There are only two stops to learn how to use an 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 An 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 an 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.
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 an 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 thepolytunnelor 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.