Some larger seeds, such as beets, squash, and even corn & beans are started directly in this size of block. Yes, with this method I even start my corn and beans in blocks. In our short growing season it gives them a nice head start, and when transplanted outside I have nice, even rows of things that have all germinated--no empty spaces from failures. I also use aluminum cake pans for these, with 20 blocks per tray, holes in the bottom of the trays and trays placed into the plastic lids, as mentioned above.
I like a little extra space at the top for some transplants, particularly tomatoes, so for these I dig a little out of the bottom of each block's indentation. After putting the smaller block into the larger, I add some soil at the top and bury the stem just a little more. I wish the blockmaker was made with a little more space, but I've learned to make do, digging about 1/4-1/2" of the soil out with a kitchen fork.
HERE. It has worked well for me. Some of the ingredients are hard to find, and a bit expensive, particularly things like "glacial rock dust" and "greensand", but with the quantities I purchased, I'll have plenty for years to come. Fortunately, I live in quite an agricultural community, and have found a supply house that has most everything I need at better prices.
I'm so thankful for this work area my husband made for me! It's perfect for making the blocks, with the handy sink, and the cart at the left with two inset steam table pans. (We got this cart, INCLUDING the two pans for $35 at a Habitat ReStore. The pans alone would have cost that much new!) My furry little helper is there, too. Eventually this will have a cement floor and be at the back wall of our future greenhouse.
UPDATE: This area is now inside the greenhouse on the cement floor, making it a very nice place to make blocks inside, while it's cold outside.
|After-at back of greenhouse.|