Updated: Feb 19
If you are a beginning home gardener who is not sure that gardening is for you and/or don't want to invest in the supplies needed to grow your own seeds and want to know exactly what type of potting soil has been used to grow your seeds, our organic pre-made 3/4 inch soil blocks are for you.
The advantages for using soil blocks are several 1), You are able to plant several seeds in a limited space (160 seedlings in one tray). 2) The roots of your new seedling will not become root bound and will have less transplant shock when planting in your garden. 3) You will not have to purchase a seedling tray or potting soil to store later. Just return the tray to us for a 20 cent refund. If you need more blocks, order more, bring your tray back and we will replace with more blocks.
Your soil blocks can be used when you are ready. Just keep them covered until ready to use.
Before purchasing your seeds, you should decide where outside you will plant your seedlings when it is time to move them outside. Will they do best in full sun, need sun and partial shade or all shade. Select your seeds accordingly.
After you purchase your seeds, look on the packet to see how to germinate your particular seed. If it does not tell you the following, you can find this information on the internet: when to start seeds indoors, what temperature your seeds need to best germinate, whether they need light or darkness and how many days to germinate.
The way to know when you should start your seeds is to find out the last frost date for your area. Kalispell's last frost date is considered May 22. Count back the number of weeks suggested as the starting date.
Some vegetables and flowers germinate best in cool temperatures and some in warmer conditions. If warm, you may need to find a warm place to put your pre-made tray, closer to a heating source. If cooler, maybe the temperature of your house is sufficient. There is usually a temperature range, so it doesn't have to be exact. However, if it is too cool, it may take longer for the seeds to germinate. If too hot, the seeds may not germinate at all.
When ready to plant your seeds, pour water (room temperature) into the side reservoir, tipping slightly to distribute the water. Let sit for 15 minutes until the blocks have soaked up as much water as they can, then pour off what is left standing. Plant one seed into the middle of each block.
After planting your seeds, be sure to cover your seeds with potting mix if they germinate best in darkness. Mist the top of the blocks, being careful not to displace the seeds. Cover your seedling tray with a plastic dome or some kind of plastic cover or burlap to keep the blocks moistened. Burlap is great for keeping in moisture
It is best to check your seedlings every day to make sure they do not dry out. Water the blocks by pouring water in the open reservoir of your tray, tipping slightly to distribute the water and leave it sit for about 15 minutes until the blocks have soaked up as much water as they need. Then carefully pour off any water that is left standing.
After 50% of the seeds have germinated, take off the cover and put the tray under grow lights or put in a south facing window. It is important that the seedlings don't have to stretch to get light or they will tend to be leggy. If using grow lights, place them 3 to 4 inches above the seedlings.
The first set of leaves are called the Cotyledons. They are not true leaves, but are the seedlings' nourishment until they get their true leaves. These may fall off over time. Your seedlings are ready to plant outside after they get four to six true leaves. If it looks like the weather isn't cooperating and it is a week or so before you can plant your seedling outside, you may need to pot up into a larger pot (anything will do as long as water can drain out), so the seedlings can grow.
If you find that you want to take your gardening to the next step, we sell 3/4 inch soil blocks, trays and soil mixture. If you have larger seeds, you can look online for the 2 inch soil block.
This website is our go-to for growing soil blocks.
Good luck. Be sure to email us if you have any questions. firstname.lastname@example.org