With the right amount of soil (special recipe) and water, Justin is able to make a whole sheet of soil blocks pretty quickly. The device shapes the soil into cubed blocks which also adds a hole for the seeds. After many flats are made, Justin adds the seeds and then puts the flats on a rack in the sunlight. Once the plants are big enough, they’re transplanted into our raised garden beds.
In Europe, free-standing blocks of soil, rather than peat pots or seed flats, are almost universally used for starting vegetable and flower seeds. No containers are needed. To make the soil blocks, just fill a soil blocker with thoroughly moistened potting mix, set the blocker in a seed flat and release. With one stroke you’ll create multiple soil blocks, each with a small depression in the top, for the seed. When the seedlings are ready, you can plant them in the ground or bring them along further by dropping the soil blocks into openings in the tops of larger soil blocks, as described below. It is important to keep the soil blocks well watered with a fine mist
Making Blocks – The Easy Way
Blocking compost is readily available from any garden center or you can make your own mixture (as long as you ensure it is free of weed seeds / disease). It is best to wet your mix some hours before you make the blocks. You will find that the penetration of water into the planting medium is much better if you do.
1. Wet the mix thoroughly into a slurry-like consistency
2. Press the soil blocker into the compost 2 or 3 times to fill the block chambers
3. Scrape the blocker across the side of your mixing tub to remove any excess compost from the bottom of the blocks
4. Depress the plunger to eject the blocks
Each block has a small indentation for accepting the seed. The seed will sprout on the surface of the moist block. No water is needed for the first 3 days but after that use a fine spray from a hose or a hand pumped mister. After a few days, also add a small amount of nutritional support.
– Soil Block Instructions Courtesy Ladbrooke UK
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