Cannabis cultivation is a complex process that requires close attention to several factors, including electrical conductivity (EC) and pH levels. These two factors are crucial for growing a healthy, high-yielding crop. In this article, we’ll explore why EC and pH are important to cannabis cultivators.
Electrical conductivity (EC) is a measure of how well a solution (or object) allows electricity to travel through it. In cannabis cultivation, it refers to the amount of dissolved minerals and salts in the growing medium. The most common method of measuring EC is by using a handheld meter that measures the electrical conductivity of the nutrient solution in parts per million (ppm).
EC is important in cannabis cultivation because it helps growers to monitor the nutrient concentration and the plant’s uptake. When plants receive the correct balance of nutrients, they can grow healthy and produce high-quality buds. If the EC levels are too high, plants can suffer from “nutrient burn”, which can damage the roots and stunt their growth. If the EC levels are too low, there won’t be enough nutrients to maximize your plant’s vegetative and flowering cycles.
It’s important to note that different stages of plant growth require different EC levels. For example, seedlings require lower EC levels than mature plants. This makes the measurement and calibration of your crop’s nutrients a necessity from seedling to harvest.
Potential Hydrogen (pH) is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution. In cannabis cultivation, pH levels are important because they affect the availability and uptake of nutrients in the growing medium. The ideal pH range for cannabis cultivation is roughly between 6.0 and 7.0. Outside of this range, the plants will struggle to absorb nutrients, which will stunt both vegetative growth and trichome yield.
If the pH levels are not within the plant’s preferred range, your cannabis plant will likely suffer from nutrient deficiencies, such as calcium or magnesium deficiencies. As with all organisms, it’s important to maintain a healthy diet that includes a sufficient amount of vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes. The same is true with your cannabis crop.
It’s important for growers to monitor pH levels regularly and adjust them as necessary. The most common method of adjusting pH levels is by adding pH up or pH down solutions to the nutrient solution. It just so happens, we carry both monitoring equipment, as well as, pH-adjusting solutions.
In addition to affecting nutrient availability, pH levels also play a role in the overall health of the plant. When the pH levels are within the ideal range, the plant is better able to absorb nutrients, better equipping them to fight off pests and diseases.
Just as humans struggle to maintain their health without proper nutrition, so it is with cannabis plants. Electrical conductivity ensures these nutrients are available in ideal quantities based on their growth cycle. And appropriate pH levels enable the plants to consume those nutrients. Regular monitoring and adjustment of these factors are crucial for ensuring healthy plant growth and a successful harvest.
If you have any questions or need assistance monitoring, measuring, and adjusting the EC and pH of your growing medium, feel free to reach out to our team. We’re happy to help provide what you need.