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What you need:
  • Soil block maker
  • Coco-fiber
  • Compost or worm castings
  • Sand
  • Gelatin
  • Large plastic tub
  • Soil sieve
  • Seedling tray
  • Capillary matting
  • Spray bottle
Planting seeds directly in soil blocks is an easy, inexpensive way to start seedlings. The most important factor is the mix. Commercial seedling mixes work just fine, as do home mixes. Try this recipe as a starting point, then develop your own ideal mix.
  • 2- parts coco-fiber
  • 2 parts worm castings or screened compost
  • 1 part sand
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Soak the coco-fiber in warm water for about 10 minutes. Mix in a packet of unflavored gelatin dissolved in water for every six quarts of substrate. This will help it to stick together.
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Run compost and sand through a soil sieve to remove any large particles. Large pieces of bark or rock affect the cohesion of the mix, resulting in cubes that break apart easily. Once the screening is completed, mix the compost and sand with the coco-fiber.
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Load the soil in the block maker by pressing it down a few times. For extra firmness, pack the soil in with your hand after you have filled the blocks.
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To avoid moving the blocks after they are made, place the block maker directly in the germination tray. Capillary matting is recommended for watering the blocks as watering from above often causes the blocks to break apart. Otherwise, water by misting the blocks with a fine spray of water. Press down on the plunger and lift up on the block maker to release the cube.
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Dip the soil block maker in water between sessions. This helps the blocks release from the block maker.
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After you finish making your blocks, wash any excess mix off the block maker and let it drip dry.