Soil blockers are an alternative to trays and pots and are widely used to quickly transfer seedlings and achieve concise germination. Additionally, soil blockers are one of the most efficient methods for seed growth as they save time and expense at the same time.
While trays were used to do the same thing, they were highly inefficient and had troublesome requirements.
However, with soil blockers, one can easily deal with the seedlings without worrying about certain problems like the roots breaking out of the soil block.
So, the purpose of having a soil blocker is creating a “pot-less – pot” from the soil itself. This not only saves the money spent on plastic pots but is also environment-friendly. Moreover, soil blocks or rather soil pots are more efficient and promote faster growth and speedy germination of seeds.
Here are some of the most widely used soil blockers in the market by simple gardeners:
Ladbrooke Genuine Mini 4 Hand-held Soil Blocker
This is what you should know about Ladbrooke’s Genuine Mini 4 Hand-held Soil Blocker,
Introduction and Features
Ladbrooke’s Soil Blocker is one of the most famous soil blockers in the market. The blocker has all the basic features that a good soil blocker must include.
Speaking of features, the blocker is made of zinc-coated steel, so it won’t get any rust even when dealing with harsh and moist environments.
The blocker is handheld and fairly lightweight. Although it has a comparatively stiff handle, it does the job well.
The hand-held soil block maker makes four 2″ soil blocks with a seed dibble pre-formed at the top. Potting soil is compressed wet into the soil block mold and then discharged into a tray with the ejection handle. These soil blocks can later-on be used to store and germinate seeds.
- Perfect Size
- Easy to Operate
- Handle Might Get Rusty
The soil blocker works well and is easy to operate. It does not require much effort to make the soil blocks.
The size is configured to be 2 inches and it can’t be changed.
In one step, four Soil Blocks are produced that have the seed bay in them by default. Wet soil is used in operation.
You do need to use special soil to get the blocks to stay together, but it’s quite easy to achieve.
You just need the following: one part of peat moss or coco coir, one part of perlite or vermiculite and one part of finished compost.
Mix all of them up dry, then put on some rubber gloves (the kind you’d wash dishes in) and start mixing in water. Better too much water than too little, but ideally you want to be able to squeeze a handful, open your hand, and have it hold its shape. It’s a messy affair, like making mud pies.
Overall, this product is recommended due to its easy operation and just the perfect soil block size. Small plant nurseries and homeowners can make good use of this product.
Ladbrooke Soil Block Maker – Multi 20 Commercial Long Handle
Keep the following review in mind about Ladbrooke’s Soil Block Maker – Multi 20 Commercial Long Handle,
Introduction and Features
Another product designed and manufactured by Ladbrooke comes with industrial level features and a versatile area of operation.
Unlike the Mini-4, Multi 20 has the capability of making twenty soil blocks at a time instead of just four.
The size of soil blocks is configured to 1.5*1.5 inches and can’t be changed in any way.
This makes it usable for a variety of small industries such as a plant nursery or high-end gardening firms. With zinc plated iron casting and efficient design, this soil blocker can perform excellently and last longer without rusting.
However, there is one slight change in its design apart from 20 soil blocks – it’s the handle. The new and long handle helps generate more torque and considerably increases the pressure applied to each of the soil blocks which results in the production of good quality soil blocks.
The seed-bay is built in the soil blocker, so, all the soil blocks will get the seed bay pre-made.
- Does more work
- Easy to use
- Good Quality of Output
- Targeted Size
Now while working with this particular soil blocker, you will feel that it is heavier than normal soil blockers because of the twenty soil blocks setup present in the bottom.
The soil blocker works on the same principle as the Mini-4 and can produce good quality soil blocks.
The seed-bay is also well crafted, so, you won’t have to make holes to put in your seeds afterward. Multi-20 soil blocker is almost directly targeted for consumers with high requirements or commercial vendors.
The overall feel of this product is very stiff and there is no bending observed in its operation which shows the quality of materials used in its construction.
It must be noted that due to its size and weight, this soil blocker is fit to use on the floor. The long handle serves its purpose here and can be gripped and used easily.
Above all, this product is safe to be recommended to high-demanding people and plant germinating industries that deal with a lot of seeds and require fast-paced working tools.
Soil Block Maker 4″ Maxi
Read the complete review about Soil Block Maker 4″ Maxi,
Introductions and Features
This soil blocker is one of the largest soil blocks producing models out there in the market and can be used to craft 4-inches soil blocks.
This size means you’re going to be filling it with a lot of soil as compared to all the other soil blockers. The soil mix itself will take a lot of resources and you’ll have to put some real effort into it.
This model is also designed and manufactured by Ladbrooke and like all of its products, Maxi comes with a steel body covered by a zinc coating to save it from rust.
The Maxi soil blocker is perfect to use if you are transforming the 2-inch soil blocks from mini-4 however using it for seedling is not recommended. (It doesn’t mean you can’t use it for seedlings.)
- Works Great
- Good Outputs
- Easy to Use*
- Requires Practice to use
- Sometimes the soil blocks break
- Stiff ejector handle
Now, before you think of buying this product, you should know that it is targeted to a very specific usage and is not something you will use very often in your greenhouse or garden. So, it becomes important that you only buy it only if you have the need.
Another thing is that this soil blocker is very big and cannot be used very easily. For starters, this can be their worst nightmare as creating soil blocks is extremely difficult even for regular soil-block makers.
It might require you to have considerable practice before you can do the blocking process in the right way.
There’s another factor of the soil mixture in which composition due to the large size of the block can vary place to place depending on the soil type of that area. You’ll have to rely on hit and trial methods to find the correct composition of the soil-composite. This is a time consuming and difficult process, so, you will have to be a “pro” if you are planning to use Maxi soil blocker in-short.
It must be noted that this soil blocker produces only a single product and if you have a large number of blocks to produce, you will have to sit for a considerable amount of time.
Meanwhile, the block can also be used to incase 2” soil block. Like Mini-4, no inserts are required to make a seed-bay in Maxi as well.
The large size of soil block may cause it to crumble/crack from the base which can be corrected if you apply ample pressure on the soil blocker and use the correct soil-composite/mixture.
In the end, this soil blocker is only recommended to those who deal with big soil blocks and are experienced germinators.
Ladbrooke Genuine Micro 20 Soil Block Maker
This is a detailed review about Ladbrooke Genuine Micro 20 Soil Block Maker,
Introduction and Features
One of the most exciting tools from Ladbrooke, Micro 20 meets all your tiny seeding needs.
This is a perfect soil block maker if you have tiny seeds that do not require a large soil block to thrive. Once properly setup, this soil blocker can produce about twenty ¾ inch soil blocks at a time which is pretty faced paced.
The soil blocker is made of zinc-coated steel body like all other soil block makers from Ladbrooke and features an ejection handle as well as built-in inserts for making seed-bays in the soil blocks.
This soil block maker is one of the most efficient gardening tools available, inexpensive and maintenance-free!
- Super easy to use
- Provides twenty soil blocks at a time
- Not the most suitable design
- Sometimes a few soil blocks break
The most relevant application for this type of soil blockers is when you are dealing with tiny seeds that require smaller sized soil blocks for their growth.
Most of the time, this is the only reason they are used because gardeners can’t fit the seeds in 2-inch or 1.5-inch soil blocks. They provide a high rate of germination and easy blooming. So, they are ideal to be used for the right type of seeds.
However, there is one serious drawback of using this size of soil blocks and that concerns directly to the growth factor and one of the most important ingredients for a seedling – moisture.
For some people, this size will be too small to handle and might not give them the best experience.
Small soil blocks tend to dry quite quickly and they are the hardest to water as well which makes them a very difficult choice for gardeners. Practicing and self-education can help you craft the seeds in ¾ inched soil blocks pretty easily.
Watering too harshly may cause the soil block to beak and the tiny seeds will wash away if you water too little, the seed might die from dryness. Therefore, it is recommended to use a gentle sprinkling method to water the seedling as it is safer than using a water jet stream.
Keep in mind that you should not water too much or too less depending upon the type of seed you are using.
Ladbrooke Genuine Mini 5 Soil Blocker
Here are all the things to remember about Ladbrooke Genuine Mini 5 Soil Blocker,
Introduction and Features
The Ladbrooke genuine mini 5 soil blocker is an expanded version of mini-4 and is capable of producing five 1-3/8″ square soil blocks. Out of all the soil blockers from Ladbrooke, this particular soil blocker is the only one with a refitting seed pins with the help of dibbles.
By default, you get 5/8-inch seed pins but they can be refit with 1-inch dibbles.
Like all the other models and products, this soil maker is also made with steel which is covered with a zinc coating to save it from rusting. The soil maker feels very sturdy in hand and you can barely notice any bends when it is being used which shows how strong the product is. The ejector handle is almost the same as the mini-4 and it works very well.
There is no requirement of extra seed pins as they are included within the product.
- Sturdy and Well-crafted
- Perfect Balance
- Good Soil Blocks
- Tricky watering
- Specific Size Ranges
If you are buying this product because you want some quality soil blocks, you can go ahead and buy it. It features a refit-able seed pin system that gives you a valuable option of having or not having a seed-bay.
This soil maker is easy to use and provides perfectly sized soil blocks that can be used for exponential seedling growth as this soil block is very efficient in its function.
When combined with the perfect soil type and the right amount of water, 100% germination can be achieved.
The soil blocker provides five blocks each measured as 1-3/8″ square soil blocks. The size can be specific and average for some people as they tend to use bigger or smaller soil blocks as per their requirement.
Overall, if this soil blocker is the perfect fit for your requirements, it is safe to recommend it.
Frequently Asked Questions
These questions are frequently seen on the internet about Soil Blockers:
Is there a specific good or bad Soil Blocker?
No, there is not any specific good or bad soil blocker as different blockers are fit for different purposes. You cannot simply specify a single blocker for all types of scenarios. Therefore, the choice of perfect soil blocker essentially depends on the consumer’s requirements and may vary from person to person.
Why do we do Soil Blocking?
It grows good quality seedling. Since the plant is not in any sort of vessel, it does not become root-bound and because of the structure of the blocks and blocking mix you can handle the transplants when they are younger establishes plants in the garden even faster. The plants that perform poorly when they become root bound grow especially well with soil blocks.
What is the appropriate soil mix for soil blockers?
Special soil mix is not required to make soil blockers, however, be sure to make or choose a soil mix that contains materials that hold water, are fibrous and that allow for air spaces.
How do we make Soil Blocks?
One of the most important steps in making blocks is to moisten the soil mix beforehand. When using containers, many people fill these with dry soil mix; however, this method does not work for soil blocks. Wet the soil mix several hours before making blocks and moisten the mix to a slurry-like consistency.
Place the mix in a container with sides so that the top-level is higher than the soil blocker height. Thrust and twist the soil blocker into the soil mix a few times until the soil mix fits snugly into the chambers.
How do we water Soil Blocks?
At first water blocks with a fine rose or mister to prevent structural damage to the block. Once the seed starts growing, the roots will hold the soil mix in place and then a regular sprinkler can be utilized. Make sure that blocks never dry out as the moistness helps hold them together and they can be difficult to re-wet.
Water all parts of the block, not just the tops. The blocks on the edge will dry out first; make sure to water them thoroughly and even protect them from windy conditions by placing a board or border along all exposed edges.
How many blocks fit in a standard 1020 tray?
You can fit three rounds of the Multi 20 soil blocks into a 1020 tray. There will be room left along both the long edge and short edges of the tray. The Multi 35 Soil Blocker was designed to best fill a 1020 tray. It was designed in cooperation with US customers after the other long-handled soil blockers were already in distribution.
Does the 1.5 multi handle 20 designed use cube inserts too?
The Multi 20 with 1.5″ soil cells is not recommended for use with cubic inserts. The cell walls generally are too thin and will likely crumble with that cube insert. The cells are just slightly too small to be optimal for this purpose. The Multi 12 and Multi 6 long-handle soil blockers can take cubic inserts.
Do I need some sort of seed insert to purchase separately?
The Multi 20 comes with 5/8″ seed pins in each soil block square. Longer 1″ seed pins are available in sets of 4, only if you want a little longer indentation but not necessary to use this.
Should you cover the seeds or let them sit in the hole uncovered?
It depends on your seed. Some seeds need light to germinate and some do not. Also, the size… If you drop a tiny seed in a comparatively deep hole it has to struggle to sprout.
Do seeds need light or dark to germinate?
Ideally, seeds germinate under dark or very dim light conditions. However, some specific seeds require light to grow. It depends on the type of seed you are using.
What are the conditions necessary for germination?
Suitable temperature, moisture, water, sunlight, and fertile soil are considered to be necessary for a seed to germinate.
What is the fastest way to germinate seeds?
The fastest way to germination of a seed can be through placing them in a food container or pour hot distilled water over them, you might want to check whether your seed prefers hot or cold water before you do the above.
Why do some seeds fail to germinate?
Seeding too deep, planting them in colder soil, extra watering, improper soil, birds, squirrels or insects, and poor seed quality are amongst the most common causes behind non-germinating seeds.