I have been soil blocking since the beginning of my flower farming career in 1998. When I discovered soil blocking in Eliot Coleman’s book The New Organic Grower it solved a couple of challenges for me.
I didn’t, and still don’t have a greenhouse. My urban farm’s city location doesn’t offer much hope of ever having one, so this method offered some great options I could build on. First, I saw how I could use trays without drainage holes which was totally liberating from all other methods. Secondly, it could be incredible space savvy.
Soil blocking is not only a viable seed-starting method for farmers, but is a perfect fit for the home gardener. The blocks are easily managed in a small space in a home because it can be self-contained. In the footprint of a tabletop grow light, 12” x 24” you can support 160 seedlings until they go outdoors.
All of the following information is based on my experiences for my seed starting setup situation. I have tweaked the steps to make it possible for me to use an indoor room, 10’x10’, to start and support over 15,000 soil blocked seedlings at a time…………
Lisa Mason Ziegler is a commercial cut-flower farmer in Newport News, Virginia; she lectures and writes about organic and sustainable gardening. You can email Lisa at email@example.com , call her at 757-877-7159 or visit her website www.shoptgw.com .
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