Monday, March 21, 2011

50 Soil Block Maker

Sometimes the right tool for the job can make all the difference in the world. Here on the farm we grow all of our seedlings in soil blocks. Roots air prune, the blocks don't dry out as quickly as cells do, and there are fewer costs involved without the flat inserts.
Making hundreds upon hundreds of soil blocks with a 4 soil block maker can be something of a trial in patience and endurance however...

While Johnny's sells 4, 20, and commercial soil block makers of 12 and 20...those numbers are not the most convenient when utilizing the ubiquitous 21x11 inch flat.
So...our inventor extraordinaire (a PhD and a recent escapee from academia ) made a soil block maker to fill an entire flat at once...thus eradicating much seeding-day stress and hardship! The 1st prototype is in two pieces. The galvanized sheet metal is from an old hog feeder, cut into strips. It's a 21x11 inch grid spot welded at the joints.
We fill the grid in with seed starting mix..then the top piece (with cork buttons on it for the seed indentations) is pressed down on the filled-in grid.

Pull up by the handle of the grid while pushing down on the blocks: the grid slips up while the blocks push down, and your 50 block flat is ready to seed!
Hey kids! Try this at home!


  1. What an awesome idea. Genius.

    Have a great day.


  2. Thanks Connie!
    You know what they say:
    Necessity is the Mother of Invention!
    (Especially the necessity of sanity!)

  3. This is a great idea. Thanks for sending me the info. I will be following up with you guys very soon.



    Adam Lemieux
    Product Manager, Tools & Supplies

    Johnny’s Selected Seeds
    955 Benton Ave
    Winslow, ME 04901
    Office: (207) 861-3900 x3905
    Cell: (207) 877-5596

  4. Hello! Are you still using the 50 at a time soil blocker? I have been looking everywhere for something similar as 4, 12 or 20 at a time blockers are just not feasible on a production scale. Wondering if you'd be willing to do a custom order for me, as I'm not an engineer or welder. Thanks much