I'm getting better at making soil blocks. I think I wasn't getting the mix wet enough before. Previously I got the mix as wet as a damp sponge. I could squeeze out a drop of water if I really tried. Now I'm adding more water and it seems so soggy. It really disturbs the gardener in me that has been trained not to play with wet soil. However it works.
I still have issues with getting all five of the compartments equally filled with soil. I've taken to jamming the block maker into the soil then checking with my hands to see if there is one or two that didn't really fill up, which for me is usually the case. For those blocks I finish filling them my hand. With these two improvements ALL the blocks now come out usable.
Yesterday I seeded:
- 2 borage - for the bees, I may direct seed more outside if I find space
- 12 marigold, Ground Control - to control my nematodes
- 3 monarda, Panarama Mix - for the bees
- 6 tithonia, Fiesta Del Sol - for me, I was surprised to find so few seeds in the packet, only about 18? maybe. I used 12, two in each cell. I hope they all germinate.
- 3 parsley, Italian flat leafed - I usually don't seed them. They self sow every year in my garden, but last year with the rain very few came up and they didn't grow well. I'm making sure I have parsley this year.
- 5 chard, Bright Lights - I was going to do the red chard, but decided I'll just do all Bright Lights. It is pretty. So I sowed some more. I want about nine plants total (sowed 5 a week ago). I'll sow more if I don't get enough germination from these.
I put them on the heat mat since I had it set up already and the peppers are gone. I put the flower blocks in a brownie container left over from my husband's birthday party. It fit 23 blocks which was good. The chard and parsley went on a lid from one of my plastic containers. I would have put it in the containers like my lettuce seedlings, but the bottom of the containers is not flat. It has a rim that does down farther along the outside and the blocks keep tipping into it. The blocks don't hold together well when they are always tipping over. So I'm on the lookout for things with flat bottoms. The lids are pretty good and hold 8 seedlings pretty well.
The little seedlings aren't up yet. Nor would I expect them to be after just one day, but I'll check them every morning and put them in the sun once they start to germinate. The ones that don't germinate immediately will get covered with saran wrap or an old plastic bag to keep them moist and I will mist them every day to make sure. For now they are covered with lids that keep them all moist.