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When it comes to hydroponics, the soil needs to be tested on a periodic basis. Otherwise, your crops may suffer because the pH level of the crops will dwindle and the crops are unable to retain the same level of moisture. The plants will need to absorb the necessary nutrients as well. Fortunately, you won’t have to take this soil to a lab to learn more.

We’ve got some handy DIY soil tests that are designed to make your life easier.

Image by 家志 刘 from Pixabay

1. Squeeze Play

If you want your indoor plants to reach peak productivity, the ideal soil mix consists of equal parts mature compost, vermiculite or perlite, and peat moss. Place a few scoops of the mix inside of a bucket and test it out by simply moistening the scoops and squeezing them gently. If the scoops turn into soft balls, your pH balance is perfect. If the balls are mucky? Use some coir or peat moss to loosen them up a bit. When the soil is too clumpy, this creates an inviting environment for fungal diseases and plants may also drown in these conditions. A ball that falls apart once your fingers have been opened needs more compost.

2. Kitchen PH

Medicinal and food crops thrive in certain conditions. The soil needs to be slightly acidic, with a pH level that falls somewhere between 6.5 and 6.8. Follow the directions on your packaging carefully when you are creating your nutrient solutions. A home pH test works wonders. Grab two clean glass jars, place a spoonful of soil mix inside, and add a half cup of vinegar to the jars.

Does it fizz? If so, the soil’s pH level is too high. Take some distilled water and add it to the soil in the other jar. Once it is muddy, add a half cup of baking soda. If there’s no fizzing, the pH level is neutral.

3. Seed Trial

Place some fast-growing seeds in the soil. If the seeds sprout as expected, the soil is fine. It’s one of the simplest ways to make sure that your soil is fully up to par. Take two different sets of seeds and place them in various soil mixes. This is the sort of homework that you need to do if you want to receive the best results when it comes time to harvest your plants.

Take a moment to share these tips with all of your fellow green thumbs and check out the video below!

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