Most of the tomato and pepper seedlings now have their first true leaves so it is time to pot them up into larger soil blocks. This is my first year using soil blocks and so far results have been good, using Johnny’s 512 mix for the blocks. Anything would be better than last year when I used Burpee’s seed starting mix made of coconut coir and perlite.
I got out my brand new, two inch soil blocker, lined a 1020 tray with paper towels, and wetted some of the 512 mix in a bin.
Since my seedlings were started in 3/4 inch soil blocks, I installed the special adapters I purchased with the blocker that makes depressions in the soil block sized to receive the 3/4 inch blocks. These adapters are attached with a washer and screw that cuts into the plastic adapter. Given the difficulty I had installing them, they will probably remain in place and if I am not using 3/4 inch blocks, I will just fill in the hole with more of the mix and make my own depressions for seeds.
It took a while to fill the 1020 tray with blocks. I did this in the morning while it was still cold outside, before my visit to the garden. When I completed making the 2 inch blocks, I transferred the seedlings to the blocks, making sure there was no air gap around the 3/4 inch block to inhibit root growth. There was no need to water them in since the new blocks were quite wet from the block making process.
The tray of seedlings are now in their new home and looking a little puny in the larger soil block. I am hoping they will like it and I will have strong, vigorous transplants in another 6 weeks.