Win a copy of Permaculture Design Companion this week in the Permaculture Design forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Mike Jay Haasl
  • Burra Maluca
garden masters:
  • James Freyr
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Steve Thorn
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Dave Burton
  • Pearl Sutton

Prepared sod blocks for seed starting?

 
pollinator
Posts: 1559
Location: Denver, CO
60
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've read that the Aztecs used blocks of sod to start squash in, then transplanted the seedlings out.

Some folks like using soil blocks, since these seem to lead to higher quality root systems. However, they can be difficult to keep together, and can use a lot of imported ingredients.

I'm wondering, what if we just used blocks of sod? (Dead, of course.)

In fact, what if we grew special sod? What if we laid out a 4 inch layer of compost, soil, wood chips, amendments, whatever mix we fancied, on a plastic sheet, planted a mix of plants, and watered it for a month or so to get it growing? We could then let the plants freeze out if we chose the right ones, or we could cover it with black plastic to smother it. Then we could cut the sod into squares.

We could use all sorts of plants. We would probably want a fast growing annual grass for a lot of binding roots, nitrogen fixers, and any plants that are considered especially stimulating for selling growth. We could even include a few things that would probably survive and be of benefit to the plant once it is installed. Oats would be a good grass, since they can grow well in the autumn but will eventually freeze out.

What do you all think?
 
pollinator
Posts: 1009
Location: Longbranch, WA
140
goat tiny house rabbit wofati chicken solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Great idea. The mat of roots on a plastic sheet could also be turned over and put in the sun to heat kill the roots. I will flag this question for more attention.
 
Gilbert Fritz
pollinator
Posts: 1559
Location: Denver, CO
60
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It seems like prepared blocks would be better then standard sod, anyway; the sod would have perennial roots which would be hard to kill.

And it should hold together a lot better then a soil block.

But my concern would be; could all the organic matter rot too fast, and or dry out too quickly?
 
If you have a bad day in October, have a slice of banana cream pie. And this tiny ad:
dry stack retaining wall
https://permies.com/t/85178/dry-stack-retaining-wall
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!