If you don’t know what PH is already, give yourself a brief refresher through Google, but in a nutshell, what you need to know is that it is a scale measure of how acidic or alkaline (basic) any substance is on a scale of 0-14, with 7 being completely neutral. For optimum growth of your plants you are going to want to stay in the slightly acidic range of 5.5 -6.5, since your plants prefer this.
PH monitoring is going to become one of your more important “regular chores” on taking care of your plants since you need to be very consistent with it and stay on top of it daily to monitor the health of your crop. Your goal is going to be to monitor frequently so that you maintain as constant a level of PH in the ideal range of 5.5 -6.5 as possible. In order to do this you are going to need to by a PH monitor. Some monitors are suitable for water and others for just soil, so be sure to have the type you need depending upon your growing medium.
TIPS ON ALTERING PH WHEN NECESSARY:
The easiest thing to do is to visit a reliable Hydroponic store and purchase any number of “PH Drop” products (for both “Up” and “Down”). The product directions will guide you on how many drops to add to in order to either raise or lower the PH.
If you are in a pinch, you can use some good old fashioned baking soda to raise the PH or add some vinegar to lower the PH. Since baking soda is a base, and vinegar is an acid, the desired effect should come as no surprise.