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ok so I grow DWC 5gal buckets. I haven't been really sticking to a strain either. I have been growing all different types. Now I generally keep ppm's low in veg. it might get it as high as 350 right before I start to flower. In flower I never really go much higher than 550ppm as I have burned my plants before and it seems like a long time to recover from burn. They always seem to grow just fine at these levels though I'm curious as if I'm shorting myself on yield by not going higher on PPM? I hear people getting there ppm over 1000. I guess I don't totally understand the advantage of getting your ppm's high with the risk of burn vs keeping them lower and not worrying about burn.
PPM and EC revolve around the plants themselves and the amount of light they have to use. They are also effected by the medium, and system used to grow them. Examples in flood and drain, and drip systems my ppm/ec varies from 900 to 1750 depending on which strain I'm running, where in coco coir I range 350 to 750 depending on strains.
It really boils down to what the plant wants and needs, and believe me like people they are all a little different in some ways.
So to answer your question if your plants are wanting more then yes your losing out a bit, but if they're getting what they need then you're golden.
Well the key is to growing the same strain out so that you can experiment with your PPM, and then know exactly how much it can take. Some strains can take more than others. It's best to push them as much as possible without burning them.
But if your wanting to keep switching strains then keep it low. As long as your not seeing deficiency then keep doing as your doing. Cause you're right, it can take them awhile to recover from a burn.
-------------------- Dude she isn't as young as she use to be.
If you're not seeing signs of deficiency then you're likely not shorting yourself much. Having high TDS will increase your yield, but only if everything else is increased (light, airflow, temps etc) respectively so that the additional nutrients can be utilized.