Adventures in Soil Blocking

ducks4you

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I Think you have to have the correct mix for the soil blockers to stay together,
My peppers were started in cells in a soil less mix. I have kept the tray underneath full of water, and NONE dried out, but some of the tops of the cells were dry.
Had I used soil less mix in a soil blocker, they would have fallen apart.
What is Your recipe?
 

Branching Out

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I am one of those people who likes to experiment, and as a result I haven't developed a recipe yet. I have used varying ratios of ProMix HP, compost, and peat moss for the large blocks. And for the mini blocks I have primarily used sifted ProMix potting soil, and very recently just plain sifted peat moss. The Ladbrooke website has several recipes that are worth trying as well. I also add dry organic fertilizer, kelp meal, and rock phosphate as well.

Perhaps more important is to ensure there are no large chunks of debris. Then mix in the dry soil amendments, and start adding water. By weight you will need most twice as much water as dry mix. If you let the mixture sit and hydrate for a few hours before making the blocks it is easier to work with.
 

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Considering what we have learned about Hugelculture, I would recommend that you save the sifted pieces of bark and twigs and use them at the bottom of big pots where we Used to put pottery shards.
Good idea! I often dump them under a rhododendron, Japanese maple, blueberry bush. Nothing goes to waste. :)
 

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Due to you, I bought a SS soil blocker. It worked great once I read the instructions. I didn't use it for everything, but I saw its value as the blocks stayed together for over two months!!
That is so cool Rhodie Ranch-- and glad that you got it to work for you. When you get the mix right and the blocks come out crisp and sharp it is a thing of beauty.
 

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I just added a post on the Grow Greens Indoors Under Lights thread, and wanted to copy a portion of it here as it concerns the volume of compressed soil used to create different sized soil blocks:

When I did the math and calculated the volume of compressed soil that goes in to creating each soil block the results were not at all what I was expecting:

1/2" block= .125 cubic inches
1 1/2" block= 3.38 cubic inches
2" block= 8 cubic inches

How is it possible that the 2" block can use more that twice the amount of soil as a 1 1/2" block?? The 1 1/2" and 2" blocks don't appear to be that different in size-- yet the difference in their volume is rather shocking. By starting seeds in a tiny block with a bump to the large 2" block, my input is 8.125 cubic inches of compressed soil per plant, versus starting them directly in the 1 1/2" block and then just planting them straight outdoors will only consume 3.38 cubic inches of soil. This represents a huge time savings (no bumping up required) and a big cost savings too (using less than half as much soil as the 2"blocker). So if you are considering purchasing a soil blocker for the first time the 1 1/2" size could pay for itself quickly, by saving you a lot of money in potting soil or seed starting mix.
 

Cosmo spring garden

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I love my soil blocker!it saves space and plastic!
I use promix which comes in a cubed,compressed plastic bag. It will last you years if you only make blocks for a home garden. It is bit pricey (about $45 inUS) but it has very little sticks. It is mostly peat and some perlite but I love it. I buy mine from a local feed store but I have heard you can buy from ace hardware.
They also have recipes on YouTube that you can make your own. But I'm lazy 😂
 
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