What does Electrical Conductivity (EC) mean?
Electrical conductivity (EC) refers to a straightforward and simple method used by horticulturalists to determine the overall health of their growing soil. With electrical conductivity, it is possible to check the balance and quality of soil nutrients as well as the soil pH. In some cases this method can also provide an approximate quantity of nutrients.
Electrical conductivity is highly relevant to hydroponic systems because the nutrients involved in this type of gardening often contain a high volume of mineral salts. As a result, electrical conductivity can be used to calculate the amount of nutrients available in the solution. It can also be used in aquaponics because even the weak quantity of ions in the nutrient solution conducts electricity.
Electrical conductivity does have some limitations. For example, it cannot always be used to calculate the non-ionic components in the nutrient solution. As a result, this method cannot be used in plants fertilized with organic substances, since in these cases the solution strength might be higher than the amount displayed by the electrical conductivity.