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Soil Blocking

April 7th, 2015

Now that I have more rugged seed trays I started making soil blocks to see how they compare to the other seed starting trays/methods I’ve tried. I’m always excited to try new things, sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. I’ve tried soil block a few years in the past without much success. This year I finally go the hang of it. I’ve never had my potting soil wet enough.
soilbocks 1
soilbocks 2
The next batch of seed I start I will also seed a plastic tray at the same time with the same variety so I can monitor them throughout the season. Soil block are supposed to produce seedlings that don’t get as much of a shock when transplanted because of the air pruning of the roots. The only way to know for sure is to try both methods at once. I’ll keep you posted on my findings.

Are you doing any fun gardening experiments this year?

3 Comments to “Soil Blocking”
  1. Deb on April 7, 2015 at 10:56 am

    What do the plants do after they get all the nutrients from that tiny block of soil? Just wondering. I sue 3-4″ pots as they are easiest and no transplanting till garden time. My plants generally would outgrow that tiny block of soil in a couple weeks and sometimes it’s 5-6 wks. till you can put them into the garden. I, myself, couldn’t afford the equipment to make the soil blocks and my pots are free and I reuse till the break up. Let us know how your experiment works out. I plant so many seeds that I have no time for those extra things like soil blocking. But I’ve always used the plastic pots in my 12 yrs. of starting seeds. TP and newspaper pots always mold no matter what I do. And egg cartons are so tiny you’d have to transplant after 1 wk. of growth. Do you have all your things started yet? Saturday past I started some early stuff but no stove in my trashpile window and door green house so haven’t been able to start till now. Last frost is 5-17 here.

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  2. Michelle Matus on April 8, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    What a great Idea. I have never seen this before. I would love to try this in my garden. How do you form the block? What’s the best practice?

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  3. Dave on April 9, 2015 at 11:25 am

    We’ve been using 2 inch soil blocks for about three years and love them. Most plants are started in blocks and if they need a transplant I put them into larger pots until we can get them into the ground. This is way ahead of the roots getting bound.

    If anyone is interested in how they work I have a video up at that shows how easy it is to make them. BTW you live in our second favorite place in the country. Our first favorite is our home!

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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