How to Start Vegetable Seedlings Using Soil Blocks

How to Start Vegetable Seedlings Using Soil Blocks


Hi, I’m Tricia, and organic gardener. It’s raining here, a perfect day for starting seeds! Today I’m going to demonstrate
a technique called soil blocking. Soil blocking is very common in Europe, and there are many benefits. For example, you don’t have to spend money on trays, and you can reduce the risk of transplant shock. To make the soil blocks, you’ll need a soil blocker, I like this one from Ladbrooke. And some good potting mix, and I use the Quickroot. The Peaceful Valley Quickroot is the perfect medium for starting with soil blocks. Wet part of the Quickroot to the consistency of stiff oatmeal, and then let it sit for about 1 – 2 hours. Don’t moisten all your medium at one time, because you may need to add more dry medium later to get the right consistency. Now that the medium has been soaking for a couple of hours, I’m going to start making the blocks. This 2″ blocker works great for most starts. Charge the blocker by pressing it into the soil 2 – 3 times. Don’t worry about over-compacting the soil. Then just scrape off the excess soil from the bottom. Set the blocker in your flat, and push down the plunger, gently lifting up the blocker. Notice the little indentation in the soil block, that’s where the seed is gonna go. And that’s created by the little pins in the soil blocker. There’s different sized seed pins, like this little one for seeds that are small, and then there’s a larger one for seeds that needs to be planted with more depth. When you’re ready to replace the pins in your soil blocker, it’s easy. Your soil blocker will come with pins, but if you’re going to replace the pins you’ll replace them with this new style quick-release pin, for easier installation. If you’re going to put the cubic pins in the soil blocker, you’ll need a phillips head screwdriver with a magnetic tip. For space considerations, or for quicker germination and ease of heating, some gardeners prefer to start seed in these little mini blocks. It’s really easy to pot up with these soil blocks. Once your little blocks are ready to pot up, just pop them into a bigger block! Like so. When it comes to planting your seeds, make sure you only put one seed per block. You can either pinch the soil over the seed, or for most seeds they will germinate just fine on the top of the block. You won’t need to water your soil blocks for the first 3 days or so, but then you’ll need to water often, but a little tiny bit. And I recommend using a fine mist nozzle like the Fogg-It Nozzle, or a hand sprayer. Make sure you water all sides of the block. The blocks on the edges will dry out faster. If you’d like more information about soil blocking, Then I recommend this book, “Transplants and Soil Blocks.” So get your seeds started, and Grow Organic for Life!