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I was told I need to continuously measure the pH of my growth solution and modify it if it exceeds a certain range. Is it really that crucial? I mean no one pays attention to pH of soil in a pot...

If it is crucial, would once a day with litmus paper suffice or do I need to get a continuous electronic measurement?

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    I think it will depend very much on the type of plants you are growing and your purpose (how important is crop yield etc). I doubt you need continuous electronic measurement - most professional growers don't have that - and PH meters need to be recalibrated regularly anyway. You should expand your question to advise the crop and current PH. – davidgo Jun 9 '16 at 0:16
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pH is important in both hydroponic and soil gardens. An incorrect pH level can make certain nutrients unavailable in both and in hydroponic systems may even cause some nutrients to precipitate out of solution.

The reason it is more important to monitor pH in a hydroponic system is that the pH of water can be changed faster and easier than the pH of soil.

You shouldn't need to measure it constantly though. Daily should be fine unless you notice big swings in which case maybe two times a day would be better.

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The Kratky method is a way of doing non recirculating hydroponics which also avoids the needs to measure EC and other water parameters for mostly lettuce, but it may have been tried in other leafy greens. It relies on there being enough solute present in the initial mix, and this is used by the plants with out the need for top ups. Remember also that 80% of the plant matter comes from the air, so this is how these plants can grow with little intervention and few inputs.

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