Soil amendments – It starts with healthy, fertile, & well-draining soil

Perlite, Vermiculite, compost, and some other soil amendments
Perlite, Vermiculite, peat moss, compost, and garden soil.

If you are a regular reader of NordicLavender, you know we stress the importance of quality soil at all times.

We all want bountiful harvests, but to get there, it is vital to understand that it all starts with healthy, well-draining, and fertile soil.

And this is true from starting seeds to harvest – soil matters and makes all the difference.

Soil amendments & tools we cover:

  1. Clay Pebbles for Plants
  2. Dual Chamber Compost Tumbler
  3. Perlite for Gardening (Horticultural Perlite)
  4. Soil Moisture Meter
  5. Soil pH Meter
  6. Vermiculite for Gardening (Horticultural Vermiculite)

And the good news is that soil is a living natural resource that can be amended and improved.

Your soil is not bad. Your soil is simply waiting for you to amend and improve it. And when you do, all the billions of bacteria, fungi, and other microbes will spring to life to create a growing environment that will sustain your plants, vegetables, and herbs and bring you those bountiful harvests you want.

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The products we present below are listed alphabetically.

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Clay Pebbles for Plants

Clay pebbles are great for Ebb and Flow hydroponic grow beds but can also help improve drainage in hard or clay-rich soils.

Compacted soil leads to poor results, and adding clay pebbles help improve drainage and make the soil more porous. And as clay peddles are larger than most other soil amendments, you can see a significant improvement fast.

Improve drainage & soil structure

Why I like it:

  • Pre-washed
  • 100% Natural
  • Improves aeration

Things to consider::

  • 40 liters may not be enough
Check price on Amazon How to improve soil

Clay Pebbles (40-liter bag)

Ideal for improving drainage, soil structure, and soil aeration.

Choose from 10, 25, or 40-liter bags.

Also suitable for decoration, aquaponics, and hydroponics.

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Dual Chamber Compost Tumbler

Composting is amazing and does not have to be complicated. With composting, you make good use of organic waste and refuse and produce organic compost ideal for gardening.

If you have not started composting or do not want to face the idea of building your own cold or hot compost, a compost tumbler could be the answer you are looking for.

And a dual chamber tumbler allows you to continuously add materials as one side of the tumbler is your hot or active chamber, and the other becomes your “filler” compartment.

Great for beginners

Why I like it:

  • Easy to assemble
  • Easy to turn
  • Fits smaller spaces

Things to consider::

  • It is cheaper to build your compost
Check price on Amazon How to improve soil

Dual Chamber Compost Tumbler

Easy to use and fast-working compost tumbler by Miracle-Gro.

Two compartments – add materials to one side while the other compartment cures.

37 Gallons / 70 liters capacity.

Built-in aeration system for faster compositing.

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Perlite for Gardening (Horticultural Perlite)

I am an avid user of Perlite. I use it for seed starting, pot-ups, and in my pots, containers, grow bags, and raised garden beds.

Perlite is an ideal soil supplement to improve drainage and soil aeration. And both these factors are key for healthy root development and thriving plants.

Ensure you purchase horticultural Perlite, as there as other variations available. And be mindful of the dust when you work with Perlite. Work outdoors wearing gloves and be careful not to inhale the dust. One tip is always to moisten the Perlite added to the pot before manually mixing it to avoid dust clouds.

Improves soil aeration and drainage

Why I like it:

  • Improves oil aeration and drainage
  • Adds no nutritional value (inert)

Things to consider::

  • Dusty to work with; do not inhale dust
Check price on Amazon About perlite

Perlite for Gardening

Ideal for seed starting, hydroponics, and generally to improve soil mixes.

I always add perlite to my potting soil when transplanting plants to larger pots.

Just a handful in a 10-liter pot does make a difference.

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Soil Moisture Meter

Healthy plants need proper soil moisture levels, and you need to master watering your plants correctly. There are several methods to know when to water your plants, including “watering by weight” and using a finger to gauge soil moisture.

But there is an inexpensive alternative – using a soil moisture meter.

I use my soil moisture meter as I have a lot of plants, and it helps me get a quick reading of the status of different spots in my garden, greenhouses as well as indoors because not all plants and pots dry out simultaneously.

My moisture meter has a scale from “Dry” via “Moist” all the way to “Wet.” And over time, I have learned what each reading means for my plants.

Necessary? No, but an affordable luxury that can make a big difference.

Helps read and control soil moisture

Why I like it:

  • Easy to use
  • Inexpensive luxury
  • No batteries are needed
  • Includes E-book with tips and instructions

Things to consider::

  • Excellent tool, but not necessary
Check price on Amazon Guide to watering plants

Soil Moisture Meter

Takes the guesswork out of watering. Measure and learn when your plants need more water.

10-grade scales from Dry to Wet.

No batteries are needed; delivered with a downloadable E-book with tips and instructions.

Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.

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Soil pH Meter

Sometimes we need to know that the soil pH level is not entirely off. It could be a dying plant, and it makes no sense whatsoever. You could be mixing your own soil and want to ensure you are good. Regardless, a soil pH meter can give you an indicative reading and peace of mind.

This model shows soil pH level but also soil temperature and even works for liquids. And this is great for all fellow hydroponic gardeners.

For a 100% accurate reading, you should send a soil sample to be professionally tested, but that is not always practical. My soil pH meter gives me a reading, and after a few uses, I am comfortable interpreting the readings.

My best tip, when you get your soil pH meter delivered, measure the pH level on a bag of purchased soil where you know the pH level. Call it a home gardener DIY calibration.

Measure soil pH levels and temperature

Why I like it:

  • Works for soil and liquid tests
  • Connects to app for storage of readings
  • Shows soil temperature

Things to consider::

  • Excellent tool, but not necessary
Check price on Amazon DIY soil pH test

Digital Soil pH Meter

This digital soil pH meter measures soil pH levels and temperature and takes liquid readings.

Great alternative for gardeners interested in hydroponics.

Suitable for indoor and outdoor use.

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Vermiculite for Gardening (Horticultural Vermiculite)

Where Perlite helps with drainage, Vermiculite helps retain soil moisture. And both are porous and help improve soil aeration.

Vermiculite is suitable for seed starting, hydroponics, soil mixes, or added to any pot to help retain soil moisture.

Much like with Perlite, be aware of the dust. Always work outdoors wearing gloves and moisten the vermiculite before mixing it into the soil.

Improves moisture retention & soil aeration

Why I like it:

  • Improves soil aeration and moisture retention
  • Ideal for cuttings and seed germination
  • pH neutral and inert

Things to consider::

  • Dusty to work with, work outdoors wearing gloves
Check price on Amazon More about vermicuilite

Vermiculite for Plants

Vermiculite is the ideal soil amendment to promote soil aeration and moisture retention.

Ideal for seed starting, cuttings, and as a soil amendment for healthier plants.

Be aware of dust when working with Vermicilourte, and always work outdoors wearing gloves and moisten before mixing into the soil.

Two different sizes: 1 qt (ca 1 liter) or 2 qt (ca 2 liters)

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