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Mini Soil-Blocker for making seedballs (cubes)  RSS feed

 
Matthew Fallon
Posts: 308
Location: long island, ny Z-7a
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last winter i bought a couple of the soil block makers (3/4" and 2" sizes) for starting seeds indoors ,and they're Great for that. but the mini blocker i found was pretty good for seedballscubes as well.

i was invited to do a seedball demo at a music festival this summer, it had rained a lot the day before and i had not brought any dry ingredients(duh!).. so we found an area with clay soil, mixed in a lil topsoil,water and a bunch of clover and wildflower seeds then punched out batches of cubes with my soil blocker(was doing a demo of hose too) ,which makes twenty 3/4" cubes per batch, taking a leisurely 5-10 seconds per batch, so 60-120 cubes a minute, in 20 minutes we had well over a thousand .
being small and flat topped and a hot sunny day these lil cubes were plenty dry by sundown. everyone took home a 'batch'.

maybe its not as fun and messy as handrolling clay balls,(we did have to mix the seeds/water ) but if your goal is to make a large amount of uniform "seedballs" quickly, this is a pretty decent method i think !


the mini-20 sells for about $25 + shipping, the 2" cuber is $30 i think. (theres a 5" for like $125+, i just made that one from wood myself)
can be found at Johnny's select seeds and at pottingblocks.com

if you've never seen them here is a picture


video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-VMneNrm_4
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Aljaz Plankl
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Seedcubes! Nice one.
 
Chad Ellis
Posts: 68
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
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Cool another use for a tool I already own!
 
                
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Nice work Matthew! And, thanks for listing us next to Johnny's. (Do they even use them anymore?)
Didn't this seed ball idea originate in Japan for distributing clover seeds effectively in the garden?
We've had some customers looking for ingredients for soil block balls. Any idea where to get the red clay used in Japan?
Please check out PottingBlocks.com for detailed information on Soil Block Makers.
We are a soil block agriculture research and developement farm supplying Soil Block Makers because we really use them!
 
Jesus Martinez
Posts: 169
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Maybe I'll try that myself this year. My plan was just going to mix some seeds in compost and distribute that over my garden beds. I also have about 3/4 of an acre that needs seeding, not sure if making these soil blocks would be very time effective for a whole acre.
 
Matthew Fallon
Posts: 308
Location: long island, ny Z-7a
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Dr. Dirt wrote:Nice work Matthew! And, thanks for listing us next to Johnny's. (Do they even use them anymore?)
Didn't this seed ball idea originate in Japan for distributing clover seeds effectively in the garden?
We've had some customers looking for ingredients for soil block balls. Any idea where to get the red clay used in Japan?
Please check out PottingBlocks.com for detailed information on Soil Block Makers.
We are a soil block agriculture research and developement farm supplying Soil Block Makers because we really use them!



Hi Jason', sure thing man, i actually bought mine from you guys, i saw your youtube vids on using them,caught a little bansuri flute in one(i make bansuri and others,mostly native-flute)
we have made a few thousand blocks this season and gave seeded and unseeded trays away to friends and neighbors.Love these things! i'd like to find/make some metal trays that will nest for storage when not in use,the plywood tray i made take up a lot of room.saw copper ones in elliot colemans video. btw did you ever get those VHS tapes digitized?

its not necessary to use any special clay,just use whats available.i think any soil with decent clay content is fine.the purpose of clay in the mixture is of course as a binder.purpose of seedballs are to protect the seeds from weather,blowing away,and from birds/insects eating them...

Raindog, it's of course easier to broadcast. your plan for the garden beds is good. the seedballs could be beneficial for that 3/4acres area if you're concerned with the seeds either blowing away or being predated on. heres a video on them http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWyduWsoy8o
 
Jesus Martinez
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I'm not worried about the wind blowing them away, we don't get that much wind, I'm worried about water taking them away. Also, If I were to plant say my vegetable beds (I have a couple pounds of kale and collard seeds to plant) it seems like I will get dense clusters of plants that will need to be thinned thus causing even more time to be used. For broadcasting over 3/4 of an acre though, it seems like it will be a great solution if you can make them fast enough (Such as pressing them through a wire mesh)
 
Jason Tomblin
Posts: 31
Location: Fraser Valley, BC Canada
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I'd be interested in giving the wire method a try. I have close to an acre that I'd like to fill in with some good cover crops and flowers for pollinators instead of having a spotty grass covered area. I haven't heard too much about a good method of doing the wire treatment yet. Does anyone have any first-hand experience of an easy method to make lots of seeds balls?
 
Jesus Martinez
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My understanding of the process is to make up your seed mix, set the wire mesh on something with a flat bottom, then pack the seed mix to the correct depth (say 1/2" for 1/2" mesh) then lift the tray and push the mix through.
 
                
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Thanks Matthew. We'll pass it on...
We have the Eliot Coleman videos on DVD, but they were yanked off of You Tube. We now know we can post them to You Tube with the "Fair Use" Act and we'll be just fine. They'll be up very soon, we got a little busy here selling seed starting equipment AND farming...ahhhhh!
See these videos on soil block makers like Matthew mentioned. Cheers group!
 
Saybian Morgan
gardener
Posts: 582
Location: Lower Mainland British Columbia Canada Zone 8a/ Manchester Jamaica
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I couldn't take the stress any longer jan 1 is when I first start planting and I've had it up to here with shatering plastic pots. I made my order on pottingblocks.com and I didn't check if they ship to canada or even ship at all before the new year. I sure would like to work on my wormcasting and sand soil block recipe before it's back to work on the 3rd.
 
Devon Olsen
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Location: SE Wyoming -zone 4
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