I’ve made a lot of purchases over the years that I thought would improve my life, but they didn’t. Silly kitchen gadgets, ridiculous beauty products, and outdoor gear that is languishing in a dusty storage tote. It’s rare to find a product that promises AND delivers, then becomes an heirloom worth passing down to the next gen.
I bought two soil blockers this month, and already they have earned a top ten spot in my life (and in my heart–not even kidding). Anything that makes gardening easier, more productive, more economical and more effective is the kind of thing gardeners dream of.
A soil blocker is a little hand tool that you pack a soil blend into, then pop it out into perfect little squares–kind of like an ice cube tray, but the soil blocker has an ejector. Then you take the block of soil and plant your individual seeds (or multisow modules, thank you Charles Dowding) into the little squares of densely packed soil.
The soil blocker has dimples in each block which indent the top of the soil block, to make for easier planting. Por ejemplo, my 2×2 inch soil blocker has interchangeable dimples to accomodate large seeds, small seeds and a 3/4″ square so I can transplant my little soil blocks into bigger soil blocks.
You can’t just use garden dirt to make soil blocks–you have to use something that will hold more water and not get too hard. You have to make a special blend for your soil blocker. There are lots of soil blocker soil recipes, but I like to keep it simple: scoop of peat moss + a scoop of potting soil. Add enough water so that when you squeeze it into a lump in your fist, it sticks together. Oh, and as you’re mixing, pull out any big chunks of sticks or bark. (At the time of writing, peat moss is $11 for a bag so big that I can barely carry it).
I hand pack my soil blocker cells. I push the soil mix in pretty tight so that the soil block sticks together as the seedling grows. Then I squeeze the handle and out pop perfect squares of soil, ready to be seeded.
There are so many benefits to creating your own soil blocks. No plastic containers (yay!), no transplant shock when planting your seedlings in the garden, better use of space, easy, relaxing to create soil blocks, and it’s very beautiful. Leave room in the tray where you put the soil blocks so that you can water from the bottom. (They’ll disintegrate if you water from the top.)
In conclusion, a soil blocker is a really nice garden tool and I think evvvvveryone should have one. The End.