A very important, if not one of the most important parameters within horticulture: pH!
The pH value is a chemical name for the acidity of a solution such as irrigation water or drain water, for example. In this article, we discuss the essence of pH measurements and why it is important and how it can be reliably measured.
Why measure pH?
pH is an essential parameter within horticulture. The right pH value is an important factor that affects whether the crop grows well, healthily and efficiently.
For each crop, there is an ideal range in terms of pH for the nutrient water at which the plant, flower, vegetable or fruit best absorbs other nutrients. This can be between 5 and 6 pH, for example. If the pH value is above or below this ideal pH value, other nutrients become difficult or even impossible to absorb.
So pH is a very important parameter to measure, control and keep stable. For more information on pH, read our knowledge base article "What is pH?"
Several solutions are available to reliably and accurately measure pH. These are outlined below.
Professional universal sensors for irrigation units (inline measurements)
For continuous measurements in a fixed setup such as an irrigation unit or climate computer system, we have several pH sensors.
The standard epoxy sensor (PH5510) is the most common in horticultural applications.
This sensor has standard dimensions and can be supplied with different connectors such as BNC, SMA, fork plugs and ferrule. This makes the sensor universal and can be used on any brand of irrigation unit or climate computer system.
For more severe cases, we have the reinforced glass sensor (PH5550) available which is more suitable for cases when measuring in contaminated fluid or systems with higher pressures/temperatures. This is a very robust sensor and one of the strongest in our range.
The sensors are inserted through a reusable PVC or stainless steel sensor holder. These are available with both 1/2″ and 3/4″ threads to accommodate a sensor of 75mm or 110mm. These are made of a robust material and can therefore be reused. This is a sustainable solution because when the sensor is replaced, the holder can be reinstalled!
The pH calibration liquids are available in different formats.
All Nieuwkoop pH sensors can be connected to our proprietary transmitters/controllers. These electronics can be used as standalone units, or they can be linked to the existing PLC or climate computer system. Set-point settings and relay contacts allow switching and various output signals such as 4-20mA and RS485 MODBUS allow the controllers and transmitters to communicate with any system.
Reliable portable pH meters
Besides measuring solutions for continuous measurements, we also have portable pH meters in our range. These can be used as control devices for the fixed sensors, but also as standalone portable measuring systems.
Several models are available that fit directly into water and/or soil the pH value can measure. Through a sample to be taken from, say, drain water or irrigation water, it can be easily and quickly measured for pH.
A portable pH meter is a must in a plant with fixed pH measurements to be able to carry out periodic checks. This ensures the correct pH value and this is best for the crop!
If you have any questions about pH measurements, we will be happy to help. Our colleagues will also be happy to help you select the best measurement solution for you! You can reach us at 0297-325836 and email@example.com.