When growing in soil, certain plants want different PH, to help them grow better, for instance Blueberries like a PH that is lower than other berries. Indoor Farming is no different, plants need proper PH to ensure they are receiving a favorable growing environment. PH is very important regardless of the growing medium.
One of the major differences would be that indoor non-soil growing environments have much less margin for error. Soil allows the plant to have a stable growing environment, that holds on to nutrients, water, and the necessities of veggie and fruit growth. During indoor vertical farming, like we do here in Ohio, one finds that changes in PH, without correction could be disastrous, very quickly.
Why not grow in Soil ? Soil free growing conditions allow for our crops to receive maximum nutrition at all times, as there is no competition for these nutritionist like in soil based growing. Soil also has a lot of unknowns, for instance what is the quality of the soil, is there other seeds, rocks, weeds, is there soil born viruses, and so on. With that in mind the advantages that stem from soil free growing, far outweighs the extra safety net of soil.
What can be done to maintain safety for indoor farming plants? Maintaining proper PH is not as difficult as it may sound initially. The key for consumers growing their produce indoors is to simply use a calibrated digital PH meter at various points throughout the day to ensure these levels are in the safe zone for each plant. In commercial settings such as Tierney Family Farms, automated systems consistently test PH and nutrient levels and automatically dose the needed adjustments. Preforming these checks manually is still a good idea to ensure there is no concerns with the automated equipment. Should you find variances in the PH at home simple PH UP & Down solutions will fix this quickly, these can be found at a hydro store or on Amazon.
Growing berries indoors can be very fun, albeit challenging as well. The best berry to grow indoors at first is strawberries, as they seem to thrive in our indoor farm here in Ohio. Blueberries need the lowest PH at 4.0 to 5.5, whereas Strawberries will need a slightly higher PH of 5.5 to 6.5.
Growing lettuce indoors requires one to maintain a PH level of 6.0-7.0, which allows for a little bit of variance. Testing your levels a few times a day helps to ensure your farming indoors the right way.
Who doesn’t like Tomatoes? Imagine being able to enjoy them year round, by growing them inside? Hydroponic Tomatoes actually do an excellent job of producing larger harvest then their outdoor counter parts, as well as doing this for a full year. Keeping a PH 6.0 to 6.5 is very successful to their health.
We hope this article has been helpful in learning about the importance of keeping proper PH health for your fruit and veggies indoors and out.