Soil Blocking

Last spring, I transformed our dining room into a seed-starting project. We scooted between folding tables and chairs to get to the table to eat, and I had all my seed-starting supplies stacked here-and-there on half of the dining room table. Not the best scenario! I made a note to improve the process for 2021.

And then I discovered Lisa Mason Ziegler, of Instagram fame (I am just one of the 28,000 folks who watch her posts about her flower farm in Virginia).

She was talking about soil blocking and I was curious. So, I opened her website at gardenersworkshopfarm.com and read all I could about it. I learned that soil blocking would cost me a little bit to get started (tools), but promised to be easy, save time, take up less space than my cell trays, and make the transplanting process into the garden gentle on my baby plants.

I ordered the 1” and 2” soil blockers from gardenersworkshopfarm.com, and just a few months later, I saw Lynsey from Muddy Acres Flower Farm post a video on Instagram of her soil blocking project. It looked so easy-peasy! I couldn’t wait to get started on my own.

In April all we can do is dream and scheme about gardening where I live in Michigan. On April Fools Day this year it snowed! But it didn’t last long and last week I pulled out my new soil blocker tools, opened the bag of soil I had saved for this project, and got to work planting tomatoes and snapdragons.

I cleared a space on the kitchen counter and put soil in a 9×12 baking dish (it seemed the right depth and size). I added water until I could squeeze a handful of soil and get some water to drip out. It only took a few tries with the soil blocking tool to learn what was too dry, what was too wet, and what was just right.

I stamped the soil blocks onto a plastic tray and then opened my first pack of seeds!

Each soil block had an indention in the top, so I dropped a seed (or two) into each. And just like that I had started my Black Krim tomatoes.

I had my operation set up on the counter for less than an hour, and then put everything away, including my starts on just one-half of one folding table in the sunny spot of the dining room. The dining room table is actually clear this year!

I can’t wait to show you how they grow and transplant into my garden beds!

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