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~

Monday, March 11, 2013

Starting Seeds in Soil Blocks: Blocking Up



 A couple weeks ago I did a post on Starting Seeds in Soil Blocks
This is the next step, called "Blocking Up". 

The purpose of "blocking up" is to give the roots more room to grow and to provide nutrients to the seedling. 

Blonde Du Cazard - Lettuce seedling in 3/4" soil block.
The seedlings, started on 3/1/13,  have formed their true leaves and have grown a healthy root system. They are now ready to go into the next size block which is 1-1/2".
Notice the root coming out of the soil block in the photos.



To make the 1-1/2" blocks you will use the next larger size block maker which works the same as the smaller one I used last time.


The process is also the same, you mix your compost with water to get a cement like consistency and then push the block maker into the mix to fill the cavities. Once filled you push down on the handle to dispense the blocks into your trays. The block maker has plastic cubes inside that create a 3/4" indent in each soil block for the smaller blocked seedlings to fit into.


This 1-1/2" soil block maker will make 4 blocks at a time so the work goes fairly quickly.


Once your larger blocks are made you simply pop the seedlings into the new blocks, it's that easy!




The seedlings will continue to grow, forming a nice root system that will stay contained in the block. When the roots reach the edge of the block they stop, waiting to continue growing when the plants are planted into the garden. The air space between the blocks prevents the roots from growing into each other.

Most of my seedlings will stay in the 1-1/2" blocks until they are ready to be planted into the garden. 



Lat year's lettuce before planting in the garden.
Soil blocks are easy to handle, eliminate the need to purchase seed starting trays or peat pots each year, and create stronger and healthier plants because they won't become root bound as they do in pots. There is also less root shock when transplanting because the entire block is planted into the garden.

There are so many benefits to using soil blocks and they are also a lot of fun to make!

~Rob~

3 comments:

  1. How neat! I really love how this works. Is it bad that the soil in your photos reminded me of brownies? Haha!

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    Replies
    1. It's funny you said that, as I was mixing up the block mix today I thought to myself that it felt like I was mixing up brownie or cake batter! :)

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  2. Just today I've been combing catalogs trying to decide which blocker to purchase. It's nice to see photos of them used. Thanks!

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