In order keep your plants healthy, you need to monitor and keep your nutrient solution at its optimum strength and balance, by measuring the electrical conductivity of the solution. This is done by using an electrical EC meter or conductivity monitor.
What is EC ?
EC is an abbreviation for Electrical Conductivity. This relates to your nutrient solutions ability to conduct electricity. When nutrients and minerals are dissolved in water they breakdown into ion particles that can conduct electricity . The EC of the solution will increase with added nutrients, this is typically measured with an EC meter or conductivity monitor in units of Micro Siemens. Your vegetables will grow better and stronger when the EC of the nutrient is in the correct range, this changes depending on what you are growing. eg peppers like an ec of 2.0 – 2.7 , lettuce like .3 – 1.4 and tomatoes around 2.2 – 2.8 by knowing these EC values you can grow stronger healthier vegetables.
What is PPM ?
PPM or parts per million, is the measurement of the concentration of the solids in the nutrient solution. A PPM measurement using a TDS meter will give you the strength of the nutrient but not the actual amount of each nutrient in the solution.
What TDS ?
TDS or total dissolved solids is the amount of dissolved salts / nutrients in a solution. This is typically measured in units of PPM.