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Nutrient EC, PPM, and pH Explained

Nutrients Explained

Mark Wittman. of California Substrates, explains nutrient EC, PPM, and pH in a very understandable way.   Sure, you know what Nitrogen, Potassium, and Phosphorus are, but do you know what EC, PPM,and pH are?  Making sure your plants have exactly what they need, when they need it, is the key to growing beautiful buds.

You should already be used to pH’ing your feeding solution, as this is an essential part of healthy plants.  If you don’t own an EC meter, or PPM pen

Watch this short video for a quick crash course on nutrient basics for a good base of knowledge. 

Quick Definitions


EC stands for electrical conductivity, which measures the potential for a material to conduct electricity. Even though most growers are familiar with measuring the amount of feeding that they have to give in ounces per gallon, grams per liter, or any other measuring units used, EC goes a little further than this.


"PPM" stands for "parts per million," and it is used as a measurement of the strength of nutrient solution in a hydroponic reservoir,or watering solution, indicating how many milligrams of nutrients are present in each 1 liter of water.


pH(potential of Hydrogen)is a scale used to specify how acidic or basic(alkaline) a water-based solution is. Acidic solutions have a lower pH, while basic solutions have a higher pH. At room temperature (25°C or 77°F), pure water is neither acidic nor basic and has a pH of 7.