Note: Updated and expanded versions of the information in this post are available at my other site, Green-Change.com:
I recently bought a soil blocker from Peddler’s Wagon with some birthday money. It was way cheaper to get it sent from the US than to buy it in Australia – like 40% cheaper. Aussie sellers need to learn to be less of a rip-off now that we have access to a world-wide market.
By the way, the Peddler’s Wagon people are great to deal with. Highly recommended. You can read more about their Little Homestead In The City, where they’re growing 6000+ lbs of food per year on 1/10th of an acre of land. Incredible!
It’s been a few weeks, but today I finally got around to making up some blocks.
But first, some resources for making soil blocks:
- Soil Blocking eBook – really awesome free ebook, with lots of details including commercial soil block use
- Allsun.com.au – recipes for blocking mix, plus lots of good photos and tips for using the blockers
- PottingBlocks.com – recipes for soil blocking, plus look around the site for lots more information on soil block use
- Another soil block recipe
Using the above recipes as guidance, I made up a mix from what I had lying around in the garage and yard. I used:
- 2 compressed coir bricks, expanded in 10 L water (made ~20 L volume)
- 5 L worm castings from the worm farm
- 10 L sieved compost from my compost heap
- 5 L clean sharp sand
- 2 handfuls of garden lime
- 2 handfuls of rock dust
I mixed it all up thoroughly in the wheelbarrow, adding water to keep the mix nice and moist. It really needs to be fairly wet to form nice blocks.
Then you just plunge the block maker into the mix and squeeze the blocks out. I laid the blocks out on wooden boards in potting trays.
From these quantities I got 88 blocks, and I only used slightly more than half of the soil mix. I’ve put the rest in a container to make up some more blocks next week.
Later tonight I’ll plant out some seeds into the blocks. I’m not sure yet what will go in!
September 4th, 2008