Parts 1 and 2 of the experiment were filmed on February 8,2013 and the video in this episode was taken on February 16. Thus it was more than enough time to determine if there was going to be any success starting parsley, chives and green onions in soil blocks and recycled egg containers. I tried this last year and the results were not good especially for the chives. They failed completely last year with this method. The green onions grew and were transplanted outside but they grew well in only one of four locations. Last year about 6 of 12 parsley plants survived in the soil block long enough to make into the ground and they did well but 50% loss just for starting seeds is too high. Maybe if I had kept better notes I would not have repeated some of the failure that you will see in the video.
The soil blocks do work but not for small seeds that need a moist and fluffy growing medium. I have some Swiss chard started in a few left over soil blocks and well see how well they do. The purpose of the soil block was to cancel a few steps that I used to follow when starting seeds. I would begin with seeds in vermiculite and then once started I would transfer to seedling trays, then they go in bigger pots, and then they go outside. Thus three of the four steps could be eliminated saving me time and a sore back. The object now is to determine what exactly grows well in the blocks and what doesn’t. Conclusion – Chive, green onion and parsley seeds are not suitable for the soil block growing method.
If you have been following along at all to any the stuff here then you know that improvement follows failure. The video goes on to show how I am restarting the green onion, chives and parsley the old fashioned way in seedling trays. This year however I have invested in seedling tray warming mats and they seem to do the trick well.
Come back for Part 4 and let’s see if I can really help to save time and money if even if all the plants won’t be started with soil blocks.
- 2013 Planting Times
- 2013 home outline and plans B
- Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
- Frost dates and hardiness zones