most out of their marijuana harvest.
Water quality varies from place to place, due to the presence of minerals like calcium and magnesium. The pH and ppm (parts per million) of a water source can also affect its suitability for growing cannabis.
Water pH is a key factor in cannabis growth, and the wrong one can make it difficult for your plant to absorb nutrients. If it’s too acidic or too alkaline, it can cause problems with nutrient uptake and mineral assimilation, a process called nutrient lockout.
Ideally, your grow medium’s pH should be between 6.3 and 7.0, depending on what you’re growing. This is the range that allows your plant to get the most out of its nutrient regime without risking chemical deficiencies or poor growth.
However, this may vary depending on what type of soil you’re using or the nutrient you’re feeding your plants. If you’re growing in soil, your best bet is to test the pH and make adjustments based on the results.
If you’re growing hydroponics or soilless mediums like coco coir, your best bet is to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for pH and adjust accordingly. Many a cannabis grower has successfully used slightly more acidic conditions nearer the 5.5-6.5 zone in soilless systems.
When your grow substrate’s pH reaches a level that’s too acidic or too alkaline, the various biochemical pathways for nutrient absorption and mineral assimilation don’t work, and a whole host of problems ensue. You’ll see a variety of symptoms from leaf discoloration to vigor loss and reduced growth rates.
This is why it’s crucial to maintain proper water pH, and to monitor the pH of your nutrient solution with a pH meter or by using a ph measurement kit. Digital pH meters are popular because they’re easy to read and require no calibration. But if you don’t want to deal with a meter, you can also use a paper pH strip to check the pH of your water.
The correct pH is also important when determining the type of water you’ll need to supply your plant with. Soft water, which has an EC of 0.020 mS or less, is the most suitable option for cannabis growers.
Parts per million, or ppm, is an easy way to express the concentration of a substance in a large amount of another thing. It is a commonly used measurement in water quality testing, especially for hydroponic growing, where it is often a straightforward nutrient dilution ratio to use.
Depending on the type of water, the PPM can vary from very low to high. For cannabis, a good rule of thumb is to stay within the range of 1500 ppm or less. This is because higher PPMs can cause damage to the plant and affect growth.
The water’s hardness can also have a negative impact on cannabis growth. For example, water that is too hard can prevent the influx of nutrients to the roots. In addition, it can lead to a buildup of salts in the soil and a reduction in available phosphorus.
One way to measure the hardness of water is to use a chemical meter, which can be found at most pool supply stores. These tests will tell you how hard the water is and whether it needs to be softened before using it on plants.
You can also check your water’s alkalinity by measuring the electrical conductivity of your water. This test will let you know if your water is too saline for the plants to take up the nutrients in it. Having too much alkalinity in your water can cause many problems for cannabis, including stunted growth and decreased flowering.
In addition to the EC, water PPM and hardness, cannabis growers should also check for other nutrient deficiencies. For instance, too little potassium (K) can affect the photosynthetic process, affecting both chlorophyll a and b production.
For this reason, it is important to test for K at the onset of a crop’s vegetative growth phase. During this stage, K deficiency can lead to advanced chlorosis and inhibit the overall shoot development of the plant.
It is essential to test your irrigation water regularly for pH, EC, K, calcium and other nutrients. This will help you determine whether your nutrient solution is correct for your plants’ specific growth needs. It can also help you avoid potential issues that could occur due to the wrong nutrient mix, like calcium deficiency or high alkalinity.
In both soil-based and hydroponic growing techniques, cannabis plants are dependent on water to survive and thrive. There are many different types of water that can be found in nature, and the type you use can have a big impact on how your marijuana plant grows.
Hard water refers to water that contains substantial amounts of dissolved minerals, particularly calcium and magnesium. This is because as water moves through the soil and rocks it picks up these minerals. When these minerals are dissolved, they can cause the water to become “hard,” making it harder for soap to lather and leaving limescale deposits in pipes.
This is not only a problem for your plumbing, but it can also damage the performance and lifespan of any appliances that use water, such as coffeemakers or refrigerators.
The best way to find out the hardness of your water is to test it yourself. You can find a local water testing facility, or ask your local utility to give you a rough idea of what is in your water supply.
There are a few ways to test your water for hardness: The most common is the total dissolved solids (TDS) measurement. This is a much better indicator of the mineral content in your water than a traditional water hardness test.
A TDS reading of 200 mg/L is generally considered soft. Those that are higher, such as 400-550 mg/L, will need to be filtered before using them for growing purposes.
If your water hardness is high, it can negatively affect how well your cannabis plants grow and will also block out key nutrients. It can also cause limescale buildup in your water and irrigation tubing, which can lead to equipment failure and reduce yields.
It can also leave salt deposits on the leaves of your cannabis plants, which can lead to bacterial infections that can prevent the plant from properly absorbing essential vitamins and minerals from the soil.
If you have hard water, you may need to invest in a water softening system or filter. You can do this yourself or hire a company that specializes in water softening and can install a water filter for you.
When it comes to maximizing your cannabis yields, the water you use can have a profound impact. All plants are made up of roughly 80% water, so it’s essential that you choose the right type of water for your crop.
Water softening is a process that can be used to remove dissolved minerals from tap water. This process is typically used by homes and industrial facilities to reduce the hardness of water.
There are many different types of water softeners available, each with a specific purpose. Most water softeners work by using a process called ion exchange to remove hard water minerals from water by passing it through columns of a natural or synthetic resin that trades sodium ions for calcium and magnesium ions in the water. After a period of time, the resin beads in the tank begin to collect the hard water minerals, so they need to be rinsed free and then “recharged” with a strong salt-water solution.
If the ion exchange process isn’t sufficient for your needs, you can also try a reverse osmosis system. Reverse osmosis systems can effectively remove most of the dissolved salts from water, but they may need to be adjusted for your particular growing needs.
For a more reliable and permanent solution, you can improve soil drainage to help dilute the high concentration of minerals in your soil. This can also increase the pH of your water, which can help your cannabis plants grow healthier and more efficiently.
Another issue with mineral-rich water is that it can bind up nutrients like nitrogen and calcium that plants need to grow. This can cause nutrient deficiencies in your crops and result in poor yields.
In some cases, calcium and magnesium can actually clog the roots of your cannabis plants, making it harder for them to absorb nutrients from your fertilizers. To avoid this, be sure to monitor the calcium and magnesium content of your water and add a buffer agent if it is high.
As the flowering stage of a cannabis plant approaches, it begins to stretch and develop a larger appetite for nutrients. This is when it’s crucial to use the correct ratio of fertilizers for optimal growth.