As a grower, there are countless ways to improve the overall potential of your crops. While endless debates surround the best means to do so, the bottom line is that every great harvest needs optimum nutrition and most favorable conditions to grow fruitfully. Brix, which is also referred to as Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) is vital to measure as it indicates how well your plants are performing. With soil and foliar feeding, optimal balances of the most key nutrients can be achieved simply with the fundamentals inherent in the concept of high-Brix crops. From flowers to vegetables to fruits, paying close attention to Brix levels is imperative to a number of important qualities of great crops.
From a definitional standpoint, Brix levels indicate the percentage of solids in the juice of a plant, predominately made up of minerals and sugar. The higher the Brix levels the better. The following are some of the most essential benefits of high Brix levels:
- Better Nutrition: when Brix levels are high it means that the plant’s mineral content is optimal. As such, there is likely an increase in the vitamin content as well. For the growers looking to make claims about the nutritional value of their crops, pay close attention to and measure your Brix levels.
- Healthier Plants: plants most likely will not contain high Brix levels if they are being grown in poor soil. Therefore, high Brix levels indicate that the soil the crops are being grown in is healthy and has sufficient amounts of water and nutrients. In addition, this makes the plants less likely to suffer from attacks of disease or insects.
- Great Flavor: high Brix levels in fruits and vegetables are a direct indicator that the crops will be rich in flavor. Paying attention to Brix levels is the key to building a reputation around delicious, flavorful harvests.
- Shelf Life Increase: tests and studies have shown that when the Brix levels of crops are high, the shelf life can double or triple. An increase in shelf life is critical for growers as the plants will be kept from rotting and wilting, making produce that much more marketable.