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Electrical Conductivity

Gardening Tips

Did you know that electrical conductivity (EC) can be used to help in the growth of a plant? The electrical conductivity test is often done to determine how much salt or residue is in a specific solution. This means that this is a reliable method to monitor the nutrients that the plant may take in which is quite useful.
But first, what is “electrical conductivity”? To put it simply, it is a measure of an object’s ability to conduct electricity. In hydroponics and in gardening, determining the electrical conductivity of an object will determine and quantify the properties that it contains. It can measure the salinity of water or soil which is important when it comes to the growth of a plant. The reason behind this is that plants are heavily affected, both chemically and physically, if it is fed with excess salts.
As a grower, you can take advantage of the knowledge behind electrical conductivity for the growth of your own plants. To do this, first, you need to know the characteristics of your grow medium. The reason behind this is that different grow mediums will have different densities which will have a different effect on the electrical conductivity measurement. You will need to determine its electrical conductivity level because it will affect the overall calculations. Additionally, you would want to know your medium better because you will need to adjust the electrical conductivity of your nutrients so that both are in tandem together. Next, you will need to know the desired electrical conductivity. In general, it is determined by the type of nutrition that your plants are already receiving. Knowing the characteristics of the nutrients used will affect the overall electrical conductivity that you want. In general, the electrical conductivity of the nutrients use is determined by the ratio of nutrients and water. If there are fewer nutrients, the electrical conductivity level is lower than if there are more nutrients. To calculate the conductivity level, you can use tools such as an EC sensor or and EC meter. If the sensor is not available or is unable to determine the conductivity level (in scenarios like using soil), you can opt to use direct contact sensors instead. By knowing all these, you can properly determine the conductivity level of the environment of your plant.
After finding the overall electrical conductivity, you can now act on it by making a watering schedule. To start, you will need to know the actual electrical conductivity of the water that you will use because it will affect the conductivity of the medium (which is actually the goal). Flushing is the method of feeding the plant proper pH’d water to drive out the old nutrients. This effectively lowers the electrical conductivity of the plant which is good especially if your initial goal was to lower it down (remember, too much salt is bad for the plants!).
To sum things up, to provide a better environment for your plant, determining the electrical conductivity of the medium and the nutrients can help in giving the best to your plants. Additionally, if you are aware of the conductivity level of the things you use, you can also schedule a better flushing plan regimen for your plants which will ultimately be very beneficial for both the plant and the grower.



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