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How to manage your crop with pH and EC

ph en ec meters
Written by Jaap Lubbersen | 01-05-2020

pH and EC influence absorption of fertilizers throughout crops. Factors like, fertilizer choice, pH, EC and outlet water greatly influence reaching maximum results. It is therefore important to know how to adjust the pH and EC of nutrient solutions. Our specialist give you 3 tips in this article.

What is pH?

The term pH (potential of hydrogen) is used to specify the acidity or basicity (H+ ions) of an aqueous solution or medium. pH greatly influences theavailability of nutrients for the plant. When pH is too low many elements will not be available, when it’s too high there will soon a a shortage of phosphate and manganese. Good control of pH levels in fertilizer containers and nutrient and drainage water is very important. A pH meter can be very helpful in this. pH values can be adjusted with acidifying fertilizers such as ammonium, nitrate and urea.

What is EC?

EC stands for Electrical Conductivity of the solutes in water. As soon as fertilizer is dissolved in water, it separates into positive and negative particles. The more fertilizer is dissolved in water, the higher the EC. Urea, on the other hand, does not increase after dissolution in water. Ultimately the EC values inside and outside the plant determine how easily a plant absorbs water. A plant strives for equal EC values and will absorb water to decrease EC in the plant. A good EC meter is important for measuring EC values for most efficient usage of fertilizers.

Liquid fertilizers, pH and EC

Liquid fertilizers contain certain acids. These are materials with very pH levels. The materials opposite to acids are bases which have higher pH values. When an acid and a base mix in a fertilizer container it will cause a reaction. This reaction results in water and heat.  A surplus of acid will cause a pH which is too low. Therefore pH control is of great importance.

PH & EC meters

Questions about using ph and ec meters?

Do you have questions after reading this article or do you need more information? Contact one of our crop care specialists or fill in the form below. We'll respond within 24 hours on working days.

Jaap Lubbersen About Jaap Lubbersen

Jaap Lubbersen is an internal crop care product specialist at Royal Brinkman and has had over 13 years of experience in glass horticulture. "As an internal product specialist, I deal with growers' issues on a daily basis. Every time again it is a challenge to seek the proper solution, in cooperation with the grower, whether it is about healthy and vibrant cultivation, legislation or safety."

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