Bay Branch Farm

a vegetable farm in lakewood and cleveland, oh | we grow food

35 Block – Stand up soil blocker

2 Comments

We do most of our propagation in soil blocks. Planting kale, spinach, lettuce, green onions, chard, and beets – the 20-block stand up soil blocker from Ladbrooke has been our go to tool. But we were ready to abandon this tool and change to plastic propagation trays. While we were attending the Young Farmers Conference this past December, Jack Alger, who runs the greenhouse at Stone Barns, expressed the same problems I have with our 20-block tool. My two major concerns are that it doesn’t fit properly into a 1020 propagation tray so there is a good deal of monkey business filling a tray and I feel the blocks are slightly too large for the application we are using. This tool makes 20 blocks that are 1 3/8″ x 1 3/8″ x 1 5/8″ high. If we were going to plant out some squash or beans, the 20 blocker block size seems appropriate, but for all the veggies mentioned earlier, the blocks seem too large and we are wasting potting mix and space. He had Ladbrooke make him a custom 35-block stand up blocker that addresses both of these problems. It creates 35 soil blocks at a go that are approximately an inch and a quarter by an inch and 1/8. I contacted them and had them make us one also. Three times using the 35-block tool fit into a standard 1020 tray making 105 blocks, which is a nice round number. We made our first trays today planting kale, chard, and spinach. There are a still a few minor refinements I’d make to the tool, but over the season we will evaluate how closely this new size meets our needs.

Ready to make some soil blocks.

Ready to make some soil blocks.

 

7 x 5 = 35 blocks

7 x 5 = 35 blocks

 

Here is the 1st set of blocks. 2 more and the standard 1020 tray is full.

Here is the 1st set of blocks. 2 more and the standard 1020 tray is full.

 

A full tray with 105 blocks.

A full tray with 105 blocks.

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2 thoughts on “35 Block – Stand up soil blocker

  1. That tool looks absolutely amazing. Was it terribly more expensive than the other stand up models Ladbrooke sells?

    • Yes, it was a one off they made just for us. And shipping from the UK. Hopefully they will start making this as a standard item.

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