Monday, March 2, 2009

Soil Block Making

What are soil blocks? I first learned about soil blocks after watching The Real Dirt on Farmer John movie. He uses them and then I saw that Eliott Coleman recommends them. A block of soil is made and with the right mix will hold together during root growth. Once the roots grow into it, it will be more solid. It eliminates the need for flats, peat pots, paper pots and any other pot which can get root bound. In the soil block, roots will air prune and not go beyond outside. It is a messy operation, but for those who like to tinker with things in their workshop, I made a 2" and 3/4" blocker to try out. If I am successful this year with it, I may invest in the square soil blockers sold on-line. The cheap plastic flats are really easy though so I am not sure what I will eventually settle with.

Shown here is a 2" soil block maker that I made. I started out with a 2" V8 can and then I tried the PVC pipe. You can check out my Making a Soil Blocker instructable on how to make this.

Spring is almost here. Time to get start planting seeds, especially tomatoes and peppers. This is the first year I am attempting to start from seeds. Why go through the trouble when you can buy little plants so cheap at garden centers? Well, I thought about it and you can't always find varieties that you may want. You get generic hybrid plants that are crowded into little rootbound flats. I will be posting my experiences with this this spring and summer to see the results. I have been doing lots of experiments with shop lights, heat mats, flats, soil blocks, and other things. Another reason I want to do this is that it is important to know how to grow food.

No comments: