One of our customers just commented to us that she couldn’t believe how we’ve expanded from last year in our seedling offerings. The reason? Efficiency through soil blocks. We first learned about these from the demi-god of sustainable small farm agriculture in the Northeast, Eliot Coleman in his book Four Season Harvest. And as we are enter our 3rd full season of growing we're proud to say we’ve completely eliminated the use of those cheap disposable cell pots most nurseries use to grow their seeds.
With some wet/moist organic potting soil, a tub and some sturdy trays you can churn and burn these babies out in minutes once you get the hang of it. This is a 1.5” soil block maker that makes 5 blocks at a time. It makes a little indent on the top so you can just pop your seed in there afterwards.
We use this for lettuces, leafy vegetables like kale, chard, mustard greens and really most small to medium sized seeds.
For things that need more heat like peppers, tomatoes and eggplant, or for those really tiny almost microscopic seeds, we start off with the Mini Soil Blocker that makes cute 3/4” blocks.
After they grow they fit into the 2” soil block perfectly - all without root disturbance. It’s literally like a lock and key.
Most people worry that these will fall apart but they get held together by the growing roots of the tiny seedling. Just mist, put under lights or by a sunny window and watch the magic happen. If you have a small garden and want to do this, we suggest purchasing the 2” soil block maker. It’s a great investment. Then if you decide to get more ambitious it makes sense to get the 3/4” companion soil blocker.
Here’s the other half of Hook Mountain Growers perfecting the technique:
Push the soil blocker into the wet/moist soil.
Pack it in and remove any excess soil to help create a mold.
Push down on the blocker to release these nice soil brownies. Voila! They are ready to be seeded!