19 thoughts on “Understanding Soil Blocks – Method, Recipe, & Benefits

  1. I LOVE my soil blockers! I bought the little 20 blocker and the mini 4 blocker years ago at a discount when I worked at a seed company, and wish I had invested in the big Maxi 1 while I worked there with my staff discount. I'm looking to get back into selling seedlings and growing a big garden, meaning I have to make a choice between buying a whole whack of plastic (ugh) pots from a retirement sale or invest in a Maxi 1.
    Hmmm….Anyways, I use Eliot Coleman's recipe, it has worked well for me for a few years. I can usually whip up a big batch in very little time and off I go! And by the way, you elicited a "of course! Duh…" moment for me when you suggested using cardboard as the base. I've been constructing my own little systems with wicking mats, mesh trays and solid trays, which have worked quite well. However, as I expand, I'm looking at greater investments in wicking mats, and while those mats do last for years, they are made of plastic and I'm all about considering the life cycle of the things I buy these days. And so of course….cardboard!! That saves me having to use the mesh trays, and I can dumpster dive all the cardboard in the world for free. Now my only costs this year could potentially be the investment for the Maxi 1 and some more solid no-drop trays. Thanks for that.

  2. Great idea using the cardboard. I’ve not seen the one inch blocks in use.. interesting.. I have a two inch blocker.

  3. I’ve been debating going this route, but haven’t pulled the trigger yet, maybe next spring…

  4. Interesting video. QUESTION: While I'm guessing that seed size determines which size block you make….why do you plant first in the small 1" blocks and transfer them to the larger block? Is there a difference if you just planted that seed directly into the big block? Beginner gardener and I appreciate any feedback.

  5. Can you please recommend a soil mix on amazon that I could buy to make my soil blocks? A link would be great. I did not know how to select for one. I just bought my soil block maker but need to buy the soil.

  6. Hi Scott, I have a couple of questions because I am new to soil blocks. Why don't you use lime in your recipe? Is it because the soil you add is alkaline already( Like mine)? Also, do you find that diseases such as pythium, etc. are not a problem? I was wondering about using this technique without a sterilized medium. Thanks, Kim

  7. I use free small paper cups made from a single layer of newspaper, formed around a empty tp roll. Then just plant pot and all in the ground.

  8. About the soil mix for the small blocks…Do you wet the coir block to expand it, and then dry it out again before you measure the one part of coco coir?Also, I would like to use a little of my own good garden soil and a little bit of mealworm castings that I saved from growing mealworms for my chickens.  How much of each would be appropriate?  Thanks, Scott!

  9. Sorry I have to stop halfway through to make a comment. I think it's seems like a brilliant idea. I would not go wild on the nutes or worm compost in the soil block I could do more harm then help in the early stage of the plants life. The airation of the roots and moisture control should be improved compared to a pot. I'm going to try this now but with a small pot or a seedling tray as a mold and try to press the block out without using a machine.

  10. I will make my soil block with my brownie silicone mold. Lol.. It will be easy and cheap and I believe I will have the same result, just compress the soil in the mold and then flip and get a block, and just press in the middle and become a hole.. Easy, easy…

  11. I have so much trouble keeping gnats away from my seedlings. If I want to start a quantity of seeds at a time I end up with a big gnat issue. I use fans, been oil sprays, cinnamon in my starter mix and still end up with gnats ruining a lot of my seedlings. Can you address this issue? I’d love to try the soil blocks but they seem to expose even more wet surface area of the soil and I worry that I would have even more issues with the gnats.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *