Wednesday, March 5, 2014

soil blocks

today i made a bunch of two inch soil blocks so i could give some baby greens and lettuces a bit more room to root and leaf out  before they get planted out in the garden.  the seedlings i shifted were from seeds sown into 3/4" soil blocks last month.  i like planting in soil blocks---the plants develop really nice root systems from being air pruned.  the blocks also make it really easy to transplant and i don't have to deal with a bunch of plastic cell trays or containers that just end up as trash.  the blocks do tend to be a bit on the heavy side since i put actual soil in the mix (along with compost or rotted horse manure and sometimes some organic potting soil).  regular plastic propagation trays don't take that kind of weight very well and will twist and crack when they get moved around.  a couple of years ago i built a bunch of wooden propagation flats with wire mesh bottoms (shown below) so i wouldn't have to keep buying the plastic ones.  they've held up very nicely using them with the soil blocks and i've found they work well for drying fruit and herbs too.

2"soil blocker and flat partially filled with 2" soil blocks

my 2" soil blocker (shown above) is fitted with plugs inside that make 3/4" impressions in the tops of the blocks.

inside of 2" soil blocker showing 3/4" plugs

here's a short video of how it works...

i shifted close to two-hundred seedlings this afternoon.

made a couple of friends while i was at it.

a pill bug i rescued from being encapsulated in a soil block

sneaky cut-worm snoozing between soil blocks

it was a great afternoon.