The stainless steel soil blocker (20X40)
The stainless steel soil blocker (20X40) is a tool that allows you to produce vigorous plants (vegetables, flowers…). Thanks to the stainless steel soil blocker (20X40), you will no longer use a pot, it is ecological and economical!
20 soil blocks of 40 mm with a 6 mm imprint for the seed.
Robust stainless steel construction.
Entirely made in Belgium.
Instead of buying seedlings that have already been started, using a stainless steel soil blocker (20X40) has many advantages:
the cost is lower,
the choice of varieties is not restricted,
You determine the production schedule yourself.
There are various methods of producing plants. Experience has shown that the most satisfactory solution is to use soil blocks. This professional technique is now within the reach of the hobbyist thanks to the manual soil blocker (20X40).
How to proceed?
It is not advisable to use garden soil to start your plants under cover. It is not light enough and could contain insects and diseases that could kill your seedlings. You can find seedling soil in garden centres. It offers good water retention, while facilitating drainage and air circulation. It is also possible to make your own. You can find the proportions of the right seedmix mix here.
Moistening the soil
Water the potting soil. Simply squeeze a handful of potting soil; the ideal degree of moisture is reached when drops of water ooze through your fingers.
Filling the soil blocker
Insert the soil blocker several times vertically into the moistened mixture.
It is best to work along the sides of the container to the bottom.
The soil blocker is filled when potting soil or water appears between the upper gaps. At this point, smooth the excess material over the rim of your container.
Ejecting soil blocks
Place the soil blocker in the growing container.
Tighten the handles slightly, while removing the mould. The blocks are separated as they come out of the soil blocker. However, it is possible that the soil blocks may touch each other. To prevent the plants from rooting too uncontrollably, it is a good idea to leave enough space between each row of soil blocks.
It is easy to place all the large seeds in the holes of the soil blocks by hand. For small seeds (up to the size of a radish seed) or very fine seeds (begonia up to 100,000 seeds per gram), use a small planter and a simple trick:
– Place the seeds in a bowl or on a sheet of paper.
– Touch the chosen seed until it sticks.
– Place the seed in the imprint and press lightly to ensure good contact with the soil.
In order to obtain vigorous plants, the following factors must be monitored:
Water: If the plugs are sown immediately after they are made, the water content is normally sufficient for the next few days. Watering should be done directly on the blocks with a spray bottle or a fine apple (coarse watering breaks up the blocks and drowns the seed).
Optimal germination temperature: it is important to respect the temperatures considered optimal for a good emergence! We will therefore group the species we grow according to their respective needs.
Heat and light: you can place your seedlings in front of a south-facing window. But be careful, the seedlings only receive part of the light they would get outside. On the window sill they receive too much heat and not enough light, which could make them stunted. These seedlings are then said to have “wilted”.
Try to keep your seedlings cool, between 15 and 18°C to encourage slow growth. Beware of frost for plants placed on windowsills. You can place a blanket between the window and your plants to keep them warm at night.
Finally, you can also use neon tubes or fluorescent bulbs to light your plants. However, place your plants near a window so that they can benefit from artificial AND natural light. Be careful not to leave the light on all the time, as plants need to sleep too.
Monitoring the crop
Planting in pressed plugs is so exciting that you risk losing control of your crops. It is therefore advisable to keep careful records of the essential elements: origin of the seed, sowing date, quantity of plants needed, emergence rate, etc. This will allow you to plan your gardening season well. In the event of failure, the cause can be determined more quickly.
Setting out the plants in the field replaces transplanting. The best time to do this is in the late afternoon on an overcast day. The soil blocks should be well soaked with water so that the plant has a reserve. Of course, care must be taken to ensure good contact between the root ball and the surrounding soil. The work should be completed with a general watering.
To help you plant your seedlings in the ground, you can use a planting hand, a planter or a hoe. There are also several models of seed drills available on our site but these are generally used by professionals as they can cover very large areas.