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January 30, 2008

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I've seen soil block makers before and really like the idea of them. It's good to hear confirmation that they work well. Thirty bucks isn't bad, especially when you think of all the stupid fragile little pots you won't have to buy anymore, ever. Thanks for the report!

Are they really solid enough to stay together long enough?

I still garden on a small enough scale that it's no problem to just scoop the soil into reused containers (though I sometimes resort to the peat pellets for starting larger jobs), but I could really see a block maker coming in handy if they stay together alright.

I just pot in whatever I can find, like you did last year. My baby strawberries are in small pots ranging from reused plastic nursery pots to soda bottles cut in half. :)

Forget about gardening, I'm going to buy one of these to make soil cubes for my kids to play with. :)

Glad to see some posts come from the Garden Desk lately. Nice to have you back.

meg - I am excited about not having to use the little cel packs anymore.

elizabeth - I haven't used the soil blocks for growing plants in yet but I was surprised how solid the blocks were. I could pick them up without them crumbling. You have to have plenty of moisture in your seed-starting mix. I'm sure if the medium was too dry they would crumble. After the plant gets established, the roots will help hold the block together too.

anthony - You are right about kids liking this! My 10-year old made and crumbled soil blocks all night while I was getting this post together.

I remember reading about them a while back my self. Let us know how they work out.

Ecstatic about my Soil Blockers! Nothing, and both me and Martha Stewart agree, beats a soil blocker. Soil blockers unite and read all about the fascinating study on soil block gardening at http://www.pottingblocks.com

Anonymous

I've been using them for a couple of years, still trying for the right mix but they are great. Some people have a problem with watering but I place my blocks in a bake pan (got from wal-mart pretty cheap) on level ground or table and fill with water or water with nutrients. The blocks suck up the water great. Come planting time I just prepare the soil and stick them in. If you have a problem with cut worms you can take a 2 or 3" strip of newspaper and wrap around the block with an inch or so above the top of the block and secure with a rubber band or string.

Lisa Ziegler

If you like the 2" blocker you should try the 3/4"- it is even easier to use and very space savvy. I've been blocking for 11 years as a commercial cut flower grower- I start 10,000 of thousands of blocks. We use the 3/4" blocker for 95% of all seeds- I can fit 240 blocks on a serving tray (like a cafeteria tray) and love it. When you use the right recipe of mix the blocks are incredible durable- recipe is 16 cups sifted peat moss, 4 cups sifted compost, 1 cup greensand, 1 cup rock phosphate powder. Mix dry. Then mix 3 parts of this dry mix to 1 part water when making blocks. It needs to be wetter than you think. Checkout my website for more info and a demo- www.shoptgw.com

Sinfonian

It's great you have one of those. I went even cheaper and have a home made one out of an old pill bottle. It's a single and round, but they work very well. Even leaves space between the seedlings to bottom water.

I love mine. Maybe we'll spring for the 2 inch like you have someday soon. Tough to justify the cost right now.

Rosalind Baker

I am interested in the soil blocker. One time I saw one that made one inch blocks which you then inserted in a hole in the larger 2 inch blocks... do you know where I can get both of these. THANK YOU.

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