What is a TDS Meter? TDS Meter Definition
A TDS meter measures the amount of “total dissolved solids” in a liquid. While you could measure any kind of solution, most people use TDS meters for water. This meter works by testing the conductivity of the solution. If the liquid is more conductive, there are more solids mixed in.
TDS meters can be simple devices that just tell you how many solids are dissolved in a reading of parts per million (PPM). However, advanced models can also tell you other helpful information like salinity and the presence of chemicals like chlorine.
How to Use a TDS Meter
When it comes to cannabis cultivation, a TDS meter is only necessary for hydroponics operations. If you’re growing plants in soil (either indoors or outside), you don’t need this device.
The best way to use a TDS meter is to stick it in the water in which the plants are growing. If the readings are too high, you’re overfeeding your plants and need to dilute the solution so they don’t get nutrient burn. If the reading is too low, the plants will be starved for nutrients, so they won’t grow as efficiently or as large.
When to Use a TDS Meter
Realistically, you should use a TDS meter daily to see what your plants are absorbing at any given time. If adding more nutrients to the mix, wait a few hours for them to cycle through the system before measuring the output. Otherwise, your readings may not be very accurate.
If you’re growing on a large scale, it may not be feasible to use a meter on each crop. Instead, look for signs of malnourishment or nutrient burn and inspect those readings first. Then, if you have time, you can look at other crops that seem to be doing okay.
Can You Grow Cannabis Hydroponically Without a TDS Meter?
Yes, you can, but we don’t advise it. These meters offer a quick and reliable way to tell if your water mixture is helping or hurting your plants. If you want consistent crops, investing in one of these meters makes a lot of sense.
Related Glossary Terms for TDS Meter
Continue learning with these related glossary terms:
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