What Is A Soil Blocker

What Is A Soil Blocker

Hi there! In today’s article, I want to introduce you to an innovative seed starting technique called soil blocking. If you’re a gardener or flower farmer looking for healthier plant growth and eco-friendly techniques, soil blocking might be just what you need.

So, what exactly is a soil blocker? It’s a tool that allows you to create compressed blocks of soil instead of using traditional plastic propagation trays for starting your seeds. This technique was pioneered by Eliot Coleman in the US and has gained popularity among flower farmers for its numerous benefits.

Unlike plastic trays, soil blockers offer several advantages. Firstly, they provide an economical solution as they eliminate the need to invest in expensive seedling trays. This can save you money in the long run. Additionally, soil blocking reduces transplant shock, which is when plants undergo stress during the process of being relocated. The air pruning effect of soil blocks prevents seedlings from becoming root-bound, resulting in healthier plants after transplantation.

But that’s not all! Soil blocks also take up less storage space compared to traditional trays, making them ideal for small houses or limited greenhouse shelf space. Moreover, soil blocking is more eco-friendly as it reduces the use of single-use plastic in flower farming. And the best part? It’s a fun and hands-on gardening experience that allows you to play in the mud, reliving your childhood memories while starting seeds.

To get started with soil blocking, you’ll need soil blockers in your desired size, a soil block mix, and trays to hold the blocks. The soil block mix can either be purchased or made at home using a DIY recipe. So, why not give soil blocking a try and enjoy the benefits of this eco-friendly seed starting technique?

Key Takeaways

  • Soil blocking is a seed starting technique that uses compressed blocks of soil instead of plastic trays.
  • It offers economical seed starting, reduces transplant shock, and requires less storage space.
  • Soil blocks are more environmentally friendly as they reduce the use of plastic in flower farming.
  • Soil blocking provides a fun and hands-on gardening experience.
  • To get started, you’ll need soil blockers, a soil block mix, and trays.

Benefits of Soil Blocking

Soil blocking offers several benefits for flower farmers and gardeners.

  • Economical: Soil blocking eliminates the need to invest in seedling trays, making it a cost-effective choice in the long run.
  • Lessened Transplant Shock: The air pruning effect of soil blocks prevents seedlings from becoming root-bound, reducing the need for root disturbance during transplantation. This promotes healthier plant growth and minimizes transplant shock.
  • Storage: Soil blocks require less storage space compared to traditional trays, making them ideal for small houses and limited greenhouse shelf space.
  • Earth-Friendly: Soil blocking is an eco-friendly alternative as it reduces the use of plastic in flower farming. By choosing soil blocks, you contribute to a more sustainable gardening practice.
  • Play in the Mud: Embrace your inner child and have fun playing in the mud while starting seeds with soil blocks. It’s a hands-on gardening experience that brings joy to the process.

Soil blocking offers an economical and earth-friendly approach to seed starting, with benefits such as lessened transplant shock, efficient storage, and the opportunity to play in the mud. Give soil blocking a try and enjoy the advantages it brings to your gardening journey.

Testimonial on Soil Blocking:

“I can’t express how much I love soil blocking! It has made seed starting so much more enjoyable and efficient. My plants have never been happier since I switched to using soil blocks. Plus, the feeling of getting your hands dirty and playing in the mud is incredibly therapeutic. Highly recommend!”

– Garden Enthusiast, Jane Smith

How to Use a Soil Blocker

Using a soil blocker is a simple and effective way to start seeds and promote healthy plant growth. To begin, gather the necessary materials: soil blockers in your desired size, a suitable soil block mix, trays to hold the blocks, and optionally, a dome lid for added protection.

Start by wetting the soil block mix thoroughly to ensure proper hydration for the seeds. Next, press the soil blocker into the compost or soil block mix, filling the chambers completely. It’s essential to scrape off any excess compost from the bottom of the blocks to ensure a clean finish.

Once the blocks are filled, depress the plunger to eject the compacted soil blocks. Each block is now ready for planting. Place one seed into the top of each block, ensuring proper depth based on the seed’s requirements. You can cover the seeds with vermiculite, if necessary, to provide additional moisture retention.

Pro Tip: It’s wise to label your trays or blocks if planting different seed varieties to keep track of what’s growing.

As your seeds germinate and begin to grow, it’s important to maintain the ideal moisture levels for their development. Regularly water your soil blocks, ensuring that they don’t dry out. The blocks can be placed in trays to contain any excess water and prevent mess.


Once your plants have grown sufficiently, it’s time to transplant them into the garden or containers. The beauty of soil blocks is that they can be transplanted directly, minimizing the risk of transplant shock and root damage.

When transplanting, gently remove the blocks from the trays, taking care not to disturb the roots. Prepare the receiving area (garden or containers) by digging holes or creating an indentation to accommodate the blocks. Place the blocks into their new homes, ensuring they are at the appropriate depth for healthy growth.

Remember to water your transplanted seedlings immediately and monitor their progress as they adapt to their new environment.

Purchase soil blockers and supplies from reputable brands like Bootstrap Farmer

When it comes to purchasing soil blockers and other supplies, it’s important to choose high-quality products from reputable brands. Bootstrap Farmer offers a wide variety of soil blockers suitable for various seed starting needs. They also provide additional supplies such as trays and dome lids, ensuring you have everything you need for successful soil blocking.

Invest in quality soil blockers and supplies to make the most of this eco-friendly seed starting technique and enjoy healthy, thriving plants.

Soil Blocker

Materials Needed Usage and Function
Soil Blockers Used to shape compressed blocks of soil for seed starting
Soil Block Mix Provides the growing medium for the soil blocks
Trays Holds the soil blocks for easy transport and organization
Dome Lid Optional cover for added protection and moisture regulation

Purchasing Soil Blockers

When it comes to purchasing soil blockers for your flower farming or gardening operation, it’s important to consider the sizes that best suit your needs. Two commonly used sizes are the 3/4″ micro soil blocker and the 2″ soil blocker. If you’re on a budget or have limited space, starting with the micro 3/4″ soil blocker can be a great option.

One reliable source for soil blockers is Bootstrap Farmer. They offer a range of soil blockers to choose from, ensuring you find the perfect fit for your seed-starting requirements. Additionally, Bootstrap Farmer provides a time-saving soil block seed dropper kit that pairs perfectly with the micro soil blockers. This kit can help streamline your seed-starting process, saving you valuable time.

Investing in soil blockers can be highly beneficial, especially if you start a large number of seeds year after year. With the right soil blockers in hand, you can efficiently and effectively start your seeds with ease, leading to healthy plant growth and successful gardening endeavors.

DIY Soil Block Recipe

If you prefer to make your own soil block mix, there are various recipes available. One recommended recipe includes peat moss or coconut coir, perlite, compost, garden soil, blood meal, bone meal, and wood ash.

Ingredient Amount
Peat moss or coconut coir Suitable amount
Perlite Suitable amount
Compost Suitable amount
Garden soil Suitable amount
Blood meal Suitable amount
Bone meal Suitable amount
Wood ash Suitable amount

Peat moss and coconut coir can be chosen based on personal preference and availability. Perlite is essential for drainage and root growth. Quality compost is vital for the health of the plants, and garden soil can aid in the shock of transplanting. It’s important to use properly cooked and broken down compost to avoid competition between seedlings and un-composted materials for nitrogen.

soil block recipe

How Do Soil Blocks Work?

Soil blocks are an ingenious seed starting technique that revolutionizes the way we nurture plants from the very beginning. Unlike traditional seedling trays, soil blocks utilize compressed blocks of soil as both the growing medium and the container for seeds.

This innovative approach offers several benefits, including the promotion of stronger root systems. When seeds are started in soil blocks, the roots have the opportunity to air prune, preventing root circling and binding that can hinder healthy plant growth.

Transplanting seedlings from soil blocks is also far less damaging to their delicate roots compared to containers, increasing their chances of successful establishment in the garden or other growing areas.

One of the most significant advantages of soil blocking is its contribution to reducing single-use plastics. By eliminating the need for disposable seed starting pots, soil blocks offer an eco-friendly alternative that minimizes plastic waste.

Furthermore, soil blocking enables faster seed starting once the technique is mastered. With traditional methods, seeds can become root-bound, leading to slower growth. Soil blocks, on the other hand, promote healthy root development and provide an ideal environment for faster germination and seedling growth.

In addition to all these benefits, soil blocks offer an efficient use of space for indoor seed starting. Unlike bulky trays, the compact size of soil blocks allows for maximum utilization of limited space, making them ideal for both small-scale and large-scale gardeners.

Overall, the use of soil blocks represents a practical and sustainable approach to seed starting, with benefits ranging from improved root systems to reduced plastic waste and faster growth.

soil blocks

Equipment Needed for Soil Blocking

When it comes to soil blocking, having the right equipment is essential for successful seed starting. Here are the materials you’ll need to get started:

  • Potting mix or growing medium: The potting mix serves as both the growing medium and container for the seeds, providing the necessary nutrients and moisture.
  • Soil blockers: Soil blockers are the key tool for creating the blocks of soil. They come in various sizes and shapes and allow you to shape the blocks easily.
  • Potting tray: A potting tray is used to hold the potting mix while you’re making the soil blocks. It provides a convenient workspace and helps prevent any mess or spills.
  • Bottom trays: Once the soil blocks are made, they need to be placed in bottom trays for stability and support. These trays hold the blocks securely and prevent them from falling over.

With these essential materials, you’ll have everything you need to start soil blocking and ensure healthy seedling growth. Now let’s explore how to use them in the next section.

Soil Block Maker Tool

A soil block maker tool is an essential companion for the soil blocking technique. It revolutionizes the process of creating soil blocks from compost, offering an efficient and eco-friendly alternative to plastic pots. This handy tool transforms compost into compressed blocks that retain their shape without the need for containers. Made from durable zinc-plated steel, it ensures longevity and durability.

One of the significant advantages of using a soil block maker is the reduction in root damage during seedling transplantation. With traditional seed starting methods, the delicate roots can often get tangled or disturbed, leading to setbacks in plant growth. However, when using a soil block maker, the seedlings’ root systems remain intact, promoting healthier and stronger plants.

Using a soil block maker is simple and straightforward. It enables you to sow seeds directly into the blocks, eliminating the need for additional pots or containers. This not only saves time but also reduces waste and ensures an efficient use of resources. Once the seedlings have matured, both the plants and the blocks can be transplanted directly into the garden or containers without any root disturbance.

Here’s an example of a soil block maker:

Key Features of the Soil Block Maker Tool:

  • Effortlessly creates compressed blocks from compost
  • Eliminates the need for plastic pots
  • Reduces root damage during transplantation
  • Made from durable zinc-plated steel
  • Easy to use and operate

The soil block maker tool revolutionizes the seed sowing process, offering you a more sustainable and efficient way to start your plants. By investing in this tool, you can enjoy the benefits of soil blocking and contribute to a greener and healthier gardening experience.

Soil Block Maker Instructions

To make soil blocks using a soil block maker, follow these simple steps:

  1. Wet the compost thoroughly to ensure proper moisture.
  2. Press the soil block maker into the moist compost, filling the chambers completely.
  3. Scrape off any excess compost from the bottom of the blocks to create clean edges.
  4. Depress the plunger to carefully eject the perfectly formed soil blocks.
  5. The soil block maker creates a small indentation in the top of each block, providing the perfect space for seed sowing.
  6. Plant one seed into each block, ensuring proper spacing, or sow multiple small seeds for crops like lettuce or radishes.
  7. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of vermiculite, if necessary, to aid in germination.
  8. Water the soil blocks regularly to keep them moist as the plants grow, making sure they do not dry out.
  9. Once the plants have reached an appropriate size, they can be transplanted into the garden or containers to continue their growth.

Using a soil block maker simplifies the process of creating uniform soil blocks, ensuring the best start for your seedlings. With the proper technique and care, you can enjoy successful seed sowing and transplantation, nurturing healthy plants from the very beginning.

Image: Soil block maker used for creating uniform soil blocks for seed sowing and transplantation.

Special Offer and BBC Feature

Exciting news for all eco-conscious gardeners! We have a special offer exclusively for you. Now you can purchase our innovative soil block maker and mini soil block maker together at a discounted price. This promotion is perfect for those looking to embrace eco-friendly gardening practices and reduce plastic waste in their gardens.

Why choose our soil block makers? Not only are they efficient and easy to use, but they also contribute to a more sustainable gardening experience. By eliminating the need for plastic seedling trays, our soil block makers help you cultivate an eco-friendly garden while promoting healthy plant growth.

But that’s not all! We’re thrilled to share that our soil block maker has been featured on BBC Gardeners World, the renowned gardening show. Watch as Monty Don, the esteemed host, showcases our soil block maker and demonstrates the step-by-step process of soil blocking. This special feature highlights the benefits of soil blocking and Monty Don’s commitment to reducing plastic usage in the garden.

Special Offer: Mini Soil Block Maker:
Discounted Price Compact and Portable
Eco-Friendly Gardening Sustainable Solution
Reduces Plastic Waste Easy to Use
Healthy Plant Growth Great for Small Spaces

Take advantage of this exclusive offer and join the growing community of eco-friendly gardeners. Start your journey towards plastic-free gardening and enjoy all the benefits of soil block makers. Get yours today and grow your plants the sustainable way!


Soil blocking is a groundbreaking seed starting technique that offers a revolutionary solution for plastic-free gardening. By using soil blockers instead of traditional seedling trays, gardeners can actively contribute to a healthier environment while promoting robust and thriving plant growth.

With soil blocking, plants develop stronger root systems, thanks to the air pruning effect of the soil blocks. This not only minimizes transplant shock but also enables plants to flourish after transplantation. Furthermore, soil blocking proves to be a cost-effective choice in the long run, saving both money and storage space for gardeners.

This seed starting technique also provides a wonderful opportunity for hands-on gardening. By engaging in the soil blocking process, gardeners can immerse themselves in a fun and rewarding experience, fostering a deep connection with their plants and the natural world.

Soil blocking truly embodies the essence of environmentally friendly gardening. By eliminating the use of plastic trays, soil blocking helps reduce plastic waste and contributes to a more sustainable future. By incorporating soil blockers alongside a suitable soil block mix, gardeners can unlock the full potential of their seeds and cultivate thriving plants in an eco-friendly and plastic-free manner.

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