Most growers, both amateur, professional & commercial often fail when it comes to monitoring & tracking data. Why is this so? Do you monitor your bank account? In the digital age, we monitor everything for performance reasons – it gives us the ability to improve & in grower terms, this means bigger & better yields.
What are we talking about? Have you ever gone out and measured your drain water from the growing containers or sampled the growing media and found the EC to be too high or the pH way off? Or more likely you saw something ‘not right’ with the plant and then tested the water and media. “Damn, how did that happen?’
You should measure the EC and pH off the drain water every day. You should also measure the amount of water given to each plant or container and the amount of water that drains out of each container. We record this data on a form (CaliforniaSubstrates-FeedData) designed for that purpose. Its simple. These changes in EC and pH happen gradually over a period of time and if you measure and record the data you will see it happening before it takes an effect on your crop.
We have started many commercial growers on a measuring and recording regime and gone back to them in a month and they have stopped. When we ask why we usually get the same response – ‘It is always the same.’ 6 or 12 months later we return & that same person will have an EC or pH problem that could have been avoided if the data were kept. Changes in EC & pH occur when the water and nutrients are not being used in the same proportions as they are present in the feed solution.
There are a number of reasons that these changes in water and fertilizer use happen. Air temperature, humidity levels, amount of air movement and change in plant size are some of them. These things change constantly and if you are recording the EC and pH data you will see the changes and be able to change your watering and feeding regime compensate before a problem occurs.
To help you out, download our Water Data Sheet (CaliforniaSubstrates-FeedData) to help you monitor your operation on a monthly basis. Print it out & mark it each day at a suitable time for you. This way, if you have any problems & have the data, we’d be more than happy for you to call us & our team will do our best to help you.