One of the best things about running this blog and podcast, is the cool creations I am shown by listeners and gardening friends. ( Click on the Photo to see a larger version of the photo)
After talking about peat pots and making pots from newspaper, my friend and listener Tony M. showed me his homemade soil block maker.
Now many of you may not think its such a big deal. After all, you can just buy one online for not too much cash. But reusing and recycling is also a big thing to me, and when Tony shared this with me I knew I would have to share it with you.
The major components of this tool are:
- PVC Pipe section the diameter you want your Blocks ( 2 or 3 inch )
- a Bolt longer than the length of the PVC and the Soil block length
- A Nut for the Bolt
- Section of wood cut with a Hole saw crating a plug ( Optional)
The wood plug is optional but does make the tool work more smoothly.
Once you have created the tool, take a plastic tub of whatever size happens to be convenient for you, and mix some of the Seed Starting Soil with some water. Don’t make it muddy, just enough to make things stick together.
I use commercial seed starting mix so I can be certain it’s sterile. Newly emerging plants are very susceptible to bacteria and diseases, so this is one area I do buy commercial mixes.
Once the medium has been mixed up, use the tool as a Cookie Cutter in the soil. Moving over to the seed tray or tub where you will be keeping your soil blocks, use the bolt in the PVC as a plunger pushing the soil out into the tub in a neat little block. notice the Bolt and nut on the end have even created a little dimple for you to plant the seeds into.
Repeat for as many blocks as you want to make.
Soil block are such a great way to start seed as there is no plastic, cardboard, or other waste as would be typical from most commercial seed pots. I have even had mixed results with peat pots in the past. I was so uneasy with them I would dampen them before planting and tear them open just before planting.
Don’t forget that without seed pots you have less expense and waste each year too.
Try some soil blocks. I think you may like the results.