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Growing Cannabis and Using Meters

Growing Cannabis and Using Meters

Growing Cannabis and Using Meters

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Howdy everyone. The outdoor season is coming to a close, and winter is coming. When growing cannabis and using meters, there are several things you should know if you don’t already. In today’s article I’m going to lay some meter knowledge on you, including liquid pH meters, TDS meters, and soil moisture meters. As always, my articles revolve around growing cannabis in living soil all naturally. However, even if you are a hydroponics grower you are going to want to use a couple of meters, so you will still perhaps find some of this article helpful. Let’s roll…

Growing Cannabis and Using Meters: TDS Meters

Using a TDS (totally dissolved solids) meter is an essential growing tool if you ask me, no matter what growing style you use. These meters measure PPM (parts per million) value of liquids. They aren’t super spendy or anything. In fact, they are actually quite reasonably priced (under $20.00), especially considering how very important they are.

TDS Meters are an Essential Part of Growing Top Shelf Cannabis in Containers
TDS Meters are an Essential Part of Growing Top Shelf Cannabis in Containers

You want one that reads the PPM on a digital screen. They will commonly read from 0 PPM to 999 PPM. These meters don’t need calibration, they come calibrated—yay! These meters are simple as hell to use and maintain and they last for many years working great. I have had mine already for about 3 years. These are really helpful testing potential water sources with. Here’s what you need to know.

  • Be gentle with them. Dropping them or banging them on things will wreck them fast—guess how I know?
  • They are powered by button batteries. Even with daily use these batteries last a couple of years.
  • Keep a small cup of distilled water handy to rinse these meters off after every session with them.

That’s it! Because a wonky meter can be the downfall of an entire grow, I like to have two of these meters on hand. Every once in a while, I like to make sure they are on target by using both on the same liquid to see if they read the same (or super close to the same) value. Below is a link to the TDS meter(s) I currently use. I have never had these meters go wonky at all. A must have!

Link to my favorite TDS meter: Liquid TDS Meter

Growing Cannabis and Using Meters: Liquid pH Meters

First of all, if you are using my True Living Organic growing style, you very likely don’t need one of these. However, they can come in very handy for some cannabis growing related things. Things like testing potential water sources, for example. Also, the pH of some random groundwater you are thinking of using can be very relevant. In hydroponics growing it’s really an essential tool for monitoring the pH graduation over the course of a week or two after adding new solution.

I have had mine for a couple of years now (see link below) and it has always worked fine. It runs on AAA batteries and costs about $50.00. I have literally only used mine four or five times for my own gardens over that two-year stretch. I use it most often when troubleshooting other peeps gardens.

It’s super easy to calibrate before use. That’s a real convenience there. If your pH meter goes wonky things can die very fast and ugly, so it’s nice to know it’s accurate every time I use it. Just get yourself some 4.0 and 7.0 pH testing liquid, along with storage solution. You can just put a little storage solution in the cap and put it away. Mine has always been almost perfectly calibrated every time I calibrate it.

Link to my favorite liquid pH meter: Liquid pH Meter

Growing Cannabis and Using Meters: Soil pH Meters

I actually very rarely use this meter. In fact, I haven’t used it for at least a couple of years. It works pretty well. The only thing I used to use it for was when I would be cooking (fast composting) and testing TLO soils. However, if you are a grower that uses liquid bottled nutrients, you may want to actually check your container soil from time to time if problems arise.

Just wipe it down with a Scotch-Brite abrasive pad lightly after every use. No batteries needed. They don’t work so great in outdoor soil and I would not recommend them for that at all. They are also a bit spendy at about $60.00; but like I said, I find these almost useless for all-natural style TLO growing. So, don’t even worry about it if you don’t have a specific need for one.

Link to my favorite soil pH meter: Soil pH Meter

Growing Cannabis and Using Meters: Soil Moisture Meters

I get some emails from time-to-time mocking soil moisture meters. In my experience this is unfounded. Most moisture meters I have used work just fine, like 90% of them. The “trick” to using these is basically abiding by the directions. The only rules are these…

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  • Make sure the tip of the meter is placed at a depth that is halfway between top and bottom of the container soil.
  • Place the probe at a place about halfway between the stem and the outer edge of the container, just a bit closer to the stem.
  • Allow the meter to sit there for at least 2 minutes before reading for every container.
  • Wipe the meter off with a cloth or paper towel after each use briefly. About once a month I gently use a Scotch-Brite scrubbing pad on the probes as well.
Moisture Meters are a Lifesaver for Us Old Growers from Time to Time
Moisture Meters are a Lifesaver for Us Old Growers from Time to Time

No batteries needed for these and they are very reasonably priced. I’m an old guy—ugh—so reaching into my tents to gently lift containers to check for weight can be problematic. To get the hang of using your meter, use it on a plant in the way I describe above, when you know that plant needs water. After 2 minutes look at the reading. This is the reading value you use as your time to water gauge.

If You Need to Use a Moisture Meter on Many Smaller Plants They Make Smaller Meters
If You Need to Use a Moisture Meter on Many Smaller Plants They Make Smaller Meters

Link to my favorite soil moisture meter: Soil Moisture Meter

A Couple More Things

A bit off the subject of growing cannabis and using meters, I want to tell you about a killer sale right now over at Kingdom Organic Seeds. The End of Summer Double Whammy Sale: You get 15% off everything! Also, for every $75.00 you spend you get 5 free Iron Cindy seeds! Pretty sweet aye?

My latest book, True Living Organics the Druid’s Guide, all about growing in living soil, will be out in a couple of months now. Woohoo! Learn how to leverage the living soil and about recycling your soil—awesome!

I Do Believe It’s Hash Time Now Baybee
I Do Believe It’s Hash Time Now Baybee

Looking for another article by yours truly? Check this one out: Cloning Questions. Well, I’m outty for now my esteemed homeskillets. See ya back here next time at SKUNK for some more cannabis growing/learning stuffs. L8r G8rs.

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