How To Use EC Meter. Best 2-Step Gude

There are only two stops to learn how to use EC meter or how to read EC meter. Knowing the proper usage of this device would benefit your garden because it lets you see the quantity of nutrients on your solution or substrate. Therefore, you can adjust the substrate to the specific needs of your plants. 

Using materials like EC meters and pH meters might quickly solve your problem if you notice that you’re producing suboptimal plants. Michigan State University even mentioned how these factors are common problems in the greenhouse. If you’re having issues with fertilizing, you might need to use an EC meter.

 

How To Use EC Meter Beginner’s Guide

Before anything else, it’s best to emphasize the importance of calibrating the EC meter first. This will ensure that you’ll get accurate results, and the practice itself is not even exhaustive. You can check the manufacturer’s specific instructions, and you might need to soak the probe in a storage solution after a long period of not using it. 

Then, rinse it with distilled water and calibrate using a standard solution. You’ll notice if the meter needs adjustment to show the EC of the solution accurately. Rinse the probe with distilled water in between readings before calibrating to your known EC, and you should be ready to use the meter.

 

Step #1. Prepare the cup

In general, using an EC meter is simple and only takes two steps. This article will discuss some other information for measuring different samples, but these two steps should cover it to give you a quick idea. Start by rinsing the cup with demineralized water and then fill it with the liquid you want to measure the EC. 

 

Step #2. Turn on the EC meter

Turn the meter on and leave it in the cup for a few minutes. However, make sure that the temperature is correct as it can affect the readings. Once the reading stabilizes, you can turn off the meter and rinse with demineralized water.

 

Measuring EC Of Liquid and Soil Samples

As you have previously read, using the EC meter is easy and doable within minutes. However, the Microbial Life – Educational Resources also discussed some valuable tips for measuring both soil and liquid samples. The earlier guide uses a liquid sample, and it is the most common way of measuring EC. 

For this sample, you want an amount that is enough for the submersion of the probe tip. Wait for the meter to stabilize and make the necessary adjustments if your meter doesn’t automatically correct with temperature. On the other hand, gardeners can use the EC meter for soil samples as well.

You’ll insert the electrodes into the ground, quite similar to using a pH meter. However, you might find it easier to extract soil water with a lysimeter. If you have a well, you can lower the probe into it and measure the groundwater as well.

 

Using EC Meter For Hydroponics

More than preventing over-fertilizing, did you know that the EC meter is equally useful for hydroponic systems because it helps with climate control? A quick and easy to remember fact is that it’s best to start plants with low EC and slowly build up as they grow.

More so, those that grow cannabis hydroponically can use an EC meter to know how much your plants are eating, which is crucial for their health. For example, remember that the EC will be high if the solution has a high salt amount. Therefore, using a meter allows the grower to gauge if they need to make some adjustments. 

Plants can easily suffer from problems with nutrients. The best way to monitor potential nutrient excess and deficiencies is by using an EC meter on the reservoir or the runoff from the medium.  

 

Importance Of Using EC Meter For Gardeners 

The main takeaway from learning how to use EC meter and other equipment types is to make the environment and practices more suitable for your plants’ needs. The readings let you know if you have nutrient deficiencies and excess or having problems with climate control in hydroponics. EC or electrical conductivity lets you know how much salt is in the media or an increase in temperature in a reliable way. 

 

Conclusion

As you gain more experience in growing plants, you discover different techniques to create a sustainable environment for them and a productive cycle for you. One of the skills that you must equip yourself with is learning how to use EC meter correctly. It can be daunting at first to hold a unique device, but the process itself is as simple as calibrating the meter and submerging or inserting the probe tip into a liquid or soil sample. 

However, you must understand that temperature also plays a role in the readings, so it’s better to use meters that adjust to the temperature automatically. With the readings at hand, it can give you an idea if you’re facing problems with nutrients in the greenhouse or if the hydroponic system needs better climate control. Indeed, knowing how to use an EC meter is relatively simple in exchange for the benefits you’ll gain from it. 

 

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How To Prevent Root Rot In Hydroponics: 3 Useful Tips

If you’re a newbie gardener who’s looking to find ways to hone your skills, you’d want to learn how to prevent root rot in hydroponics even before this problem affects your plants.

Hydroponics can be advantageous to crops in more ways than one. However, it also comes with risks of diseases, such as root rot, which can be destructive or even lethal to your plants.

Unfortunately, there are no effective methods to recover the wilted parts that were affected by the root rot once it hits your plants. The only thing you can do if you do not want this catastrophe to befall your crops is to prevent it before it happens. Read on to learn more about this subject.

 

What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a disease that attacks the plant roots and causes them to suffer decay. This usually happens when a lack of oxygen supply occurs in the substrate.

To give you an idea, think about plant roots that are submerged in water that only has a little oxygen in it. Over time, the plant suffocates and dies.

Aside from rot and decay, this disease also leads to the proliferation of fungi that are naturally present in the soil. These include Rhizoctonia, Alternaria, Pythium, Botrytis, Fusarium, or Phytophthora. As soon as fungi colonies start to grow, they tend to target the weakened roots and infect your precious plant babies.

Once the plant becomes infected, they won’t be able to take in what they need to grow – water, oxygen, and other nutrients. When this happens, it won’t be long before the plant dies.

 

What is Hydroponics?

In case you’re not aware, the term hydroponic is derived from a Latin word that means “working water”. To put it simply, hydroponics is an art that involves growing various types of plants without soil. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about hydroponics would be a picture of plants with roots suspended into the water without using any type of growing medium.

 

Avoiding Root Rot in Hydroponic Systems

Detecting and identifying root rot can be tricky. When your plants get infected, their leaves and roots gradually wither until the whole crop itself dies from the lack of nutrients, which is a common symptom of many diseases.

 

What causes root rot in hydroponics?

One of the requirements in hydroponics systems is oxygen. Without it, your plants are basically on the road to death. On the other hand, lack of such is one of the major triggers for root rot, and it must be avoided at all costs.

Just like when planting in soil, you loosen up the ground so that your plants’ roots can have their required intake of oxygen. That is the case for crops grown in aqueous solutions as well. If they cannot breathe, they would not be able to grow.

Another agent for root rot is the temperature. The last thing you would want in your system are parasites that leech nutrients intended for your plants and infect the water during the process. In common terms, these fungi are called molds.

One of the best breeding grounds for these is warm and moist areas. For this reason, if the water temperature inside your reservoir is high, then you are susceptible to it. Something as minor as letting the solutions exposed to sunlight can already be a risk factor.

 

3 Useful Tips on How to prevent root rot in hydroponics

There is good news! Root rot in hydroponics can be prevented! Just follow these tips:

Tip#1: Use the right air pump

If you do not want root rot to affect your plants, you merely have to avoid its causes. If you need oxygen, keep the water bubbling by providing an air pump of appropriate size, and also give importance to proper ventilation in the room.

 

Tip #2: Maintain the temperature

The temperature should be maintained within the 70 to 80 degrees F range. Get rid of any materials that can make your system vulnerable to infections, and make sure not to disturb your crops while they are trying to grow.

 

Tip #3: Get rid of the rotten parts

However, if you failed in preventing the disease, then the rotten parts should be removed immediately. Cut them off as there is no chance of reviving them, and focus on the potential new growth instead. Fix your hydroponics system and eliminate the risks.

 

Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits to greens aficionados who dare to take their gardening experience to the next level. Aside from acting as a shield against the effects of inclement weather, a mini, hobby, or semi-pro greenhouse can also serve as a protective layer that keeps harmful bugs and critters at bay.

What’s more, its enclosed structure allows you to control your plants’ growing conditions including the temperature, light, moisture, and ventilation of the greenhouse’s internal environment. With a controlled environment, you’ll be able to extend growing seasons and grow plants that aren’t native to your area.

 

Conclusion

No matter how well-informed you are about how to prevent root rot in hydroponics, you cannot completely eradicate the risks. Therefore, to avoid the worst-case scenario, you should be prepared to sacrifice the infected for the sake of others. While you’re at it, consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening as well.

 

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