Blocking

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I have taken up blocking as a way of starting my seeds. It is basically mud pies for grown-ups – I love it.

Essentially you mix up compost and water and then plunge the blocking tool into the mix before pushing the lever down and ejecting 4 neat squares of compost. Each square has a little dip in it and you pop the seed on that. And then it grows – hopefully.

The idea is that  the roots don’t get entangled and then ripped when you prick out the seedlings as happens if you seed in a big seed tray. The roots also reach the air and then grow back in (or something) rather than grow round and round as they do in a pot – so the plants don’t get root bound. Apparently seeds started this way grow stronger, healthier plants which means more veggies. I will keep you updated as to how well they do.

I bought one that does 4 x 5cm blocks and one that does 20 tiny blocks. I got them from here. Once the seedling starts to grow you can then slot this little block into one of the bigger ones.

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I started off some broad beans (Leidse Hangdown – I think), early (Oskar) peas and some unknown mangetout in the polytunnel.

Inside I started some lavender and sunflower seeds, some more onions (Sturon), some tomatoes (Pink Wonder and Amish Paste) and some cucumber (Early Fortune) in the blocks  – as well as some seeds I had saved in standard seed trays: red pepper (lipstick), tomatillo, aubergine (moneymaker), tomato (constantino plum), and cucumber (unknown).

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I don’t think I saved my tomato and aubergine seeds the correct way as I didn’t leave them to ferment in water for three days, as I didn’t know about that then. We will see what happens. This year hopefully I will do a better job as I have been reading bits and pieces – not too much though as I don’t want my head to explode with all the information!

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N.B. Why yes, I do have two rather lovely new heat trays for propagation, but in my defence I do need them as the cats are always trying to muscle in on the heat!

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N.B. Any idea what’s in the package? Find out tomorrow ….. it’s very …  umm … interesting shall we say ……

secret

 

8 responses to “Blocking

  1. Throw a few packs of edible flower seeds around the entrance to the poly tunnel. It looks lovely, they attract the bees and you and the Yakking Cat customers can have very pretty flowers on salads!
    As for the turkey baster shaped attachment on that parcel…. shudder….

    • Already got sunflowers, nasturtiums, lavender growing and will start off some marigold and calendula (are these the same?) very soon. It has a corkscrew shaped attachment!

  2. Heerkk!! Ok so THAT’S what you’re using it for! Does that mean the pigs are technically having a virgin birth and the piglets will be due Christmas Day? 🙂

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