Member Since: 03/04/2015

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Re: Soil-Block Your Seeds

New to site and new to using a soil blocker...but now trying this method using heat mats and grow lighting. Having some success with first batch but think I put varying amounts of soil blocker mix to cover each seed...think thats my problem as I have same seeds germinating in different time frames...varying as much as 8/10 days. I think I have the moisture correct for the soil block and I am bottom watering and even misting the tops of each block several times a day as I am retired. I bottom water every 2/3 days and let blocks soak until they look good and wet. Wondering if you should keep the soil blocks in darkness until seeds germinate covering your tray with black plastic?...then put them under grow lights. I have a timer for all of this and a device that is suppose to keep your heat mat at what ever temp you desire and it seems to work to a degree. Am in a garage where temps are not as warm as inside heated space but that doesn't seem to bother them.
Since this is my first batch I find myself wondering what I did wrong to have such a difference in germination time and guess its because I covered the seeds with varying amount of soil blocker mix. Wondering If I should just not put anything over them and just make sure the seeds stay moist.
I'm not the most patient person and am learning that you need to be and have the faith and am sure I will be experimenting to try to figure out a tried and true way to do this that works for me.Their seems to be many soil mix recipes that folks use and at this time I don't have any compost but am in the works to get stuff to do that with. I have collected about 150 large bags of shredded leaves and will be looking for some hay to mix with this along with grass clippings this spring and summer and all of the different things you can add to your compost to get a proper mixture.
It is going to be a fun spring and summer to me to see if I can make any quality compost to use for my soil blocking. Am also in the process of learning how to save seeds which is an entire different learning process but I think I can do it. I hope next year I won't have to spend very much to be able to have my seeds started and have a good vegetable garden. Keeping my fingers crossed. Have been a gardener for 40 years but never had time to do this process but since I'm retired I have plenty of time!