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.
There are a lot of benefits to using these for seed germination instead of more traditional containers.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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.
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).
Make sure to wish Godspeed to your little buddy.
Gently cover him up.
Water him every day.
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?