Hmmm… Oh well, let’s get this thing started.


Last time I hijacked Joanna’s blog we talked about building the Seed Starter Rack that is happily chugging along in one of our guest bedrooms.

Today, let’s take a look at the soil cubes living on that rack, nurturing our future little buddies.

Seed Growth 4 RW

There are a lot of benefits to using these for seed germination instead of more traditional containers.

  1. There is considerably less shock to the seedlings when it’s time to transplant them into the outdoor bed.  Instead of digging and yanking them out of a plastic tub disrupting the root structure, you just plop these cubes into their new home.  I’m sure veggie puberty is hard enough without adding additional trauma.
  2. It’s very easy to water the soil cubes from the bottom once the seeds germinate.  Just make sure to gently water from the top until something sprouts.
  3. Money and storage space are saved by eliminating the ugly, messy containers.


Here’s how to make some little seed wombs of your own.

The grow medium consists of:

  • 3 parts Peat Moss
  • 2 parts Compost
  • 1 part Topsoil
  • 1 part Sand
  • 1 part Perlite

Dirt Lotsa RW

I was *very* precise in my measurements and figured “1 part” would be a shovelful.  Everything was mixed in our trusty wheelbarrow.



Add water and keep mixing until the consistency resembles oatmeal.  (As an aside, I wonder if oatmeal is ever discussed on food blogs… You guys should get on that).



Once everything is ready, it’s time to get dirty.


For this, the Soil Cube Tool was indispensable.

Seed Cube 1 RW

Seed Cube 2 RW

I’d seen various designs and contemplated building one myself.  Knowing there were a lot of domestic projects stacking up around the Homestead, I’m definitely glad I just decided to buy this one.  A rave review from our friends Patrick and Dara (bloggers at Little Country House) sealed the deal and I placed an order.

I have to admit, this thing took some practice. My success rate was hovering around fifty percent for far too long and I didn’t really get in the groove until my 30th cube.  One trick I discovered is that you really have to compress the hell out of it. At times I thought it was going to break, but those times were when it worked flawlessly.  It also helped to fill the tool by raking it through the soil, pressing it in by hand, and running my finger down the middle divider removing the dirt accumulated there.





Stop to admire your first pair!


Repeat about a million times.





Relocate under grow lights.

Drop in a seed. (These are tomato seeds Joanna and I harvested and saved two years ago).

Tomato Seeds RW

Make sure to wish Godspeed to your little buddy.

Gently cover him up.

Water him every day.

And wait…

Seed Growth 3 RW

 And wait…

Seed Growth RW

And wait…

Seed Growth 2 RW

And wait…

Seed Growth 1 RW

We’re on our way!

Now it’s time to make sure the garden will be ready.  Want to come along for the ride?

Warning: I had a long cold winter to read too many books about cool garden techniques like Permaculture I wanted to try.  So if you’re interested, instead of reading about a boring old rectangular garden bed… you’ll have to watch me combine the lay of our land, tons of decaying logs scavenged from our woods, 12″ deep ditches dug by hand, and six cubic yards of compost and mulch. Now THAT’S a garden bed.  Interested?


Question of the Day: Seriously, is it Uterii?


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  1. Plural of uterus is uteri or uteruses. Sounds like something you should have your doctor take a look at though.
    Nikki recently posted…Veg-Tastic!My Profile

  2. This was insanely interesting. I have a black thumb when it comes to gardening, but I am definitely going to point my husband this way.
    Susan recently posted…Wuzzzzzup Weekend?!My Profile

  3. It took me a few (100 or so) tries to get making the cubes down. I still mess one up from time to time. Can’t wait to see your garden in full swing.
    Patrick recently posted…The Homestead Is Waking UpMy Profile

  4. I am definitely fascinated by the process. Keep sharing! It’s inspiring me for our place!
    Aly recently posted…Penne alla VodkaMy Profile

  5. Mike, you need to grow my garden. And I think it’s uteri. lol
    Calee (@chimes) — life + running recently posted…Sweet Tunes Thursday: What I learned in class this week.My Profile

  6. I’ve never seen so much dirt in a post before. Not that I don’t like it or anything, just an observation.
    I def think its Uteri. Did you know that chickens speak chickenese? We were informed this fact by a 5 year old on Easter. The things you learn.
    Cinnamon @ eatpraytri recently posted…Friday CinnaBitsMy Profile

  7. I am glad to see that the soil cubes worked well for you. I checked them out on their website a few months ago, but I didn’t get a chance to use them this year. Perhaps that will be a project for next year.

    Also, it’s uteri or uteruses; however, I think must of the folks with the miner’s hats are saying uteri.

    • Thanks for finding us, Doc. I’m pretty pleased with the tool so far. I was a little worried about how hard you have to compress them, but things seem to be sprouting just fine.

      • Hey Mike,

        I had one problem related to compressing the cubes down. They need to be tight to hold up to watering, so I always press really hard. If you look at the way the tool is designed, the two bolts that the springs are on are under two plastic buttons. The buttons are glued in. I had both of the bolts push the buttons completely out of the tool. If this happens I have a very easy permanent fix. A piece of oak left over from our hardwood floor and duct tape. I can show you mine the next time you are over. Works like a charm now.
        Patrick recently posted…Projects And StuffMy Profile

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