Using A Soil Blocking Tool For Easy Seed Starting


If you plan to start seeds each year, you may want to invest in a soil blocking tool. These tools turn seed starting mix into handy little planting blocks. As the seedlings grow, the individual blocks lift out easily for potting in larger containers. The one I'm using here forms four 2x2" blocks.
There's full details and a demo video on my blog here: http://www.empressofdirt.net/seed-starting-how-to-use-a-soil-blocker/
Seed blocking tools are becoming popular. I use mine for all my indoor seed starting.
Seed blocking tools are becoming popular. I use mine for all my indoor seed starting.
First the seed starting mix is moistened with water.
First the seed starting mix is moistened with water.
The water is massaged into the seed starting mix until it forms firm clumps when squeezed in your hand.
The water is massaged into the seed starting mix until it forms firm clumps when squeezed in your hand.
The soil blocking tool is pressed into the seed starting mix and then the blocks are released onto a tray.
The soil blocking tool is pressed into the seed starting mix and then the blocks are released onto a tray.
The soil blocks stay nice and firm so you can move them around as needed. This is helpful if some seedlings get much taller than others under the grow lights and need to be relocated.
The soil blocks stay nice and firm so you can move them around as needed. This is helpful if some seedlings get much taller than others under the grow lights and need to be relocated.
When the seedlings are ready to be potted, the blocks lift right out of the tray. Simple!
When the seedlings are ready to be potted, the blocks lift right out of the tray. Simple!
Empress of Dirt - Melissa

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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2 of 5 comments
  • Empress of Dirt - Melissa
    on Mar 20, 2013

    Hi Edith - Good question! When the blocks are placed in a tray, there are little gaps between them. I water into these channels which works well since seedlings should always be watered from below or the sides- not on top of the soil. The blocks would only lose their shape if you really over-watered. I also find the soil blocks become even firmer with time. When it's time to transplant, you replant the entire block which is great because there's no disrupting the roots. I hope this helps.

  • Empress of Dirt - Melissa
    on Mar 20, 2013

    Hi Edith, Good question! When the soil blocks are placed in a tray, there are small gaps between them. I water into these gaps which is ideal for seedlings since they should always be watered from below or the sides -not on top of the soil. The only way the shape might be ruined would be if you really over-watered them. I also find that the blocks become even firmer over time. This is very good at transplanting time because you just replant the entire block without having to disturb the roots. I hope this helps.

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