How to Start Seeds Indoors

Person working with a tub of soil

Tom Oder 

An inexpensive, easy-to-use, hand-held tool called a soil blocker makes cubes of soil for starting seeds indoors. A soil blocker that makes four 2-inch cubes is ideal for home use.

In the following series of photos, we present step-by-step instructions for how to start growing seeds using a soil blocker. (Text and photos: Tom Oder)

1
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Mix the soil

Tom Oder.

Step 1: Mix the soil with water into the consistency of oatmeal.

2
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Press blocker into soil

Tom Oder.

Step Two: Press the soil blocker into the mix until the mix fills the soil blocks.

3
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Wipe excess soil

Tom Oder.

Step Three: Wipe excess soil from the bottom of the soil blocker.

4
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Release soil into tray

Tom Oder.

Step Four: Release the soil into a tray (four rows of two-inch cubes fit perfectly into a 13-by-9-by-2-inch aluminum baking pan (available at box stores).

5
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Place seed in soil

Tom Oder.

Step Five: Place a seed in the indention the soil blocker makes in the top of the cube.

6
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Cover the seeds

Tom Oder.

Step Six: Cover the seeds with worm castings or potting soil.

7
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Mist the soil blocks

Tom Oder.

Step Seven: Mist the soil blocks and keep them damp. You can add water from the side of the blocks, but don't hit them with a stream of water.

8
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Place trays near window

Tom Oder.

Step Eight: Place the trays of soil blocks near a window that gets good light. Because air to the roots is not restricted by a plastic pot, seedlings will grow vigorously in the soil blocks as they await transfer to the outdoor garden.