Welcome to Bepa's Garden!
This blog is about organic gardening, healthy eating and healthy living.
Each month I will be posting Garden To-Do Lists, Tips & Techniques, Garden Project Plans, Photos from the Garden, Recipes and Book Reviews.
I hope you enjoy reading and I hope I can inspire others to start a backyard garden!
Happy Gardening!
~Rob~

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Seedlings in soil blocks

Butterhead lettuce in 2" soil block started 2/25.
Seeds saved from last years harvest.

Last spring I wrote about soil blocks and discussed the many benefits of using them as opposed to peat pots or plastic cell trays, but didn't have time until now to follow up and show the results.

These are pictures of plants that were started from seed between February 25th and March 7th in 3/4" soil blocks and then blocked up to 2" blocks on March 18th.

Notice the root growth in each photo. A benefit of using soil blocks is that plenty of oxygen is supplied to the roots which promotes growth. The roots will grow to the edge of the block and stop instead of getting root bound like they do in cell containers or peat pots.


Chadwick Cherry Tomato - started 3/7.

Dinosaur Kale - started 2/23.
 This year I used my own compost instead of purchasing a soil block mix as I did in the past. We had a very mild winter, but I was able to keep the compost from freezing by keeping it covered with a thick layer of leaves. The compost had hundreds of baby earth worms in it, a good sign that it was loaded with nutrients. I had very good germination rates using my own compost and the plants look very healthy.

Sweet Basil - started 2/23.

Mammouth Red Cabbage - started 3/7.


Famosa Cabbage - started 3/7.

Garlic experiment:



Last year before I harvested my garlic I let some of the scapes flower and develop bulbils which I then saved for planting. I have read that you can grow garlic from bulbils but it will take 2 to 3 seasons to form full heads of garlic. I planted some of the bulbils in 2" soil blocks to get good root systems before I plant them in the beds. As soon as it warms up a little more I will plant most of the bulbils in a bed where they will stay for the next 2 years - hopefully developing into full heads. I figure if I do this every year I will have an endless supply of garlic!



4 comments:

  1. I've read about soil blocks but don't start enough seeds to justify their expense. Your seedlings look fabulous! :o)

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    1. Thank you! The cost for the soil block makers has come way down. They are only about $25.00 from Johnny's Select Seeds. I actually save money by using them because I don't have to buy peat pots, seed starting mix or starting trays anymore and I get better germination and healthier seedlings.

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  2. Your plants look so healthy!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Angela, I have had really good results using soil blocks and my own compost when starting seedlings.

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