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Recipes and tips on how to make soil mix for your soil blocks

Mar 15, 2012 -
  Recipes and tips on how to make soil mix for your soil blocks
Start your seeds in soil blocks and let them grow without transplant shock.

Soil blocks let you germinate seeds and grow seedlings all in one spot

When you grow with seed blocks there are no seed trays, no shifting to pots, and minimal risk of transplant shock. How can you do it? Use one of our Soil Blockers to make soil cubes that stand alone.

Tricia shows how simple it is to work with a Soil Blocker mechanical device in our new video.

You can’t rely on traditional potting soil to make soil blocks—it doesn’t have the right consistency and the blocks will fall apart.


The soil mixture for soil blocks needs to be able to maintain a solid shape when damp.

Peat moss (or a substitute) is an essential ingredient for holding water and allowing spaces for air. Don’t gasp and turn away. We have peat moss that is sustainably harvested, and we carry a whole line of “coco peat” (coconut fibers) that can replace peat moss.

Compost for nourishment.

Vermiculite is sterile and holds water well. Perlite particles are often too large for soil blocks, but can be substituted.

Rock powder increases air space and adds minerals. We have Gaia Green Glacial Rock Dust and Micronized Azomite.


Sieve to screen all the soil mixture ingredients through a fine mesh, to have the light texture that germinating seeds need.

Potting tray where you can measure and dampen the soil mix.

Respirator to wear while working with fine powders.


Soil blocks are better known in Europe than in the U.S., so many of the recipes we have come from Great Britain. Let’s start with the easy one.


Let us do the soil mixing for you. We’ve already concocted an organic soilless seed starting mixture to use in Speedling and Plantel trays, and it works equally well with the Soil Blockers.

This marvelous mixture is called Quickroot and we offer it in small or huge bags.

The ingredients include coconut coir fiber, vermiculite (no detected asbestos), organic green waste compost, bone meal, and soft rock phosphate.

Peat moss based soil recipes

*  David Tresemer, author of the Ladbrooke Soil Blocker Booklet Transplants in Soil Blocks, has a favorite recipe:

4 parts peat moss
1 part well-rotted compost
1 handful of ground calcium limestone for every cubic foot of mixture
1 handful of ground basalt rock powder

*  Thalassa Cruso recommends:

2 parts peat moss
1 part vermiculite
1 part good garden soil (if you have that “chocolate cake” kind of friable soil)
small amount of clay dust as a binder

For any of these recipes or our Quickroot, moisten the soil to a slurry consistency as Tricia demonstrates in our video, then pack the Soil Blocker mechanism and you’ll have your own soil blocks, ready to receive your seeds.

For more information on soil mixtures and soil blocking, get a copy of the Ladbrooke Soil Blocker Booklet Transplants in Soil Blocks.

Are you ready to try soil blocks for your seeds this year?

Categories: Growing Medium, Organic Compost, Organic Potting Soil, Growing Medium Ingredients, Horticultural Vermiculite, Seed Starting, Soil Blocker, Transplanting Tools, Growing Medium, Organic Compost, Organic Potting Soil, Growing Medium Ingredients, Arctic Humus, Horticultural Vermiculite, Organic Gardening 101

Lis Says:
Jun 14th, 2012 at 5:28 am

My husband and I and our 3 young chdliren (3,6, 8) bought our second home last year.It sits on 3 acres in west. PA.-about a 1/2 acre is wooded.I have always been a gardening enthusiast, although I still have quite a lot to learn-especially in the area of organic gardening.I am, however, constantly reading up to learn as much as possible. My hope is to start a small scale organic veg. business over the next 2 years.There are quite a few farmers markets in the area where I could at least get my start. I’m also interested in selling to restaraunts in the area. Finally, most of the responsibilities of the business would fall on me as my husband works full time outside the home.I am currently a stay at home mom and believe that this would be a great way for me to do what I love and believe in while I continue to stay home with my children. Any advice,experiences or resources anyone can share would be very much appreciated.

Margaret Says:
Nov 22nd, 2012 at 11:43 pm

I found a wonderful book written by a guy in Maine who is doing exactly what you are talking about doing.  It is called “The New Organic Grower” by Elliot Coleman. It is FULL of helpful ideas, suggestions for tools and equipment, marketing methods, etc.  It is very readable and very practical. I read it straight through last year, and then read most of it again this year! I loved it!

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Nov 23rd, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Margaret & Lis, We are also big fans of Eliot Coleman’s and carry some of his books, including the one Margaret recommends: http://www.groworganic.com/the-new-organic-grower.html

Holly Says:
Jul 23rd, 2013 at 8:58 am

Lis, I highly recommend that you attend the MOFGA 3 day event near Belfast, Maine.  They offer hundreds of one hour workshops and for $10/day entry fee you simply cannot get this much info any faster for less money.  One lecture last year was particularly helpful, the business of growing.  The instructor gave us a one page template for creati g. Business plan.  I cannot suggest this highly enough.  If you can also locate a SCORE counselor through your Chamber of Commerce that would also save you tons of time and money to get or right the first time.
Good Luck!
And enjoy!

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Jul 23rd, 2013 at 9:35 am

Holly, Thanks for sharing this info!

Lis Says:
Mar 6th, 2014 at 2:05 pm

you sound exactly like me. Last year was our first year. We built our greenhouse and are a small family backyard nursery in WA state. my daughter emily is now a year and a half and spring is right around the corner, and i couldnt be more excited for this year. I believe spend your time doing what you love, if we love being healthy it only comes naturally to some of us do these sorts of things! Our little ones will inherit this earth and its our duty to see they know how to! We are planting the seeds of a new generation, We are Happy Roots Plant Nursery smile

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