Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sharing a great idea -- homemade soil blocks

One of the joys of blogging isn't only in the writing, but in the reading. I've learned loads (and found much inspiration) simply by reading other people's blogs. Annie's Kitchen Garden blog is no exception.

In today's post Granny shared a tutorial on homemade soil blocks, which I, in turn, wanted to share with you.

It's such a simple idea, and yet one that I would never have come up with myself. My brain just isn't wired that way.

In Eliot Coleman's book "The New Organic Gardener", he devotes an entire chapter to soil blocks, which are pretty much what the name implies -- a block of lightly compressed potting mix with a small preformed indentation for the seed.

There are several advantages to soil blocks. The blocks are both the container and the growing medium, so you don't need to bother with pots and plastic. You can adjust the block size for any seed, and even transplant blocks into one another when it comes time to pot up you seedlings. When transplanted to the field, the seedling becomes quickly established.

The downside is the upfront price. Johnny's Selected Seeds sells them starting at US$25. A Canadian company ( sells their mini blocker for $25 and a medium four or five blocker for $30. I get that it's one-time investment, but it can add up.

I've been reusing a motley assortment of pots and flats for my seed starting, but I might try Granny's so-smart, low cost idea for making blockers out of medicine bottles, drawer pulls and assorted hardware. Thanks, Granny!

What do you use for seed starting?


Mama Pea said...

I'm still chugging along with the usual small pots, peat pots, and seed starter trays. I use them over and over (some say you should never do that) and it seems to work for me.

Erin said...

I love Granny's ideas, she rocks! :)

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