Several weeks ago I thought I had sudden problems in several crops. Beginning in the eggplant I noticed damage on the leaves which progressed into necrotic (dead) spots that were dry and papery. It was very aggressive. A day or two later I noticed similar symptoms in the tomatoes and cucumbers.
At first I thought it might be some sort of virus (there are a few that look somewhat similar). But when we measured the growing media, it had a very high EC. This lead to a series of discoveries.
- The EC meter on my injection machine is out of calibration and not showing an accurate picture of how high the EC actually was coming through.
- The EC meter problem was hiding the fact that the injectors were out of calibration and it appears that we may have mechanical problems in a few of them. I am waiting for parts now so that we can fix them.
- My leaching program was fertilizing like a normal fertigation program. It is not that difficult to accidentally change the program to copy another but it is something that I should certainly have noticed.
This lead to a ‘perfect storm’ moment and an EC in the soilless media of almost 4 miliSiemens/cm. This was killing my plants and entirely my own doing. I realized that I’ve become lazy at measuring what is happening in my crop and I have to change this.
Since I have to record the information for my own sake in any case, I intend to show what is happening in my greenhouse to other hydroponic growers and hopefully others can learn from my successes and failures.
I will begin to record EC/pH and other general information on my crops – not everything every day, but hopefully enough to show a clearer picture of the crop for myself and for you.