Measuring nutrients. A Quick article on PPM/EC and PH.
Without getting to technical PPM/EC and a PH meter is needed for monitoring of plant/feeding process, if your not measuring the amount of nutrients your feeding your plant ( With a PPM/EC Meter.) then you’re shooting in the dark and not getting the best out of your plant. Your PPM/EC meter is a good tool to measure the amount of nutrients your giving your plant.
PPM means parts per million and is a measurement of concentrated nutrient solution within water.
EC is electrical conductivity and is a measurement of how conductive a nutrient solution is, meaning more nutrient solution higher the EC Reading. (More on PPM and EC to come but for now we will keep it simple.)
A PH Meter measures the acidity or alkalinity of a solution, if the nutrient solution your feeding plants are to acidic or alkaline then your plant will lock out and not eat.
The best way to find your plants need is to measure the amount of nutrients your feeding your plant (do this with a PPM/EC meter.), set your Nutrient feed to correct PH level using PH up or Down solution (5.8ph for hydroponic) before watering plant.
If feeding a young plant give a very diluted PH corrected nutrient solution.
Example: Hydroponic Grow
- Set the young plant/clone Nutrient solution to PH 5.8 and 200ppm,
- On your next monitoring cycle, measure PH of the plant. If PH shoots up past 6.5 then the plant needs more nutrients , Re set your plants PH to 5.8 and raise the next nutrient feed to 300ppm and continue this cycle.
- You will get to a point where the PH will stabilise at 5.8/6 meaning your nutrient feed is at the correct amount.
- On the other hand, if you monitor your PH levels and your PH drops significantly lower than when you started! It’s most likely overfeeding or plant disease, your plant is not eating the nutrients but rather drinking the water from the nutrient, Plain water should be given for the next feed to dilute existing nutrient levels to get your plant eating. If your plant continues not to eat, then a root flush to be carried out.
Continue this feeding/Monitoring cycle throughout your plants life and reap the rewards.
Young hydroponic plants should always eat a 200ppm nutrient solution. This is a very good number to start. Lower the PPM to 100ppm if your wanting to be safe but never start high, if you think more nutrients means larger growth for a plant that can’t handle the amount! then your doing more harm than good.
If you get your feed cycles right then at flowering stage your plants can easily eat 2000+ppm.
A lot of information has been brushed over but we will post other articles particular to certain grow practices that will get the most out of your plants.
Top Tip to take from this article: Take it easy on the nutrients, but don’t deprive your plant of nutrients. Monitor PPM/EC and PH to meet your plants need. If your following a feeding chart then your not getting the most out of your plants. As all plants have different requirements.
Nga Mihi Nui