What are Soil Blocks?
Soil blocks are small self-contained blocks of lightly compressed soil. Seeds are sown directly into a hole made in the block. As the seedling grows, its roots reinforce the block and undergo air-pruning. When it comes to planting out, it’s as simple as popping the block in the ground. No splitting, no teasing out roots ...no fuss!
Soil Blocks have several advantages.
1. Seedlings grown in soil blocks undergo minimal root disturbance during transplanting, allowing seedlings to establish quickly following transplanting.
2. Each Soil Block Seedling is ready to plant as it is. No need to divide seedlings and tease apart roots, saving you time.
3. Reduced plastic waste!
Soil blocking in a nutshell!
How to make Soil Blocks at home
We’ve put together a guide for the home gardener to get the most out of soil blocks.
If you only need a few seedlings you can form soil blocks using only your hands. A second low-cost option is to use salvaged materials and make your own soil blocking tool. The third option is to find a Ladbrooke Soil Blocker.
Soil Block Mix Recipes
The key to starting healthy and strong seedlings in soil blocks is the soil block mix. The mix provides the space for healthy root growth and nutrients for the growing seedling.
You probably already have all the ingredients you need!
Compost, compost and more compost!
Soil Block mixes are mostly made up of compost, with a little sand, or coir fiber, to reduce compaction and assist drainage. Worm castings are also a great beneficial additive.
You will need to experiment a little to find out what mix works for you.
There are many recipes out there.
Here is one recipe from Milkwood and one from Ladbrooke.
A reliable Soil Block Mix Recipe:
Like any recipe, you can experiment and optimise it to suit the ingredients available to you.
Preparing the Mix
1. Mix together the dry ingredients.
2. In a container with a flat bottom (e.g. old baking tray or large tub), add 1 part water to 2 parts dry mix and mix well.
3. To check that your mix is of a good consistency simply squeeze a handful.
Making the blocks
1. Push the Soil Blocker down into the mix until you see some water coming up the top of the tool (charge several times if necessary)
2. Twist the tool slightly (to remove any suction) and lift.
3. Scrape off excess mix on the bottom of the blocker.
4. Eject the soil blocks into your desired tray.
Seeding & care
Ladbrooke Soil Blockers
Ladbrooke Soil Blocking Tools
To learn more visit the Soil Blocking Tool page.
Visit the online shop for details.
KABUU Soil Blocking Workshop