This Fall we’ll be planting several hundred yarrow seedlings into the field & hoop house so they (hopefully) can start vigorously in the Spring. I think soil blocks are becoming more common among regenerative vegetable farmers, and much of the credit goes to Elliot Coleman and Johnny’s Seeds for testing and popularizing the approach.
full stop to use disposable plastic cell trays
bottom watering reduces damping off
roots stop at edge of blocks, reducing transplant stress
dealing with small blocks is a learned skill
transport can be difficult
A solid overview of the system is available here. I plan to upsize these 3/4” seedlings to 2” blocks and then put in the field before the end of September, then cover with a breathable fabric before the first frost.
Soil block mix: garden soil, peat, lime, compost, perlite…
The basic recipe that I use came from here. Elliot Coleman’s recipe uses chicken manure, and the mix is endlessly mutable. I add both Azomite for minerals and mycorrhizal fungi.
So far we have 480 yarrow blocks, and today I’ll add about the same again. With a 3-5 day germination period I think I still have time to get more into the field.