Author: Sorting Last Post on Top ↓ Message:
JSPEED4's Photo JSPEED4 Posts: 1,674
3/20/11 7:19 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
I've been saving those toilet-paper inner tubes for years--the puppy likes to chew them up, and some are in the compost pile. I have a couple of seed trays/flats, but they are not deep. I like the idea of using the tubes for beans and such. I just started some corn in a flat. I might move those seeds to tubes--have to dig out an old oven, 1/4-sheet to put them on.

J. Speed Eastern Standard Time, UTC/GMT -5
www.thebushwhacker.com/the-old-new-n
uclear-fuel-thorium


 Pounds lost: 0.0 
 
0
6.25
12.5
18.75
25
UR2LOVEIT Posts: 1,387
3/11/11 12:47 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
I've already started saving them and paper towel rolls too.

Re the soil blockers: i don't know - it seems like it wouldn't have enough air and space for the roots I agree - I hope to get to the nearby nursery that has them this week or next to understand better!

Gardening is a kind of disease. It infects you, you cannot escape it. When you go visiting, your eyes rove about the garden; you interrupt the serious cocktail drinking because of an irresistible impulse to get up and pull a weed.
~ Lewis Gannit


 current weight: 153.0 
 
194
183.75
173.5
163.25
153
ANTHEAMS's Photo ANTHEAMS Posts: 581
3/10/11 3:22 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
they work really well and of course you can plant the whole thing just making sure the top is beneath the soil as it could wick away moisture. So you get the soil level right it just means you tear off about half an inch.

 Pounds lost: 10.0 
 
0
20
40
60
80
UR2LOVEIT Posts: 1,387
3/9/11 7:32 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
I like the idea of using the toilet paper roll as a seed holder!

Gardening is a kind of disease. It infects you, you cannot escape it. When you go visiting, your eyes rove about the garden; you interrupt the serious cocktail drinking because of an irresistible impulse to get up and pull a weed.
~ Lewis Gannit


 current weight: 153.0 
 
194
183.75
173.5
163.25
153
ANTHEAMS's Photo ANTHEAMS Posts: 581
3/9/11 6:54 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
I had never heard of soil blocks before and this is fascinating. However don't the seedlings need air as well as water and soil? I always thought the reason one had grit and sand in seeding mixtures was to let in the air. I'd love to know the answer to this.

In connection wiht the cost I use half tubes from lavatory paper rolls or cut the tubes in paper towels into the right size. The loo rolls can be used full size for beans and anythng where you want a nice long root system.

 Pounds lost: 10.0 
 
0
20
40
60
80
UR2LOVEIT Posts: 1,387
2/11/11 1:54 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Garden Girl -
I just received the Johnny's catalog. I've looked at the soil blockers before - but now with all that good reviews here - I think I'll actually get them this year.

- Christine

Gardening is a kind of disease. It infects you, you cannot escape it. When you go visiting, your eyes rove about the garden; you interrupt the serious cocktail drinking because of an irresistible impulse to get up and pull a weed.
~ Lewis Gannit


 current weight: 153.0 
 
194
183.75
173.5
163.25
153
GARDENGIRL322's Photo GARDENGIRL322 SparkPoints: (2,195)
Fitness Minutes: (4,590)
Posts: 5
2/9/11 10:47 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
I have the soil block makers from Johnny's Seed Co and they are really good. It takes a little practice to get a technique down so they come out right, and you have to have the right amount of moisture in your mix.

I like the idea of seeding into the tiny little blocks to save room on my germination heat mat, but this year I am probably going to seed right into the medium sized blocks.

Elliott Coleman ("The Four Season Harvest" - great book) uses the blocks and talks a lot about them.

 Pounds lost: 20.2 
 
0
19
38
57
76
JSPEED4's Photo JSPEED4 Posts: 1,674
2/2/11 2:35 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
I love your quote, UR2LoveIt.
Thanks, all, for working on the soil blocks method. I really have been interested in this for decades, but never trusted it.

J. Speed Eastern Standard Time, UTC/GMT -5
www.thebushwhacker.com/the-old-new-n
uclear-fuel-thorium


 Pounds lost: 0.0 
 
0
6.25
12.5
18.75
25
UR2LOVEIT Posts: 1,387
1/14/11 6:02 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
HockeyFan Thanks that is a fabulous idea. I've been contemplating selling seedlings in my area this spring and getting the things together that I'll need. If I soil block, that would reduce the cost of the getting started. I got to give that a try right away.

Gardening is a kind of disease. It infects you, you cannot escape it. When you go visiting, your eyes rove about the garden; you interrupt the serious cocktail drinking because of an irresistible impulse to get up and pull a weed.
~ Lewis Gannit


 current weight: 153.0 
 
194
183.75
173.5
163.25
153
MOSIERMEISTER's Photo MOSIERMEISTER Posts: 3,515
3/12/10 11:58 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Thanks, I'll check it out.

 Pounds lost: 52.0 
 
0
32.5
65
97.5
130
HOCKEYFAN_019's Photo HOCKEYFAN_019 Posts: 441
3/10/10 9:26 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Hi guys,

I've posted a bit more about the soil blocking and seed starting on my flickr page. Check it out if you'd like, at:
www.flickr.com/photos/47613137@N04/s
et
s/72157623435266347/


Good luck! Tom

 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
10.25
20.5
30.75
41
MOSIERMEISTER's Photo MOSIERMEISTER Posts: 3,515
2/18/10 9:57 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Awesome. Sounds like you are getting it perfected.

 Pounds lost: 52.0 
 
0
32.5
65
97.5
130
HOCKEYFAN_019's Photo HOCKEYFAN_019 Posts: 441
2/18/10 9:33 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Experiment #1 last night was moderately successful, but not perfect.

First, I built a mold out of a 2x4 and some 2" PVC pipe, and tried to mold a few blocks. I decided on the round shape because it will allow blocks that are stacked near each other to have some air space around them even if they're placed close together in a seed tray (so the roots don't intergrow), and because PVC is cheap, readily available, strong, and smoooth for making a nice mold.

Another key point is that I didn't want to use a fancy soil recipe like many have advocated, because I want it really cheap and easy. I suspect that the Incas and other that used the method for thousands of years didn't fuss with such details... I just used a mix of about 25" seed starting mix, and 75% top soil right out of the bag. There were some bits of bark in there and such, but not bad.

The first test was to just ram the mixed soil down into the mold with a little 3# sledge I have, til it won't compress any more. Worked pretty good, and the blocks were pretty firm, but they tended to develop horizontal "stratus-type" cracks. Plus, it was a little hard to get the blocks out of the mold after packing, I needed to make a little stand to do it. Overall, I was able to pack 4" or soild down to a height of about 2" or a little under.

The second test was to use wet soil like most instructions say. But, wet soil doesn't compact as easily at all, so a 4" stack of wet soin will only pack down to about 3", and the hammer doesn't work at all. So, I just pushed down on the handle with me shoulder weight, then pushed the block out the bottom. Much easier to remove, but the blocks were a bit softer, and seems like they may not hold up as well.

After making them, I put about 4 of each onto a plate upstairs (where it's warm and dry) so they can dry out. We'll see which are more durable in a few days.

 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
10.25
20.5
30.75
41
MOSIERMEISTER's Photo MOSIERMEISTER Posts: 3,515
2/17/10 10:22 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Thanks for sharing this. It sounds interesting as well as time saving and efficient. Let us know if you get it perfected and what materials you are using.

 Pounds lost: 52.0 
 
0
32.5
65
97.5
130
HOCKEYFAN_019's Photo HOCKEYFAN_019 Posts: 441
2/17/10 8:35 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Have any of you guys tried this? Basically, it involves packign soil into a mold, and then you don't need to use the plastic seed trays. The advantages are no plastic trays or peat pots to mess with (or buy), you can just plant the whole soil block without disturbing the roots, the roots that touch air naturally prune themselves so they don't get pot bound, and all your watering can be done from a capillary mat with bucket of water, so no real labor involved. Sounds great to me, and I tried to build a blocker last night, but I broke my mold... I'll be trying another method tonight, and I'll post some pics in the team photos if it works out.

 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
10.25
20.5
30.75
41
Page: 1 of (1)  

Report Innappropriate Post

Other Gardening In A Protected Area-Home/Greenhouse Growing Flowers & Vegies Posts

Topics: Last Post:
Seeds 8/26/2014 10:53:03 PM
Fall planting 8/9/2014 1:58:16 PM
Organic gardening in Florida 5/7/2014 5:59:24 PM

Thread URL: http://www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/team_messageboard_thread.asp?board=8824x28020x32022737

Review our Community Guidelines