Testing your won soil with a microscope is fun, but there is a large learning curve. It is simple to make the samples, but identifying the animals on the slides takes a lot of practice. Here is a list of items you need for basic microscope soil analysis. These items can be used for analyzing compost, soil, teas and extracts.
Binocular microscope For more details on this micoscope, Click here
Microscope cover slips
Bowl of water for cleaning
A jar with a lid
A measuring spoon (1 tablespoon will work)
Binocular microscope - This has a magnification range from 40X to 1000X. For more details on this micoscope, Click here
Microscope Slides -These are glass microscope slides that can be bought in any scientific glass store. It can also be bought at any kid’s science department store or toy store. I use the non-indented slides. These are just straight pieces of glass. A box of 100 is just a few bucks.
Microscope cover slips – The cover slides come in two forms. They come in glass or plastic. I use the glass ones because they don’t scratch. The plastic ones can only be used once and they have to be thrown away. The glass ones are more fragile, but with some care, they last forever. It can also be bought at any kid’s science department store or toy store.
Eyedropper – A glass or plastic eyedropper will work. I used an old eyedropper from an old Rogaine bottle. I have no shame Make sure to clean out all of the chemicals before using and old eyedropper.
Bowl of water for cleaning -Any bowl. It needs to be large enough to soak the slides and cover slides after using them. I also use the water to clean out the eyedropper.
A jar with a lid – I use a canning jar with its lid. You need to have a closable container where you can gently shake the water and soil.
A measuring spoon – Any spoon will work.