Friday, December 01, 2023

, CT, 06118

Grange News
Soil Blocking and Last Night's Garden Talk

By Dan Gallagher

  MARCH 18, 2022 --

Good Morning Gardeners,

I need to apologize, I had a hard time doing the hands on at The Hall while forgetting about all the people online, so eventually I more or less just gave up. I realize now my intentions were good because I wanted gardeners to feel the moisture level it takes to make soil blocks with this hands on exercise and go home with some seeds sown. I also learned it is extremely difficult with Zoom to share virtually everything that is so obvious in person. I won't do that again, hands on workshops will have to be in person only to avoid what felt like to me near chaos.

For those who took home sown soil blocks, some advice I learned this morning from watching a few videos on soil blocking which I am going to share with all of you. Soil blocks dry out much quicker than conventional cell/small container sown seeds, because they are more open to the air, so may need to be watered daily from the bottom slowly. Try to water into spaces between the blocks and just enough to keep the moisture while not having that much if any standing water. If the soil blocks dry out too much it may abort germination and The Plant Police come to your house and you have a lot of explaining to do because of FORGET ABOUT IT which is basically Universal Gardeners For The Ethical Treatment Of Plants and Other Alternative Life Forms Organization.

The first link, I was trying to troubleshoot Frank's Soil Block Maker:

Soil Blocking Troubleshooting And Problem Solving

Soil Block Making, Pro and Cons. I should have shown everyone my supermarket 10 oz. mushroom container way I start seeds and for the life of me I don't know why I didn't, I talked about it and had the containers on hand.

Soil Blocking: Pros and Cons to Using Soil Blocks in Indoor Seed Starting - The Beginner's Garden

Video from Johnny's Seeds, Using Frank's model Seed Block Maker. Along with other informational links on the left side of the web page.


A video from Fiskars Soil Block Maker that we used last night.

Fiskars - How to Use a Soil Block Maker

Please if you wouldn't mind keeping me informed on successes, failures and it was okay moments, I would appreciate it. As this is just an experiment to see if this is an easier more environmentally sound method for eliminating the need for some plastics. April 1st, I will do a tray of the larger blocks with tomato seeds and see how it works. I will still sow most of my seeds my usually way in seed cells, 128s and 200s which I pot up to 3 1/2" square pots after the 1st set of true leaves. Never abandon what works for you until you are absolutely sure. I also sow cucumber and squash seeds in empty toilet paper rolls  which I fill with the same mix I used last night but with far less moisture, probably should have shown that also.  

Enjoy the day,

-- Dan

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