Soil Blocking: Stepping Up to a Larger Block
I praised soil blocking for seed starting in last week’s post. I am very pleased in the growing results and in its efficiency with materials and space. I have made over 3000 blocks in the last few weeks with a fraction of the soil mix and space that would be necessary with other methods.
My current seed starting station (shown below) is in a corner of my office. Since the garden fairy failed to leave me a greenhouse, this is the space where magic happens. Each one of the large trays below has space for 300 mini-blocks, so what you see is enough space for more than 3000 small blocked plants. There are also 144 larger blocked plants on the shelves. That’s a lot of plants in a very small space! See why I am loving soil blocking as a seed starting method?
I started some lupine seeds in the small blocks. That was a mistake. These plants really need more space than what the small blocks allow so they needed to be stepped up into a larger soil block. In order to step these plants up into a larger block without great disturbance to the roots, I needed a large soil blocker and some inserts.
The large soil blockers come with an insert that makes an indention for a seed. But to make a large soil block for stepping up, another type of insert is needed. These small cube inserts are typically sold separately and are attached to the blocker with the screws provided. Simply pop out the seed indention inserts and screw on the cube inserts.
Below you can see the screws on the top of the blocker, and then the cube inserts inside the blocker.
Follow the same method described in this post to make your soil blocks. Once the soil blocks are released from the blocker, you will be able to see the hole left on the top. This is the same sized cube that the small blocker makes. Guess what you do next…
Carefully move the small soil blocks with the seedlings started in them, and gently place them inside the hole in the large block.
The seedlings now have plenty of space to grow until they are planted outside. I used some baking sheets that I found at the dollar store to place these large blocks on. I can put water in the bottom of the tray so water is wicked up by the blocks.
Have you started your seeds yet? What method are you using?