Thursday, March 10, 2011

Our New Farm Tool

     It's the time of year when I begin to think that I live in the greenhouse. We have so many plants to start. We have cleaned the greenhouse out and are ready to get into full production. For the last three years we used  the regular planting trays with the sectioned inserts. They can be a hassle since you have to transplant some things to bigger pots. They can be really miserable out in the field when the roots make a young plant so tight  in the pots that it takes careful handling to get them out of the pots to plant.

     I am happy that we will be trying something new this year. We now have a soil block maker. I have stored all of the plastic trays with sections in our smaller germination greenhouse and I have kept out the flat trays and the large ones with grid bottoms so that we can place the newly made soil blocks in these trays while the plants are growing. 
The sections of the block maker.

The tool has a long handle for stamping out blocks while standing.

There is a tiny block maker for starting seeds. You then move them into the center of the larger blocks so there is room for root growth.

A finished tray of blocks. The center hole can be for seed planting or for the tiny blocks instead of transplanting to pots.

     I  think this will be a good addition to our tools. I wish we'd had one before this. I've always worried that losing a lot of plant roots, because they were stuck in those plastic sections, added to transplanting stress and lowered the general vigor of the young plants. I've also hated having broken plant trays that don't recycle in our area. This is definitely a greener way to go! I'll let you know how they do after this season if you are interested and ask.

Beauty!
It's always delightful to dig in the dirt after a cold winter.

Spring is just around the corner!

March 11th is the last day of my NuNaturals Stevia giveaway. It's low entry, so check it out and get your entry in before it's too late!



14 comments:

  1. Looks like an interesting process. I'm not quite sure I understand how it works yet -- but I agree the little 2X2 and 3X3 plastic containers get rather dicey when the plant is getting too big.

    Good luck and let us know how it works out for you. :)

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  2. I hope the soil blocks work well for you! Looks neat!

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  3. A greenhouse...nice! I am getting into "plant" mode, but it will still be a bit before I can actually start digging.

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  4. Pretty cool process--never saw that before. That beautiful, black dirt is one of my favorite sites to see and smell. Bring it on :)
    Thanks for sharing with FFF!

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  5. Wow, that looks like a really good idea! Do you keep those dividers in while the plants are growing? And if not, how do you keep the soil blocks from fusing together when you water them?

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  6. I have always wanted a greenhouse, not going to happen soon. I have to say I love the name of your blog and the accompanying picture - fabulous!

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  7. That looks great! I certainly want to know how they work. I am truly jealous of having a greenhouse.

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  8. Oooo, dirt. I'm PINING to get outside and get into some!! Lucky you!! Actually, I did get out and prune the apple trees, but I was in the air more than on the ground. So I'm envious of your dirt! :)

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  9. Aren't you north of me??? I am still waiting on the last big snow pile to melt! Maybe in a couple weeks we can work on sewing grass back into our yard and look for spring flowers. SOOOO ready for some color!

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  10. What a cool tool. I am waiting for spring BUT now it horrible rainfall warnings and all our snow has changed to water and rivers making it hard to do the chores. I should have been careful what I wished for. b

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  11. You will love this!. I don't have one, but my brother does, so I use his. So much cheaper. I have tomato plants, and various peppers ready to go. Will be planting lettuce and spring onions this weekend. Spring is finally here. I hope.

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  12. oops, I sat and stared at your new tool and went and got my husband and we discussed it and forgot to leave a comment. I can't wait to see how it works verses the plastic containers (which I hate using.)

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  13. I haven't seen the block maker before. I have been using the plastic trays - in fact, just bought another package to plant more seeds.
    What keeps the soil from being too compacted...and if not too compacted, from falling apart? Does the tool make the hole in the center?
    I will certainly have to check this out!

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  14. Can't wait to see how the new tool works out. I have looked at the soil blocker for several years, but never taken the leap. Your trays sure look beautiful. We are anxiously waiting for the end of the winter to get back in the garden.

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