If you understand the importance of controlling EC in cannabis cultivation you will get higher quality crops and production
We give you a simple explanation about the importance of EC in cannabis cultivation because there are growers who do not understand why their marijuana plants show deficiencies while they provide them with the best fertilizers. Although there are different factors that affect both the quality and quantity of our marijuana crop, too often a bad management of EC is behind these problems.
EC (Electro Conductivity) is the ability of a substance to conduct electricity. In this article we will explain in a simple way the EC of irrigation water in our cannabis crops. Water, although many people do not know, does not conduct electricity. Pure water, that is, H2O, is not conductive of electricity. But we are talking about pure water, H2O, without any other element, since if we add minerals to the water, it will be conductive.
It’s very easy to understand. The more minerals the water contains, the more electricity it conducts. For example, tap water does conduct electricity because it contains minerals such as lime, sodium and others.
Marijuana plants are very sensitive to that electroconductivity (EC). But cannabis plants are not sensitive to electricity itself, but to the minerals contained in the water. The more fertilizers we put into the water with which we water our plants, the more electricity will conduct. To control EC in cannabis cultivation we can use an EC meter which, by the way, is an essential device for the perfect cultivation of marijuana. If we give too many fertilizers, the cannabis plant does not see it as an electricity conductor, but as a liquid too dense to pass through its filters, which are the root hairs.
If we know the EC level of irrigation water in cannabis cultivation, we will know if it is too dense for the roots of the plant. If the liquid with which we water our plants (H2O plus the fertilizers we add) is too dense, the hairs of the roots will not be able to absorb it. Imagine that you prepare a glass of milk with cocoa and then try to filter it through a sieve. If you have put too much cocoa, the strainer will get stuck and the milk that will fall through the filter will go so slowly that it will take hours to pass or it will even get stuck. The same goes for our cannabis plants and EC.
Marijuana plants are able to withstand certain levels of density. Therefore, if we use distilled water or water from a reverse osmosis filter (pure water), we will have the ability to add more nutrients without converting the water into an element that is too dense. Therefore, fertilizers will be more used by plants. On the contrary, if we use tap water, we will have less space for fertilizers than the plant needs. It is so important to fully understand this concept that we are going to use an imaginary table to measure EC.
EC is measured with different tables, the most common being those that measure all dissolved solids in water and those that measure microsiemens. But now forget about this. We are going to imagine an EC table that goes from 0 to 10. 0 is pure water, without any dissolved metal salt. And 10 is water with an optimal amount of dissolved metal salts, that is, fertilizer. Our marijuana plant admits up to number 10 to be in perfect condition. If we start from water that has an EC of 7, for example, we can only add 3 fertilizer points to reach the maximum of 10 (7 plus 3 equal to 10). The problem is that the seven points of the water we have used does not contain good nutrients for cannabis plants. But if we use pure water, scale 0, we can add 10 points of quality nutrients for marijuana. That is, our plant will be perfectly fed.
Therefore, if the water contains many dissolved metal salts that are not absorbable, such as lime or sodium, we can hardly add good fertilizers to the plant. If we pass, the roots of the plant will not be able to absorb so many metal salts and they will become clogged. And in addition, metal salts that are not absorbable by the roots will deposit on the substrate and contaminate it. This is why it is vitally important to control and understand CD in cannabis cultivation. Normally, cannabis plants should be given an EC of 0.5 to 0.8 (scale based on millisiemens) during the first phase of life. From the 15 days of life since the seed germinates, we will raise the EC levels, and we will be progressively rising to 1.1 at the end of the growth phase.
Normally, cannabis plants should be given an EC of 0.5 to 0.8 (scale based on millisiemens) during the first phase of life. From the 15 days of life, counting since the seed germinates, we will raise the EC levels, and we will be progressively rising to 1.1 at the end of the growth phase.
When we reach the flowering phase we have to raise the levels, since the plants are fed with more nutrients to be well nourished. You have to raise the EC from 1.2 to 1.5 and when we reach the fattening stage you have to go up to 1.8 or 2.1, which will be the maximum levels of EC in cannabis cultivation. If we use additional Co2 in our crop, you can get up to 3.0 EC, and you will get spectacular plants.
A very common mistake that growers usually have is to measure the EC only of the water with which they are going to irrigate, when in reality the EC that our plants eat is the one they have in the soil. Measuring EC in cannabis cultivation only in irrigation water is valid in hydroponics. If the plant is eating the fertilizer that we add to the wáter, it will be fine, but if the nutrients accumulate in the soil, even if you irrigate at 1.1 EC, the soil will level up until it makes the irrigation water for your plants useless.
To measure the EC in cannabis cultivation when we use land to grow, apart from measuring the EC in the irrigation water, which is good to have an orientation, we will have to let the pots drain some water after irrigation and measure EC of that water. This way we will know if the earth is being too much loaded with nutrients or our plant eats well.