Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Hello DGC, remember to smoke something green tomorrow. I have a question about EC. I have been trying to get better results and heard someone on the “High On Homegrown” aka “Percy’s Growroom” say to always water at 1.6 EC. What I did was start that approach with this seed run. I am running a Vivosun VS4000 in a 4×4 w/ temp and humidity controls. The plants are in 3 gal fabric pots with Fox Farm Happy Frog ( I added worm castings and ground egg shells and perlite also). I vegged with RO water and Recharge. After I flipped to flower(about week 4 from seed pop) I started with the Fox Farm trio adjusted to pH 6.3 +/- and a EC of 1.6+/-. everything looks good and I expect to get a respectable amount of seeds*.
I just wanted to know if this is a good practice for my next smokeable run (2 x feminized Ice Cream Candy) in the same set up with FF Ocean Forest in 5 gal fabric pots, or should I bring the EC up more? If I do bring up the EC how high of an EC can I run without flushing every 2 weeks? Everyone at Percy’s growroom was saying that you have to flush so often because the nutrient company knows the recommended EC is way too high.
Thank all of you for being kind, compassionate, and patient with us not so skilled growers.
- The strains I am currently running are:
- Maple Leaf Indica ( reg 3 plants 2m 1f)
- Zkittles (fem)
- Bubble Gum (fem)
- Black Sugar (fem)
I like the folks over there, have had many conversations with them myself. An EC of 1.6 is pretty standard for general feeding. I always say, if you are giving it that amount and do not see deficiencies, then it is an effective dose. I’ve ran some runs even lower.
If you want to go super science on it, you can feed one plant at 1.3, another at 1.6, and a third at 2.0. Start by mixing nutrients for the 1.3 EC plant and then add slightly more to feed the other plants. Basically, you are trying to find the line of , too much, too little. Once you find the line, go a little above it to ensure a vigorous plant has all of the energy / nutrients it needs to not only grow, but to grow healthy and strong.
and yes, nutrient companies inflate the numbers and encourage flushing because it sells more product if people do so. It’s not all of them, just most of them,
1.6 EC is generally ok for an established root system, but there’s no such thing as a one size fits all. There are soooo many variables.
One of the main variables is your personal watering habits. A rise in EC occurs as the substrate loses water from evaporation and transpiration. The larger the percentage of water to media volume is lost, the more concentrated the minerals in solution. The root zone EC is managed by runoff and drybacks; more or less of either will change the EC in the pots, so your input EC is only part of the equation.
Another thing to consider is how hungry your plants are. The environment is a main factor here, but I’ll stick to the principles of EC. The plants will consume the minerals they want and that may not be in the same ratios as is in your nutrient solution. Runoff pH is a good indicator of cation vs anion uptake, but only a leaf tissue analysis will tell you what your plants are more hungry for. The simply way to fix a deficiency or imbalnce from what the plant leaves behind, is to feed at a higher EC. Simply put, give them more of what they need.
What you choose to grow in an the nutrients you use are major factors. Most of what I discussed so far are basic hydroponic principles and one of the main things with well sourced nutrients and the trio you are using is heavy metal content. I don’t really know the HM content of the trio, but I always have my suspicions with Fox Farms. A higher than preferred HM content will limit the EC range you can use. More nutes also means more shit.
You ar growing in what I call the dumb dumb media. I mean no disrespect! I too have grown with the dumb dumb and with good success. There is a place for it because hydroponics takes up more of your time and building & recycling soil takes up more of your space.
That old rule of starting 1/2 strength with your nutrients comes from growing in premixed soilless stuff like Fox Farms since there is a little nutrition to start.
Ocean Forest is basically 1/2 shredded wood, a bit of peat and compost, and a tiny bit of good shit just so they can print it on the label. The structure gives you a bit more CEC than coco, but mostly you just have too dense of media to run hydroponically. Thus your drybacks are days compared to hours. That goes back to the whole rise in EC thing.
I believe it is a misconception that nutrient burn is a direct cause of high EC. I mean some of these commercial growers using crop steering are spiking their media EC to some wild ranges, but the key is the dryback threshold and runoff to manage mineral content. That has lead me to believe that it is more important to maintain the balance in the rootzone than to worry too heavily on input EC. Like I said, it’s only part of the equation. Genetic always play their role, but the science of it is simple; a higher EC in the media means the plant makes the EC higher in the roots. Changes in osmotic pressure signals a plant response in order to drink, what that EC limit is…probably never the same for every cultivar.
Of course, if you want skip the input EC nonsense, you can pack a good soil full of solid minerals and let nature worry about the rest. I prefer the control though.
Coach Steve did a great job explaining several of the factors that surround EC. Many people I’ve heard interviewed who do mid flower flushes are usually running an EC close to 3. In my experience I have gotten away with an EC of 2.2-2.4 without flushing until the end but I was in 7 gal containers being watered 2-3 times per day to prevent EC spikes from drybacks.
Before I switched to grow dots I ended up settling on an EC of around 1.6. It prevented me from having EC spikes if I wasn’t on top of my watering or if I didn’t want to water to runoff every time. It mostly comes down to your watering practice. If you don’t want to keep them fully saturated all the time or don’t want to water to runoff you’d be better keeping your EC about where it’s at. If anything maybe adjusting your nutrient ratios or adding some microbes or silica may help improve the quality.
Sometimes less is more, and growing with High EC often requires high attention and/or planning ahead of time to avoid issues. The amount of nutrients that can be processed is capped by the amount of light and CO2 available in your environment. The higher EC in the media is mostly to get a certain stress response from the plant that is believed to have a benefit. I have never done a side by side to compare, but I did keep my yields/quality more consistent with a High EC feed, but it may have been because I was more on top of my watering when I did so.
Good luck of finding your sweet spot, but remember each cultivar will be different. Some plants do not like a High EC. #growerslove
Thank you Chad Westport,Coach Steve and Dr. Phil Goud.
I feel a lot better about my approach now. I have been using silica, recharge and a low dose of calmag. The plants are still doing well, I couldn’t get the pictures to upload. I know Sunny in bectopia was complaining on another post that I didn’t have pictures.
Thanks again to the DGC! You all are very knowledgeable and always point me in the right direction. I wish I was in a position to come to the DGC cup to meet some of you face to face.
Please be safe and Don’t Get Caught!
You definitely got your money’s worth from three of the best with this question. Happy Growing 🙂