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Garden Talk: Soil Blocks

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New Paris, OH

January 18, 2001
10:00 PM

Post #636

Anyone using soil block makers? I have been using them for several years and like the results, though they can be tricky to use.
Westbrook, ME
(Zone 5a)

January 18, 2001
11:05 PM

Post #47951

I've used them ~ with mixed results. I find they dry out so fast it's easy to loose something if your not paying close attention. I've had the best results using them for seeds that I only start a couple of weeks early. I prefer the newspaper pots for seeds that need to be grown for longer.
New Paris, OH

January 26, 2001
9:07 PM

Post #49130

They do dry out if you don't water twice daily and water well. I use a 1 gallon sprayer to water the flats (we usually have around 30 or 40 flats going). Another way to ensure good moisture is to "float" the trays of blocks in shallow pans of water, basically watering at the root zone. Lining the flats with plastic helps stop evaporation.
We have not lost anything in years due to underwatering.

I don't like the newspaper pots as they are hard to transplant from. You have to rip them open partially before putting in the ground and when there are 1500 seedlings to go out you don't want to take the extra 15 seconds it takes to get the paper pots ready. Soil blocks go right in the ground with no transplant shock. Also as a certified organic gardener newspapers use inks that are forbidden in organics so I would have to spend a lot of time sorting papers to make sure I got none with colored inks

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