Planting in Potting Soil (Planting mixture): The importance of electrical conductivity to plant development
Each plant has its own special nutrient requirements, which are expressed in the rate of consumption and in the relationship between the nutrients in the roots. By controlling the electrical conductivity, it is possible to improve the precision in the application of fertilizers, to adjust the correct amount of water for irrigation and to control the rate and the nature of growth
Electrical Conductivity (EC) is a measure to measure the total amount of soluble salts in the roots, including nutrients needed for normal development, but also harmful substances that may harm the development of the plant. Some nutrients are found in irrigation water and some are added by us with the help of fertilization
By controlling the electrical conductivity, it is possible to monitor the fertilizer injection ratio, decide on the water to irrigate, and control the rate and the nature of the growth. Sodium and chloride are harmful ingredients that are dissolved in the roots and, in most cases, reach the irrigation water. Care should be taken to ensure that the irrigation interface prevents the increase in concentration. Field instruments for measuring electrical conductivity are simple and inexpensive, and can be purchased at any warehouse or agricultural store.
Electrical conductivity and plant nutrition:
Each plant species has its own special nutrient requirements, which are expressed in the general concentration of nutrients and in the concentrations of their roots in the root. The right balance between nutrients can be controlled and depends on the nature of the tumor – if it tends to create foliage, or alternatively tends to produce flowers or fruits. The optimal electrical conductivity varies according to the nature and rate of growth.
Given a strong growth, and when growth conditions – temperature, humidity and light – are good and encouraging we want to support them and increase the concentration of nutrients in the roots. When growing conditions are difficult or when they do not encourage growth, we will want to ease and reduce the concentration of nutrients.
Each commercial fertilizer has a conductivity index specified as part of the product data. Using the conductivity index, we can measure and monitor the concentration of nutrients we add during irrigation. For example, the conductivity index of fertilizer type 5.3.8 is 0.48. This means that by injecting a liter of fertilizer of this type, the electrical conductivity of the irrigation water will be increased by 0.48 units. Thus, we can follow and verify that the planned concentration of injection actually takes place.
When electrical conductivity is low:
For the most part, the meaning of low-voltage electrical conductivity is the lack of nutrients at the root. Then, the growth rate slows down and the plant appearance changes – its color becomes faded, sometimes oval, speckled, or yellowish. There is a delay in the development of the roots, the size of the leaves and flowers, or the relationship between them. In fact, it is sometimes found that the deficiency is a single nutrient that acts as a limiting factor in plant development.
Moderate regulation of nutrient level allows control of plant appearance. For example, a slight shortage of nitrogen, while increasing potassium concentration, can help to create a compact plant that tends to bloom early. The use of soil testing / breeding platform can help control the concentration of nutrients and the relationship between them.
When the electrical conductivity is high:
The significance of high electrical conductivity is high concentration of salts in the roots. When the concentration of salts is higher than necessary, it is difficult to absorb water and the rate of growth is slowed down immediately. The ends of the roots are dead and sensitive to the lesions. High electrical conductivity may be due to saline irrigation, saline growth medium, excess fertilization, non-uniform irrigation system or due to incomplete irrigation. When the roots are not uniformly mixed, it is found that the electrical conductivity in the dry areas can reach very high values that prevent the development of roots.
Electrical conductivity and water economy:
When the roots are dry, the electrical conductivity rises. In a growth platform in which an electrical conductivity of 2.0 was measured after irrigation, it would reach double or more values when dehydrated before the next water count. In the correct irrigation interface, we will restore the missing water volume and add another, to push the excess salts out of the root. Thus, we return the electrical conductivity to its desired level. In the missing interface it was found that the electrical conductivity measured in the substrate after irrigation increases with time.
For those who irrigate from different sources variable value of electrical conductivity. For comparison – the electrical conductivity of low desalinated water, around 0.3 units, while the conductivity of well water varies with place and over time and can reach values above 1.5 units. When irrigation water has high electrical conductivity, it is also found to rise steeply in the growth medium. The frequency of irrigation and the size of the water can partially offset the increase in electrical conductivity at the roots. Given water with high electrical conductivity, we will increase the irrigation frequency and increase the amount of water to push excess salts.
As the radiation intensifies and the temperature rises, the water evaporation rate increases. As they move up, the water also leads some of the nutrients from the roots to the upper parts of the plant. In conditions where temperatures are high and evaporation increases above normal we would like to reduce the electrical conductivity at the roots by 10% -20%.
Measuring actual electrical conductivity:
All that is required for measurement is the use of an EC meter that can be purchased in any agricultural warehouse. When comparing the electrical conductivity of the tap water (the source water) with the conductivity of the irrigation water after the fertilization point, we obtain information on the concentration of the fertilizer in practice, with reference to the conductivity index listed on the product label. In monitoring the electrical conductivity of the root canal solution we can assess whether the irrigation and fertilization interface is correct and suitable for environmental conditions.