As a grower, you’ve probably heard of “PPM” when discussing with fellow growers. If you’re new to the whole growing thing, it’s not a problem if you’re not sure of what PPM exactly means. I mean, every grower needs to start somewhere right?
PPM stands for Parts Per Million. This term is often used in tandem with nutrients as it refers to the concentration of minerals in water that is used to feed the plants. PPM makes it easier for the growers to know exactly what is in the water that they use to feed and how much of it is in it. This is quite crucial to the whole growing process as the growers can ration the nutrients properly. Plants don’t just accept everything that it is fed; it has a limit and anything above it might overfeed the plant and can actually waste the nutrients used. Knowing the PPM of the liquid that will be used will help both the grower and the plant in being efficient in terms of the feeding process and the growing process respectively.
In order for the grower to be able to test the waters, he/she would need to use a TDS meter or an EC meter. Don’t worry about the acronyms, we’re going to discuss them below so keep on reading!
TDS stands for Total Dissolved Solids, which means that a TDS meter would measure the total number of dissolved solids in a liquid! When using a TDS meter, the tool will show a number of “PPM” which is what we are after.
EC, on the other hand, stands for Electrical Conductivity and that the tool measures exactly that. “Tainted” water (or water with minerals in them) can often conduct electricity while pure water does not. With that in mind, the EC meter can then be used to determine how much of the water is not pure based on its conductivity. Similar to the TDS meter, a PPM number will also be displayed.
To paint a better picture, let’s have an example: Let’s say I want to know the ppm of this particular liquid. In order to find out, I can use a calibrated TDS meter or an EC meter on it. After doing so, the meter shows 1200 ppm. This means that this particular liquid has that much ppm in it. If I want to raise the ppm of it to 1500 ppm, I will have to use a fertilizer or a nutrient that has 300 ppm as dosage so that my plants will have exactly that ppm level of liquid. (Note: calibrating the TDS and the EC meter will require you to use a calibration solution)
As you can see in this example, the grower would be able to manipulate the ppm of the liquid that will be used in feeding his/her plants. This is quite important as it avoids a lot of possible problems such as overfeeding and nutrient burns. It’s important to note that both these problems will definitely affect the taste and the overall yield of your plants come harvest time, and you don’t want that.
Well, now you know what PPM is. Make sure to use this new knowledge on your next growing operation! You and your plants will love it guaranteed!