A Do-It-Yourself Soil Blocker


| 4/10/2017 12:00:00 AM


Tags: starting seeds, seedlings, soil blocking, indoor gardening, Carly Kelty-Greenfield,

Cabin fever is real, and I had it BAD this winter. To combat my restlessness, I devoted my spare time to starting my vegetable seeds indoors. I had the essentials: a heating mat, lights, seeds, and a good recipe for a seed-starting soil blend. I was almost ready to start my seeds and watch them flourish into strong, healthy seedlings, but, this year, I tried something new. I abandoned the peat pots and plastic seed trays in favor of soil blocks. In addition to leaving a smaller ecological footprint, planting seeds in soil blocks reduces shock to the roots when the seedlings are transplanted to the garden.

I shopped around online and found a reasonably priced 2-inch soil blocker, but when my seedlings started outgrowing their 2-inch blocks, I needed to upsize. I found several great options online for 4-inch blockers but found myself sticker-shocked. My only option was to build one myself (read: build one with the help of my husband). Here’s how we did it and how we would improve our next DIY soil blocker:

Supplies:

• Stainless steel sheet metal, 6x18’’
• Galvanized steel bar, at least 12’’ long, 1/8'' thick (Width determined by the diameter of the bolt)
• Bolt with a smooth round head, 7’’+
• 3 nuts & washers
• Rot-resistant, non-chemically treated plywood, at least 4’’x4’’
• 2’’x2’’x2’’ wooden cube
• 4 screws (Length determined by thickness of the plywood)
• Rivet gun and rivets (Length determined by thickness of sheet metal)

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