Young roots are very sensitive to an unbalanced nutrition content, an excessive EC level and harmful elements like chlorine and sodium. To avoid these factors, choosing the right coir substrate is crucial. The widely available unwashed materials offer a rather risky alternative compared to washed and buffered coir. Indeed, it is possible to wash and buffer growbags before planting. But since this period is definitely the busiest one in the lifecycle of the crop, it makes washing before planting too risky for most growers. If we take the money invested for a new crop into consideration, it underlines the importance of a quality substrate and the highest possible reduction of any risk.
Measuring the correct EC of a substrate is therefore an important issue for growers all around the world. But the EC is the source of a lot of confusion, because cocopeat suppliers use different methods to measure this value. For this reason it is crucial to know the exact measuring method used by your supplier, before drawing conclusions based on the EC figure. Dutch Plantin always measures the EC in a 1 to 1.5 dilution (1 part substrate, 1.5 parts water). As with all our products and production facilities, this is in accordance with RHP standards. So the next time you get a quotation with EC, please ask about the dilution at which the EC was measured. This will help you to compare apples with apples.