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  • Writer's picturemaizestar

Making Soil Blocks

Soil blocks are compressed blocking mix that can be used to germinate seeds and grow seedlings.

What are the benefits of using soil blocks for seed germination?

1. Ecofriendly - eliminate usage of plastic cell plug trays = less plastic waste

2. Cost effective - only need to buy the block maker once or if you are feeling crafty, you can upcycle unwanted wood blocks or PVC pipes to make the block maker yourself

3. No transplant shock - eliminate the step to extract seedlings out of a cell or container hence less stress for the seedlings

4. No root circling - seedlings tend to get root bound in seed trays if not transplanted earlier

Soil blockers made by Ladbrooke

Air pruned roots

Making a soil block using a DIY soil blocker

The first step is to prepare the blocking mix by mixing three parts of either Seedling Substrate or Seedling Substrate III with one part of water. The blocking mix is ready to be used when you hold a handful of blocking mix in your hand, squeeze it and the shape stays put (just like playdoh; see slideshow below). If the blocking mix crumbles apart as you do so, add more water. Next, use a soil blocker and press into the blocking mix three times. Then, punch out the soil blocks on to a tray or container. Use a paint brush to transfer tiny seeds onto each soil block. Check everyday to make sure the soil blocks are moist. Happy soil blocking!

3/4" soil blocks can be inserted into 2" soil blocks before transplanting outdoors

If you get the consistency of the blocking mix correct, the soil blocks will not fall apart even when soaked in water.

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