Make Your Own Seedling Soil Cubes

So I created quite a few Dirty Little Uteruses.

Uterii?

Polyuterus?

Uteruseses?

Hmmm… Who knows… let’s just get this thing started.

Last time we talked about the DIY Grow Light Rack that is happily chugging along in one of our guest bedrooms.  Now let’s take a look at the soil cubes living on that rack, nurturing our future little buddies.

1Seed-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

2Dirt-Lotsa-RW

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

3Mix1

4Mix2

Add water and keep mixing until the consistency resembles oatmeal.  (As an aside, I tend to read a lot of healthy Living / Foodie blogs, and {sarcasm} it seems like there is a total void of bloggers talking about oatmeal … You guys should get on that {/sarcasm}).

5Mix3

6Mix4

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

7Messy

For this, the Soil Cube Tool was indispensable.  I highly recommend it.

8Seed-Cube-1-RW

9Seed-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.

Fill.

10SoilCube

Compact.

11SoilCubeFilled

Stop to admire your first pair!

12FirstCubes

Repeat about a million times.

13SoilCubeInDirt

14FirstBin

15Bins1

16Bins2

 

Relocate under grow lights.

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

17Tomato-Seeds-RW

Make sure to wish Godspeed to your little buddy.

Gently cover him up.

Water him every day.

And wait…

 18Seed-Growth-3-RW

 

And wait…

 

19Seed-Growth-RW1

And wait…

20Seed-Growth-2-RW

And wait…

21Seed-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’ve spent quite a few years attending lectures, reading too many books, and dreaming up (what some would call weird) techniques in the Permaculture sphere of influence 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, deep ditches dug by hand, and six cubic yards of compost and mulch. Now THAT’S a garden bed.  Interested?

–Mike

Question of the Day: Seriously, is it Uterii?

Posted in Garden Tagged with: , , ,
5 comments on “Make Your Own Seedling Soil Cubes
  1. Yay! It is time to start some seeds! Such beautiful photos of the sprouted seed. I’ve never seen the Soil Cube before. It is nice to see Made in the USA product. I use the 2-inch Ladbrooke Soil Block Maker that makes 4 blocks at a time. It does take some effort to compress the soil tight enough too. I sometimes work on the floor allowing my body weight to help. This weekend, I will be mixing up my own soil block mixture and getting some seeds sown. I would love to read about your unique (not weird) garden beds.
    Rachel @ Grow a Good Life recently posted…2014 Seed ListMy Profile

    • Mike says:

      Hey Rachel, how many cubes do you typically make? I thought about buying another of these tools (or making my own) and strapping them together somehow for double the production. 🙂

  2. Sparkling74 says:

    This is a great idea. I used the little seed starting pellets but I like this mixture idea…..
    Sparkling74 recently posted…Denim + Leather = One Sexy BeastMy Profile

  3. Your pictures of the seedlings are fantastic! We typically just plant in whatever we have around. I like this cube idea. “Veggie Puberty” cracked me up.

    Thanks for sharing with us at The HomeAcre Hop!

    Please join us again Thursday at:
    http://summers-acres.com

    ~Ann
    Summers Acres recently posted…Regrowing Celery from Celery Stumps – Day 14My Profile

    • Mike says:

      Thanks Ann. I’d love to hear your experience with different soil mediums. I’m going to experiment with lots of different types, including just some straight shovelfuls out of the garden.
      Mike recently posted…DIY Five Gallon Bucket Mouse TrapMy Profile

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We are located in the Dayton, OH area. Our goal for this space is an informative companion to our primary passions - the Workshops we facilitate on various topics and the Private Consultation given to clients as Homestead and Regenerative Agriculture Design Consultants.

A few years ago, our young family moved out of the cul-de-sac where society says we're supposed to live, and onto five acres outside town. If you stick around on the blog, you'll see our successes and failures in real time as we start from scratch and transform our land. Read a lot more about us Here.

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