[permaculture] Seed Starting Supplies & Soil blocks

Paul Cereghino paul.cereghino at comcast.net
Wed Jul 18 01:01:59 EDT 2007

I've used and enjoyed soil blocks.. I have used sifted compost rather 
than peat with some success and less bog rape.  Another good way to go 
is to raise your seedlings in floodable trays or consider a misting 
setup to keep them consistently wet... if they dry out too much they 
float and the evaporate on all sides.. once they start to dry down... 
once over with the watering wand doesn't saturate the block leading to 
the potential for half wet blocks.. bottom up irrigation works great.
Paul Cereghino

Lawrence F. London, Jr. wrote:

>Date: 	Sun, 15 Jul 2007 16:35:37 EDT
>From: 	Heirloomketchup at aol.com
>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
>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.
>Alternatives are:
>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.
>  www.    gro-morent.com/wandseeder.htm
>*GRO-MOR **INC. 413-743-2064*
>Adams, MA 01220 Email: gromor at verizon  DOT net
>Motorized Blockers:
>US Global Resources, Seattle, 298-722-3998 www.  usgr. com
>Manual Blockers
>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.________
>Fedcoseeds.com ,
>  Johnnysseeds.com
>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 don't bother.
>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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