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March 25th 2015

The skinny on soil blockers

Written by
Floret

One of my favorite distractions when I’m faced with writers block is to peruse the pages of a few of my favorite blogs. There are a handful of blogs that I’ve bookmarked and turn to time after time for their beautiful photos, compelling story telling and fascinating topics and subject matter.  One of my all time favorite blogs is Wayward Spark, authored by Camille Storch, a writer, runner, beekeeper and canner who shares stories of her family’s modest but joyful life in a tiny house in rural Western Oregon.  If you don’t already follow Camille, then you’re in for a real treat!

I often find myself clicking over to Wayward Spark (the Instagram feed is equally addicting!) for a dose of inspiration and thought it would be fun to invite Camille over here to share a little guest post on using soil blockers.  We’re just starting our soil block journey here at Floret, and it has definitely been a learning process for us, so I’m excited about the information that Camille has shared.  I’m also excited to giveaway a soil blockers from Johnny’s Selected Seeds (more on that below) to one lucky blog reader.  For the demo, Camille visited fellow farmer-florist Erin McMullen of  Rain Drop Farms  in Philomath, OR. Take it from here Camille!

20141002-DSC_0069Thanks Erin!  First let me share a little bit more about Rain Drop Farms. Erin McMullen and her husband Aaron started off the 2015 growing season with big plans and an abundance of motivation. They’re working with new varieties and new growing techniques, they’re exploring new markets for their bouquets and stems, both wholesale and retail, and they’re moving forward on a few major infrastructure upgrades to extend the farm’s flower-bearing months.

One of the couple’s biggest priorities this year is to increase efficiency and minimize waste for both financial and environmental reasons. Also, there are only a limited number of hours in the day for Erin M. and Aaron (who has a full-time job off the farm as well) to plant, transplant, weed, water, harvest, and market their goods, so they’re working on finding ways to squeeze more productivity out of fewer hours

To streamline seedling production and field planting Erin M. is trialing using pot-less soil blocks for plant starts. At the recommendation of Tony and Denise Gaetz at Bare Mountain Flower Farm, Erin M. purchased this 4-at-a-time soil blocker from Johnny’s Selected Seed.

20140412-DSC_0914Employing a soil blocker, especially a small, hand-held one, takes quite a bit more work up front than seeding and transplanting into pots, but when considering the time and energy spent over a whole season, Erin M. is pretty sure the soil blocker will come out ahead.

When using soil blocks, you:

Don’t have to buy pots.

Don’t have to take the time to set pots out in trays.

Don’t have to rehabilitate root-bound transplants.

Don’t have to take the time and effort to remove the plant starts from the pots when transplanting, minimizing damage to fragile root systems.

Don’t have to pick up all the pots tossed aside in the rows after transplanting.

Don’t have to store pots.

Don’t have to deal with shards of broken pot plastic that inevitably wind up strewn all over your farm.

Transplanting from soil blocks is also gentler and easier on the plant starts because the soil blocks meld into the earth more naturally than root-bound pot blocks.

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20140412-DSC_0910Using a soil blocker isn’t difficult, but there are a few tricks to master for consistent success. First and foremost, your soil medium must be very wet. Sloppy, splooshy wet. (For a recipe and some tips on blending your own potting mix see the Gathering Together Farm method here.) On a small scale, it’s probably easiest to add water to your soil in a 10-gallon plastic tub.

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20140412-DSC_0931Once the soil is good and wet, you press and sweep the soil blocker forward and backward through the slurry until you can see water in the tops of the block spaces. Tip it up, scrape off the excess soil, set it down in a tray, and squeeze the lever to release the blocks. (There’s a little promotional video of how it works here.)

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20140412-DSC_0946After the blocks are formed, they’re solid enough to pick up and handle gently. Occasionally, one will crack in half while seeding or transplanting, but that’s not really a problem because the plant roots will eventually hold it together, and the surrounding blocks will hold it in place.

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20140412-DSC_0957Erin M. has done some light experimenting with Johnny’s 20-block, ¾” soil blocker, but she still prefers small-cell flats so long as she transplants those starts early before they’re root-bound.

20140412-DSC_0964Moving forward, she plans on working more with the smaller blocker in the hopes of eliminating most plastic in their seedling production. At the end of this season, she will evaluate the success of the soil blocks and decide if she wants to invest in a stand-up, 12-block soil blocker.

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That was GREAT Camille, thank you!

Ok you guys, if you’d like a chance to win one of these handy soil block makers, simply add a comment below. In your comment, please share your favorite gardening website or a blog.

108 Comments

  1. Sandi on

    Thanks for the great post. I have been hearing a lot about these soil blocks. I love anything that’s going to save time and get rid of all those plastic and even compostable pots. I moved to the Western Slope of CO about 3 years ago. The growing season is so short compared to what I’m use to when I was in CA. I’m hoping the new greenhouse I built and the soil blocks will help me get a much needed jump start on the season
    Justin Rhodes has a series of blogs that I love at his Permaculture Chicken site. Don’t let the name fool you. It is not even close to being only about chickens. He did a vlog not to long ago about the soil blocks as well. Your blog did a great job giving additional information. Thanks and I look forward to the follow up

    Reply
  2. Sandi on

    Thank you for this great blog. I have been hearing a lot about these soil blocks lately. Justin Rhodes at Permaculture Chickens did a really great Vlog about the soil blocks. It was nice to see additional positive points made about them. I moved from CA to CO about three years ago. The climate is so different, it’s really taken me a long time to get use to the short growing season. I’m really hoping that with the soil block, I’ll be able to get a better start on my Victory style garden next year.
    Thanks again. I’m really looking forward to the follow up story

    Reply
  3. Laurie Houle on

    I just quit my job as an R.N. to focus full time on gardening. I just saw the bit about soil blockers and am sold on what a great help it would be in my garden. Our garden was BIG! last year and is going to be BIGGER this year! I grow all organic veggies and medicinal herbs. (We also grow organic pigs and chickens!) I recently found a website called, “Marblemount Homstead” which has great tutorials for free and a blog I have only begun to scratch the surface of. Is that how I found this one? Not sure, but am loving it!

    Reply
  4. Seed Starting Do's & Dont's - Floret Flowers on

    […] simple shop grow lights on a homemade rack.  For seed starting, you’ll need some seed trays (or soil blockers) and clear plastic domes, some good seed starting mix, and tags.  If you can swing it, investing […]

    Reply
  5. Soil Blocker Winner Announced - Floret Flowers on

    […] big thanks to everyone who commented on my recent post, The Skinny on Soil Blockers!  It is thrilling to see the level of interest in utilizing this handy little seed starting […]

    Reply
  6. EARTHWORM TECHNOLOGIES | ORGANIC GARDENING MADE EASY on

    Came across this post most recently in our quest for other great gardening blogs. Very nice post with great pictures – love that you’re sharing the benefit of these blockers from a sustainability standpoint. We’re all about sustainability and eco-friendly methods and can say we’ve used the 20 cube 3/4″ and 4 cube 2″ blockers with great success. We have created our own mixture very different from the one you and Johnny’s use for our needs that includes the organic worm castings we use in our products so our recipe is a bit different and also not as wet…but whatever your method, these blocks are really great. One thing to mention (since you had a comparison of benefits to plastic pots) is even for those of you out there using peat pots (or the Jiffy’s compressed peat)…this is just as simple and is more sustainable for our environment depending how you make your mix (sphagnum peat moss is not a sustainable resource…some argue it is but it’s not because it takes a long time to grow back). We’ll be writing a post for our organic gardening blog soon but you can easily make a mix out of coir (coconut husks), worm castings and vermiculite that does great and is fully sustainable. Also remember the second benefit is if you use the smaller blocker to “start” your seeds and also have the 2″ blocker, you can pot on those little 3/4′ cubes into the 2″ cubes to keep them going and then eventually a direct transplant into the garden. No shock, no waste and easy to do. Just our two cents :) (oh and for anyone who loves Pinterest…we have a lot of really cool garden-themed boards you might like :) http://www.pinterest.com/earthwormtec Happy gardening.

    Reply
  7. Jessica Gale on

    Thanks for sharing this Erin. I’ve been thinking of transitioning to soil blocks myself. This is a neat blog/podcast on farming north of the border: http://www.theruminant.ca/

    Reply
  8. Shannon on

    I’ve been enjoying the Charles Dowding videos on YouTube. He has a common sense approach and good info on no-till. He does growing tests and shows results which is really helpful. I would love to use a soil blocker!

    Reply
  9. Alison R on

    This is a fantastic tool. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  10. Jessica on

    Any way to make a smaller dent in the environment is a wonderful thing, and these seem like a great seed starting alternative.

    Reply
  11. Jenny Hauf on

    What a great post! We are planning on getting a soil blocker for our farm next year. It’s great to read of a veteran’s experience with this wonderful tool.

    Not a blog (though she does have one), but I absolutely adore the @saipua instagram feed. Few people capture the glorious exhauston of growing the way that they do. And the floral arrangements!! Each one looks like a Dutch painting.

    Reply
  12. Norma on

    I like Tend Collective blog.

    Reply
  13. Michelle on

    FLoret is my place to unwind of dream of spring after a toughest of Cape Cod winter – the past ten weekends it’s snowed and flurries tonight! (No, Not April fooling!) I can smell the dirt and envision the blossoms in my gardens as I see your seasons unfold before ours.

    Reply
  14. Bibi on

    Heard about soil blockers and was trying to find shops that carried them. Boy that would be a great asset to my new cut flower farm!!!! I’ve been watching a lot of the small instructional videos from http://www.botanus.com – great gals with wonderful tips. (:

    Reply
  15. Sarah on

    Soil blocking looks absolutely phenomenal! I watched a video demo of the stand-up models. I’m excited about how efficient and eco-friendly transplanting would be with one and curious as to how well the blocks hold up to if they were left outside to harden off seedlings. I’ve recently gotten attached to reading about engineering innovations at smallfarmtools.com; they’ve also been talking about the benefits of soil blocking.

    Reply
  16. Katie on

    My favorite gardening blogs are A Way to Garden, Floret Flowers, Grounded Design by Thomas Rainer, and Garden Answer on YouTube. I would love to try a soil blocker!

    Reply
  17. Laura on

    I love organicgardening.com

    Reply
  18. LindaQ on

    I have a request:
    Once you have started your plants what is the best (& economical) structure to keep all of your trays of flowers in until it is time to plant outdoors? As someone just starting out, this is a big step (&cost) And it would be helpful to get ideas & advice from others out there…

    Reply
  19. KJ on

    I have made a soil blocker from PVC, washer, bolt and nuts in the past that worked well. I was surprised to see the root development that I did, but I think it is due to the air being present all along the cell block that led to air root pruning and the formation of healthy white root systems.

    I did not know however that they had the soil block makers in the mini sizes!! That would be fantastic for starting all the small perennials and herbs and annuals. I’ll have to look into it.

    Favorite sites are Floret for learning the “behind the scenes” of floriculture, Davesgarden for the crowdsourcing of growing plants all over the world, and Gardenweb for anything and everything about gardening you could imagine.

    Reply
  20. Laurie @ Hedgerow Rose on

    What a great post! Must try one of these.
    Favorite gardening blogs: Floret (of course), Saipua, Growing with Plants

    Reply
  21. Judy on

    In addition to Floret, Margaret Roach’s A Way to Garden is my favorite gardening blog.

    Reply
  22. LindaQ on

    Favorite websites are Gardeners Workshop and Floret Flowers.
    I tried the mini soil blockers for the first time last year and I love the control they give you with germinating seeds. I can fit 80 blocks (20×4) on a small tray and at least 4 trays on my heat mat for quick germination. One thing you did not mention is that the soil mix has to be fine and cannot contain large pieces of material (bark) otherwise the mini blocker will jam up. With the larger soil blocks you will need to use heavy-duty trays to support the weight of the wet soil blocks.

    Reply
  23. Elise Luck on

    I have always wanted to try using a soil blocker after taking a flower class at Jello Mold. This is our first year growing and we are so excited!!

    Reply
  24. Jonathan Leiss on

    We would love to get into soil blocking! We have a 2-inch blocker but haven’t learned how to use it yet. We know we need the mini-blocker too for most of our flowers. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post. It is inspirational.

    Reply
  25. Yuliya on

    I would love to try out a soil blocker. Definitely would appreciate anything that minimizes waste. Floret is my favorite blog.

    Reply
  26. Shannon on

    I just discovered your blog and am eating it up- the photography is gorgeous and the lifestyle you have made for yourselves is so inspiring. I’d love to try out the soil blocker- I like the idea of eliminating plastic!

    Reply
  27. Margit Van Schaick on

    Love to read your blog, Floret. Also daily check One Straw Rob, Margaret roach’s A Way To Garden, Mother of a Hubbard, Northwest Edible, Dog Island Farm, High Mowing Seeds. I love to learn about various.cultivars and methods. It’s so inspiring.

    Reply
  28. liv megargle on

    i’m just getting started in flower farming and beginning to make all these decisions! would love to try a soil blocker. my favorite garden blog is floret but second favorite is lovenfreshflowers.com.

    Reply
  29. Mary on

    This is my third year using these and I really like them. Sometimes I add too much water to the potting soil so I just turn the tool upside down and manually pack the soil into them – works just as well. I only use the larger blocks.

    Reply
  30. Amy on

    I never even knew these existed! I’m still a novice gardener, so there’s so much for me to learn! My favourite gardening blogs would be yours & Sarah’s over at Saipua!

    Reply
  31. Lezlie wright on

    I have a 30×72 greenhouse and I start my own seedlings. This would come in handy and save me lots of money.
    Two women and a hoe is an awesome site. Check them out.

    Reply
  32. Helen on

    Just found your blog via johnny’s :) I have a reeeeally long list of blogs I wander thru, from garden Betty to the rusted garden. I added y’all to my list.

    Reply
  33. Anouk Dupraz on

    I use the soil blocks and love it. No more plastic pots, less time at transplanting ( no need to pop the plugs out), less transplanting shock. If you water the soil the day before, it’s easier and less messy! My favorite blog is …Floret of course! Beautiful pictures, I’ve learned most of flower farming on your blog. So again thank’s for sharing so beautifully!

    Reply
  34. amanda on

    Thanks for the info. I’ve been curious and would like to try the soil blocker as well.
    xo
    a

    Reply
  35. Charlotte on

    Great information!!! Thank you So much! I love this and plan on using it on our flower farm!!!

    Reply
  36. Pam - @growingnorth on

    It’s my first year trying soil blockers, on loan from a friend! Really excited to be trying them, and fingers crossed it works because so far I LOVE THEM :) As far as a favorite garden blog, it’s impossible to choose! So many people have so much information to share. The best is joining in on twitter chats, where many of the bloggers come and share their stories and tips in real-time ^_^

    Reply
  37. Kathleen Barber on

    This is so funny I went to visit Erin @raindropfarms for the first time today. She showed me her plant starts in soil blocks they looked so healthy I definitely want to try it. I was so impressed with her farm and all of her great energy. I enjoy your blog, informative and lots of pretty pictures.

    Reply
  38. Kent G. on

    Oh how I tire of the small pots and the need to sanitize at the end of their use. I’ve often thought about purchasing a soil blocker but was hesitant to do so due to never having seen one used before. Reading the blog and watching the video has encouraged me to try one out. Lucky or not, I’m placing one on my Christmas wish list.

    Reply
  39. ann on

    Such a timesaver!

    Reply
  40. Kristy on

    I have had one of these on my wish list since last year. As far as blogs, yours has been by far the most helpful, I can’t remember the last time I put into practice as much as I have off your blog. I have also recently come across A Way to Garden.

    Reply
  41. Mara on

    Love this post! I really wanted to soil block this year but was a little intimidated, next year for sure. Love the idea of not having to use pots! Fave blogs are yours and Jennies, the only two I really follow.

    Reply
  42. Terry on

    Love Floret blog – I find all sorts of new information and other sites to follow as I click the links to your farmer-florist interviewees – great info on a soil blocker. As I have had to start doing all our seed this might be the easiest way to do things. I hate filling pots!

    Reply
  43. Stefanie H. on

    Floret is one of the best!!! I just came across successwithseed.org. Has been helpful with seed germination ie: germ. temps, need light or not, cold stratification, days to grm. Ffffeew! Such techanicallities :)

    Reply
  44. molly on

    Florets is my favorite blog. So inspiring, dreamy and just makes me happy

    Reply
  45. Lisa on

    My favorite flower blog is Love n’ Fresh Flowers by Jennie Love.

    Reply
  46. Shelley Yoshiwara on

    Following you is leading me to all sorts of new things to learn about and more people to follow!! I’m intrigued by the soil block, makes a lot of sense to me. And now more people to follow!! So glad to have found you!!

    Reply
  47. Kaity Farrell on

    Love this post! I’ve been wanting to get a soup blocker for a while now. What a great useful giveaway! Thank you! I’d have to say this blog is by far one of my favorites for gardening and flowers. Much love!

    Reply
  48. Dori Troutman on

    This was fantastic as I’ve been wondering about the benefits of a soil blocker. I think it is a must have. One thing I really hate is all the plastic and what an awesome way to eliminate that. Well, my favorite website and blog is YOURS, Erin. Hands down. :-) It is always a bright spot in my day when I read a post or see your photography in my feed. – Dori Troutman –

    Reply
  49. Jen on

    This is my first year attempting soil blocking … have the mini-blocker and the 2 inch but am thinking I really should have gotten the 1 1/2″. Favourite blog is yours and just this year started reading Bare Mountain Farm.

    Reply
  50. Kim Hawkins on

    I’d love to use a soil blocker simply to avoid plastic, which is an unsustainable and polluting product.

    My favorite blog is Northwest Edible Life.

    Reply
  51. Vicki M on

    Thanks so much for sharing this great information about soil blocks. I have been doing conventional row gardening for many years and decided to go through a master gardener program in Washington DC. The classes are teaching me so much that I didn’t know and led me to sites like Johnny’s Seeds and Bakers. The idea of soil blocking sounds like something I would love to incorporate into this season as I am working on my first seed order – moving me away from buying seeds from the big national home improvement stores that I’ve used for years – and will be starting seeds in the coming weeks. I too am a blogger and plan to share this year’s gardening adventures with my readers.
    I am definitely encouraged by the other comments here. Thanks for the great information. I’ll be signing up for your newsletter too! :)

    Reply
  52. Corinne on

    Of course, Floret, Bare Mountain Farm , A Way To Garden.com are my favorite read each week.

    Reply
  53. Katelyn on

    Floret! Bare Mountain Farm, Jennie Love, and anything else I can possibly come across while googling super specific questions that MUST have been asked somewhere in cyberspace!

    Reply
  54. Amy on

    I love the idea of soil blockers and have been meaning to try one. I’ve been sowing in flats made of leftover clementine crates, but these look like a better option.

    Reply
  55. Derek Fleming on

    Very interested in trying out a soil blocker. My favorite gardening websites and blogs are the Mother Earth News website, the Montana State Extension website, the Squash Practice blog and of course the Floret Flowers blog.

    Reply
  56. Ali on

    I’m a big fan of the Hampshire College Farm blog and Instagram. Lots of fun updates about my alma mater’s farm!

    Reply
  57. Amie B on

    Would love a soil blocker! Of course floret blog is my favourite, your pictures and articles keep me inspired!

    Reply
  58. Tamika on

    I would LOVE a soil blocker.. It’s been on my list for ages (never in my work budget). I run two large garden education programs (for the 92st Y in NY and for a private school). My favorite garden based blogs are Floret (of course)A Way To Garden, and I soak up info on The Greenhorns Website.
    Great work ladies!

    Reply
  59. VillageKid on

    I have both models and LOVE them. We have used them for the last 5-7 years and I would not be without them! Since living in Alaska means you must import almost everything the less of that when it comes to supplies means a savings immediately. I also love the lack of waste, given we live in a commercial fishing area that is also home to more wildlife than most can imagine.

    It took me a bit to realize exactly HOW wet the medium must be to work well but once you get that down I believe there will be a run on them at Johnny’s and other suppliers!!

    Our experience also seems to show that we get much more uniform germination and growth as corners and such do not dry out as fast.

    Whomever the lucky winner is will find a great tool!

    Reply
  60. Lili Tova on

    We are considering switching to a soil block program at our small veggie farm, thanks for the informative post. My favorite farming blog is throwback at trapper creek, written by the matron of husbandry. It’s a great look into a centennial family farm and homestead in the foothills of Mt. Hood in Oregon.

    Reply
  61. Tonya on

    Buying the 20 cell blocker from johnnys changed my life. I lovvveeee it. I was literally about to order the 4 cell…maybe ill wait just a little. I wish the larger ones were more affordable though.

    Reply
  62. Killoran Moore on

    Alys Fowler’s section of The Guardian is one of my favorites. Along with Floret, You Grow Girl, and Working Hands Farm (beautiful photos!.

    Reply
  63. Michelle on

    I can’t tell you how many times I have paused and lingered every time I come across a soil blocker! Just thinking intuitively, this is the right way to go….but not knowing anything about them really….you my dear, have just re-taught me to indeed, trust my instincts!
    I can’t wait to get my hands on one! And that soppy soil looks so good to plunge my hands in!
    Thanks Erin.

    Reply
  64. Emilia Ponti on

    We’re setting up our homestead in St. Helens OR right now and a soil blocker would be so perfect for growing starts in our new greenhouse! I love the Wayward Spark blog and how much I have learned from Camille!!

    Reply
  65. Rachel on

    Floret is my favorite garden blog currently : ) I would love to try out a soil blocker!

    Reply
  66. Kelly Sullivan (Botanique) on

    This is so bizarre, I was just thinking about soil blocks last night, and how I would like to transition to this method for seed starting! Hard to pick a favorite website/blog…. yours is sure up there, as is Bare Mountain Farm. I also like Gardenista for garden design/visual inspiration.

    Reply
  67. Sarah on

    Love the soil blocks! My favorite blog is stonesthrowurbanfarm.wordpress.com, because they’re an urban coop doing amazing things in the twin cities!

    Reply
  68. Andrea Owen on

    I would love to give one of these a try! I love starting my own plants from seeds.

    Reply
  69. Muriel Olivares on

    I’ve been dreaming of getting a soil blocker for years, but every season I shy away from them because I’m afraid of changing my system. We use peat pots and a soul mix of screened farm compost, peat and perlite. I’d love to win one so that I don’t have to choose! My favorite farm resource of all time is ATTRA!

    Reply
  70. Mandy K on

    This is our first year farming on a larger scale. We just completed a heated greenhouse and a large hoophouse. A soil block maker would be amazing! I read anything I can. I like mother earth news and several social media pages have been helpful in getting started.

    Reply
  71. Jaclyn M. on

    We have been using plastic cell trays on our farm which has been getting a bit out of hand! It is very time consuming to seed and then transplant to pots before finally making it out to the garden. We have been curious about soul blockers for a while. Two of our favorite blogs/websites are Mother of a Hubbard and Fresh Eggs Daily.

    Reply
  72. Laurel Petrich on

    Thank you so much. I have wanted to try one of these for the longest time, but was afraid they wouldn’t really work. This gives me the courage to give it a try.

    Reply
  73. Minda Brackman on

    I would love to win a soil blocker! Such a great tool for flower and veggie production.

    Reply
  74. Monte Y Pescador on

    Always knew it would be a great addition to the tools we use in prepping plants for our classes, but this is a good reminder of why. Thank you.

    Reply
  75. Andrew Lansdale on

    I’ve been wanting one for years, mostly for all the reasons listed above. My new favorite website and blog : broadforkfarm.com

    Reply
  76. Sharika Kim on

    I have been fascinated by these soil blockers and how they work. I am just starting out on my flower farming journey and would love to attempt to do as much as I can with as minimal waste. I am in love with the Floret blog and have recently been devouring Bare Mt Farms as well. Love, love what you all do!!

    Reply
  77. April Sweany on

    Once again, a great article that isn’t just fluff! I hate buying more plastic, so a soil blocker would definetely be the way to go for me! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  78. Rachel on

    I’d love to try out some soil blockers, we’ve always used cell trays. Floret is a great source, but I also refer to the Johnny’s website a lot, and of course Growing for Market. Thank you!

    Reply
  79. Farrah on

    Love this post! Lots of veggie gardening tips can be found at Old World Garden Farms, one of my favorite blogs. Thanks for the fun give-away!

    Reply
  80. Joanne on

    Have been pondering the use of a soil block as of late. Very timely blog post on the subject. My favorite blog is yours, as well as many other flower farmer blog’s. All very insightful.

    Reply
  81. Madeline on

    I was a serial seedling killer until I started using soil blocking. I use the 3/4-inch and 2-inch blocks (for larger seeds). They have made a world of difference to my seed starting efforts. Thanks for highlighting this method on the blog.

    Reply
  82. Melissa Brown on

    A favorite farmy blog of mine is The Farmstead http://www.olyfarmstead.org/blog/ …Rachel doesn’t grow flowers, but her writing about the goats, pigs and dogs on her farm is inspiring, vulnerable, sweet and honest…totally worth reading! Plus, her kiddo is named Gizmo :)

    Reply
  83. Michelle Wooderson on

    I’m just getting into planting by seed and this would be excellent to try out. I recycle everything and my family would love it if I had less “stuff” piled up for recycling day. I love Floret also as the photos are beautiful and such good advice. Thanks so much for sharing something new to me.

    Reply
  84. Heather on

    I have one 4 pack soil blocker but would love another or the 12 pack one . I love Floret of course but am also a fan of The Blue Carrot’s Instagram feed. Closer to me are two flower farms with the same growing conditions that inspire me: Mystik Acres and Tierra del Sol. Love their blogs and Facebook feeds.

    Reply
  85. Melissa Gunton on

    Floret is my favorite flower/gardening blog but I’m excited to look into the blogs that others mention in their comments.

    Reply
  86. Melissa on

    This is my first season soil blocking and I am in love with it so far! Right now I use the recipe and method described in “Cool Flowers” by Lisa Mason Ziegler. My favorite blogs and websites include Floret, Field to Vase, and organizations geared toward beginning farmers such as UVM New Farmer Project and The Carrot Project for their webinars and tutorials.

    Reply
  87. Amanda Mae on

    I was just reading about soil blockers. It would be lovely to win one! I have so many favorite blogs, it’s hard to pick. YOUR blog and Love n Fresh are favs, but list goes on… Bare Mountains blog, Worlds End blog, etc, etc. Can one ever have too much info or too many pretty flowers?

    Reply
  88. Katie on

    I’ve seen these soil plugs for sale, but was unaware of how they worked. Sounds like a great alternative to all that plastic! I’m a total Floret fangirl and Floret is definitely one of my favorite garden blogs. I’m happily searching the other recommended titles from other commenters!

    Reply
  89. Katie on

    Floret of course, Bare Mountian, & Jennie Love’s.

    Reply
  90. amy on

    Such an AMAZING simple idea. I live in Devon in the UK and haven’t seen one of these before. So much more eco friendly and makes such good sense re root growth etc. I love a local chaps blog called Ben from Higgledy Garden (he has a facebook page) – he sells annual seeds and writes a blog about his seeds and flower garden BUT the main reason I love it is he has me in stitches…I think a bit of a surfer dude, but he really knows his stuff. Would definately recommend!

    Reply
  91. Kirsten on

    We are using too many plastic pots at our school farm. The kids would love getting dirty with a soil blocker. I think it would bring us one step closer to a more sustainable (less consumptive) method of farming. Thanks for the chance.

    Reply
  92. Michelle Shackelford on

    I bought both of the blocker models shown in this post. I love the little blocker for getting thousands of seeds started in my kitchen. A great space saver. I use cafeteria trays to set the mini blocks in. Makes it super easy to bottom water with a watering can. I haven’t really used the larger blocker yet. Probably will once the greenhouse heat is on, any day now! The only problem with the soil blocker is that it uses a lot of soil. But, in the long run that just means you are adding more organic matter and water holding capacity into the soil. A win!

    Reply
  93. Jody on

    I love Floret Farm! I have learned so much and look forward to pursuing my flower farm dream as well!

    Reply
  94. Lisa Pattinson on

    I am so pleased to read this blog post Erin, I have been persevering with making my own soil block mix because in the UK the soil blocking method is fairly new to our shores. I am finding new ways to work with the seedlings to give them the very best start, not to mention how wonderful the earth feels through all the squelching and hands on mixing .

    Reply
  95. Krisztina on

    I’m new follower of Floret Farm. Found first on Instagram (which I’m also new to- just got a smartphone finally) love flowers and gardens and am inspired to start my own eventually. Lots to learn but I’m excited. thanks for sharing others’ stories as well.

    Reply
  96. Kathy on

    My favorite garden blogs are A Way to Garden, Mother of a Hubbard, and Floret. Not really a blog, but I also frequently use the archived “gardening tips” for winter-harvested veggie planting in a PNW maritime climate on lindagilkeson.ca, and she has an extremely helpful list of pest and disease images to help diagnose garden problems.

    Reply
  97. Corina Sahlin on

    I used soil blockers when I started a farm for a guy who was paranoid about Y2K. They worked great!

    Reply
  98. Chelsey C. on

    I have been reading lots about soil blocks, thank you for sharing! I love Floret as well as Bare Mountain Farm’s blogs.

    Reply
  99. Tracy D on

    I was just looking into soil blocks! My favorite blog would be yours of course, Floret Flowers! I truly appreciate your generosity for sharing SO MUCH information, for a rookie like me it is pure gold :-)

    Reply
  100. Emilia B on

    Looks like amazing tool. I think Floret’s blog is my favorite by far. Love the information and the beautiful photos. I would love to visit your farm one of these days.

    Reply

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