“Know your water source, and then test it. What kind of filters do you actually need? Do you need reverse osmosis, or could you just be doing basic filtration? Or is the iron concentration in your well too high?”

If the iron concentration in well water is too high, for example, it can cause nutrient lockout in the plants, where they cannot absorb nutrients.

“I like testing my media … to see what pH I’m at, what salinity I’m at,” Easley says. “Do I need to flush and use more water? Testing for a basic water profile is going to tell you your calcium, your magnesium, your irons, your lead.”

Growers should test their water on a regular basis—once per quarter, for example—and use the readings to adjust factors accordingly, such as the pH and nutrients.