Investing into your testing equipment will reward you with a bigger, healthier and more nutritious crop. Monitoring the PH of your water and media is an essential aspect of growing.
Investing in a Reverse Osmosis (RO) system will make this process much simpler. Most water will come out of a RO filter at a PH level of 6.5 and will rise to about 6.8 after nutrients have been added. If you’re using city water let it sit undisturbed for 48 hours. This will not only allow the chlorine to dissipate, but also allows the PH to stabilize. Most city water PH will fall on its own by about two points. Allowing the water to stabilize will also assure that the PH not fall while it’s in your soil potentially limiting plant growth. Well water contains metals like iron, copper, magnesium and (in some rural areas) pesticides. A basic sediment filter in some cases is required.
To monitor the PH and EC or PPM of your growing media, test the water before you put it on the plant. Then, test the PH and EC or PPM after it comes out of the media. The variance between the two will let you know if the media is higher or lower than what you’ve added.