[Market-farming] RE contents off Market Farming digest July 15, 2007
Heirloomketchup at aol.com
Heirloomketchup at aol.com
Sun Jul 15 16:35:37 EDT 2007
Seed Starting Supplies
Soil blocks, Vacuum Seeders
from steve mcgowan, heirloomketchup at aol Dot com
Oil based plastic plant trays & pots are not recycled.
Avoid cheap flimsy plastic trays, pots, Speedling trays, 6-packs which
are all manufactured from Oil based plastics and which ends up in Landfills
because its too hard for recyclers to clean economically.
Wash off all the dirt before recycling.
Secondly, many of the same do not even have the Recycling designation
stamped on them; they go direct to landfills.
1)Soil blocks, used in Europe (Netherlands) for years in commercial veg pdn
2)Cow Pots (made from moulded manure)
3) Biodegradable pots made from wood, corn and starch byproducts.
Google for them
Vacuum seeder: manual and electric wand seeder, will customize.
GRO-MOR INC. 413-743-2064
Adams, MA 01220 Email: gromor at verizon DOT net
US Global Resources, Seattle, 298-722-3998 www. usgr. com
Ladbrooke Soil Blockers 5 sizes - Specifications ( www .ladbrooke.co.uk )
Mini 20 (3/4 in blocks)for sprouting & putting in larger 2 or 4" blocks. It
works sell but they don't transer into larger blocks very well.
Mini 4, 2' (4 blocks) hand held $31.00
Mini 5, 1 1/2" (5 blocks " ) $31.00
Multi 20, Multi 12: 1 1/2" (20) or 2" (12) Floor blocker $189 ( a 3" 6
block was made- hard to find)
Maxi 1 , 4" single block hand blocker $105
In USA, Available from: www.________
groworganic.com (Peaceful Valley Garden Supply, Grass Valley, CA)
What are, How to;
Soil blocks are made from peat moss, sand, compost & nutrients
(microrhizzae, greensand, lime, bloodmeal, feathermeal, alfalfa and cottenseed meal,etc).
I use the 1 1/2 inch (20 blocks) floor blocker. In 4 days w 2 helpers
started and hand seeded (wet toothpick method-1 per block, ) 10,000 blocks and
built a 3 tiered shelf system in my 15 ft x 32 ft greenhouse. I only lost 600
because I missed watering once.
I found the plants ( all heirloom tomatoes) take off like a rocket once
they sprout- in 5 weeks I had 14 inch tomato plants (10,000 in my greenhouse
15 x 32 ft) and I don't have to do anything but water. No potting on, I just
The dry stuff is blended, then watered in a plastic mixing tub for concrete
(or on a driveway, piece of plywood.)
One plunges the soil blocker into the wet mix, fills it, scrapes off excess
and squeezes (plunger) the blocks out.
I put them in a ( free ) 17 by 17inch nursery flat lined with plastic
window screen(16 x16") that I get at the local nursery. Some of the flimsier ones
require two flats. They last for some years, 3 so far.
Mix recipes: google for more
The mix I make is from a recipe in Eliott Colemans book: The New Organic
Grower, 2nd ed.isbn 0-9300031-75-X, Chelsea Green Pub. $24.95
It has directions, recipes, contact addresses, research data links and
general market farming "propaganda'- great info. The claim of hand making 3000
blocks an hour is baloney unless you are completely streamlined.
Transplants in Soil Blocks by David Tresemer, 1986, pub by Hand & Foot. ltd,
a division of Green River Toos, Brattleboro, VT Photo copies are sold by
groworganic.com-Peaceful Valley Farm Supply $10.00
Before I transplant soil blocked plants, I soak them with / in a solution
of beneficial nematodes, moremicrorhizzae and fish & algae fertilizer mixed in
water or compost tea. You are adding aditional organic matter to the soil
that helps improve it in a sustainable manner.
Two inch blocks of lettuce set on 12 inch grid = 5 tons compost /
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