Consider this the Modish Annex

This recipe and approach to soil blocking is pretty internet-redundant, so I didn't want to post it on Modish. However, if you're curious about the mix I used, here it is, largely based on this recipe.

Aside from your blocker, have a big storage tote or wheelbarrow on hand for mixing up your ingredients, a shovel or hoe for thorough mixing, a source for water and a bucket for measuring/transporting water, a bucket or bowl for rinsing off your soil blocker between blocks, a flat surface for your finished blocks.

Materials: So here's the gist of my recipe, adapted largely from this recipe, it is based on a 2 1/2 gallon mop bucket measurement:

Mix each ingredient in, one at a time, mixing it all up as you go. 3 buckets Coir {(a coconut husk substitute for peat)--there is plenty of info on the web about why you should use coir over peat. I suggest you look into it before making your next peat purchase. Isn't one of the basic tenets of gardening being gentle to the earth?}, 1/2 cup Garden Lime, 2 buckets Diatomaceous Earth. Separately mix up your fertilizer mix and add all 4 cups Fertilizer Mix to the ingredients you've already mixed together. {Fertilizer mix: I used a mix of 2 cups Espoma Garden Tone, 1 cup rock phosphate, 1 cup rock dust}, 1 bucket Garden Soil, 2 buckets Compost

When it's all mixed together you'll want to screen it, which means sifting out all the pieces bigger than 1/4 inch. I use a mesh desktop file box for this. The one I found has mesh on the bottom as well, so I just kind of shake it up and I sift the small stuff into another bucket and compost the bigger pieces. The holes are slightly bigger than 1/4-inch, but I'm ok with that, I like the structure, size and shape of it. You just don't want big chunks of bark giving your soil blocker a nasty wedgie. No time for that.

Take some of your dirt (I mixed up about a half a bucket) and mix it with water till it's nice and moist but not liquidy. Press your blocker into the dirt several times to get the soil packed in there and use the spring to press it out onto your surface. My mix was too wet (and my little one was antsy for attention again) but it worked well enough. So yes, there is room for mistakes!

Pack, pack, pack the block, release the soil, repeat. Before you know it, you're all ready for some seed starting fun!

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