Indoor Growing on a Budget Soil/ Soiless Grow Mediums (Not water or Aero)


Are you talking water or soiless mediums?

What I really want to do is come up with some low cost options for everything but the medium for now. We will save the soils or coco peat soiless mixes for last because I want to focus on pH meters lights, growing enclosures etc. I’d also like to consider recycle/ resuse.

I think I also want to have options. For example for testing pH like the $15 meter and the ph up & down and then the ph drop testing kit would be the second option and the third option would include natural pH adjusters.


Not sure if this applies: my ph meter went south & needs calibration. I live in BFE so ordered more but wont get for two days. Question: can i use aquarium ph strips until then?


Yes you can, but they aren’t as accurate.


LOL. You’re doing great. But I think you have an idea of the frustration that limited income growers face. I believe that YOU can & will come up with something. Compromises are the name of the game! I’m confident in your ability :heart:️:+1:


@SmoknGranny I am not as limited in income as others, but I still have to watch my spending. So I go cheap as I can but getting as good a quality as I can. dang…out of hearts…oh well…


But it’s an option until a proper ph meter can be replaced or bought :+1:


Cool, bought some i need today & calibration powder wont be here till sunday


This posting isn’t about a SmoknGranny Grow :grinning: my friends. The idea is to find ways for those on limited income, experience, abilities etc to at least get started growing with a reasonable expectation of a somewhat decent harvest. I have seen some amazing ideas here from using discarded refrigerators to raw potatoes. I know many of us here have had to think “outside the box” from time to time and have been successful. So please share your proven tips, successful substitutes, methods, questions, etc .
PS: I will be growing outside in the Spring 2018, not indoors other than maybe starting seeds. That will be a separate individual topic :grinning:


Yes mamn, anyway i can cut a couple corners or save on something. Been unemployed since august job wont be rebuilt till jan so save me!!!


You and others have had a rough time this past year. I’m hoping that this topic will help many :+1::heart:


So lets start with pH. IMO There are three that need to go on this list for testing.

In order of preferred

  1. The yellow pH Meter
  1. pH test Drops

pH Test drops 1 ounce

ph up & Down with test kit

  1. Test strips…

Someone give me a link to the test strips that they have used before… I haven’t so I need the link please


I’m going to try to keep a running total for best case versus alternative “will get ya by” So right now it’s at $26 to $5.50 on Amazon.
Hopefully someone has used the test strips and gives us some input :grinning:


As a free starting point many water quality reports are online for those on public utilities and should show you what’s coming out of your tap. I’m hoping to pick up a copy from my local rural water company Monday. Oh! The reports should also list any additives such as chlorine.


@bob31 I do have a question about fox farms soil…the happy frog mixed with 50% perlite…is this going to be treated like a soil less mix? If it is…you should be able to lightly amend and reuse? Correct?


That’s a great point @bob31 I forgot when I posted they’re not the same thing, and realized I was more interested in hydroponics specifically. Heck, I’ll still follow a long, I’m sure I’ll learn something.


And I just bet you’ve used a few short cuts from time to time. Please share any that you have tried with some success please :grinning:


I mix happy frog and ocean forest almost 50/50 with light warrior and treat as soil. I would imagine you would do the same. But curious to see what he thinks as well.


Hey to @VelcroThumb as a heck of a creative grower. Thought you might find this topic right up your alley :+1::slightly_smiling_face:


This would be at the end of summer but this last one walmart was getting rid of most of its nursery items. I picked up 20-8 lbs. Bags of Coir for $.99 each. Potting soil & all types of gardening supplies are available for almost nothing.


Also get a ph pen. You can get one for only about $15 & comes with calibration powders. You can buy the aquarium strips but i paid $8 for 5 strips. My pen lasted one grow & a half so much more bang for the bucks. Just waiting for more calibration powder.