Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)

Last updated: July 16, 2021

What Does Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Mean?

In hydroponics and general gardening, total dissolved solids (TDS) refer to the measure of salts, anions, cations, metals, and minerals that are found in water. Total dissolved solids are measured in parts per million (ppm). It is essential to monitor the pH and total dissolved solids levels in the water to ensure the well-being and growth of hydroponic plants.


Maximum Yield Explains Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)

Measuring the TDS levels in a hydroponic gardening tank can help gardeners know when it’s time for them to add additional nutrients to their plants.

To measure the TDS levels, gardeners normally use waterproof hand meters that are readily available in gardening stores. These meters use electrical conductivity (EC) to measure the total dissolved solids that are present in the water.

Elevated TDS levels can be harmful because too much magnesium and calcium can leech other nutrients out of the plants. Gardeners can use water softeners to solve this issue. Plants that normally required more total dissolved solids include broccoli, cabbage, mint, tomatoes, spinach, and strawberries.


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