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A soil blocker is a unique tool that can be used to make blocks of soil. The benefits of using a soil blocker are numerous.
If you are starting a garden from seeds, a soil blocker is your best friend.
When you use a soil blocker:
- You don’t need individual pots, which is healthy for the environment and your wallet.
- The plants grow stronger and healthier.
- When the weather is right, you simply place the soil block and seedling into a hole in the ground. The roots remain undisturbed.
So how do you use a soil blocker, and what do you need?
You need good soil to make soil blocks. You can purchase this soil at your garden center, online, or you can make your own. The key is a good mixture of ingredients to keep the soil block held together, and to offer nutrients to the new seedlings.
I use Vermont Compost Fort Vee mix, by the Vermont Compost Company. In the future, I might try to make my own.
You also need a soil blocker, seedling trays to put your blocks in, and water.
I purchased my two inch soil blocker online.
Soil Blocker Seed Starting Tips and Instructions
First of all, I always make sure I have a good amount of time to dedicate to soil blocking, before I start. I put my soil in a wheelbarrow, add water, and mix until the soil is wet enough to clump, but not so wet that it is runny. It’s best to add a little water at a time. If you’ve added too much, you either need to add more soil, or let the soil dry out.
Then I insert my soil blocker into the mound of wet soil, and give it a good press and a twist. This helps to compact the soil. Next, I simply press the lever and end up with 4–2 inch blocks of soil. Each block has a divot on the top to place a seed in.
As the seedling grows, its roots help to hold the block together. I place these 2 inch blocks, with seedlings, into larger recycled plastic pots, as the plants grow. In the future, I plan to purchase a four inch soil blocker that will hold my 2 inch blocks, and growing seedlings.
Seed starting with soil blocks is exactly the same as regular old seed starting. It’s just a greener (and easier) way to start your seeds.
If you are looking for more gardening tips, check out my post Seed Starting Indoors.