Soil-Block Recipe for Pumpkins and Squash

comments (0) May 26th, 2008

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Click To Enlarge Photo: Marc Vassallo

I got the idea for making soil blocks from The New Organic Grower, by Elliot Coleman. I have never been able to get all the ingredients his formula calls for, nor have I been able to get all the same ingredients in different parts of the country. What I figured out was that the important things are the ratio of the ingredients and the consistency of the mix. Here is my current “Indiana Mix,” which will change as I find more local ingredients that I would rather use.

  Fertilizer mix for soil-block formula

1/2 cup blood meal
1 cup bone meal
3/4 cut greensand
1/4 cup hardwood ashes
2 tablespoons agricultural lime
2 tablespoons pelleted sulfur
1/3 cup Norwegian kelp powder
   
For measuring out quantities, I use a 1-gallon plastic pail. One pail equals one part. Measure out and combine: 1 part topsoil, 2 parts compost, 3 parts peat moss (or 1 part peat moss, 1 part perlite, 1 part worm casings), 2 parts coarse sand, 3 cups fertilizer mix (see the formula at right), and 1⁄2 cup lime. Then slowly moisten the mix. The result should be the consistency of mashed potatoes or a little drier. I got my soil blocker from Peaceful Valley Farms.


Form the soil block   Transplant the seedling
A soil blocker forms the mix into a block with an indentation on top.   Seeds started in a small block can be transplanted into a larger block.

For links to articles, blog posts, and videos on starting vegetable and flower seeds, see All About Starting Seeds.

by William Brown
October 2000
from issue #29


posted in: seed-starting, soil, seedlings

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