Click to enlarge photos
Many thanks to our Cousin Ted who so kindly gave us two soil blockers recently. What a great gift!..thanks Ted. I had seen them for sale in Johnny's catalog and also saw great soil blocking results at last year's Saltscapes where Bancroft Farm was selling their "Garden in a Box".
Being very keen to try them out, I watched the online videos and gave it a go. Within minutes I had all these lovely square nests with a dimple at the top for seeds to settle in and germinate. When that happens and the roots are growing vigorously, the small blocks will be transplanted into the larger soil blocks (which have a special depression to receive them). The benefit of growing from blocks....no plastic pots to deal with! Also, instead of circling a plant pot, roots are supposed to grow to the edge of the block, concentrating their root mass in the center, so says Johnny's (and other sources online). When transplanted, "there is no root shock and the seedlings establish quickly to their new environment". Ummmm..
There are a few recipes for a soil mix, but I used what I had...a lovely crumbly compost from a local farm where horses are bedded in peat. I did add greensand to this, and a 'dash" of lime...mixing it all to a wet state and voila...baby blocks. So it has been fun so far except, I didn't much care for the long horse tail hairs in the mix)))).. Oh Well!!
I note today, some of the seeds have germinated.....little cakes on a tray.