How to Start Seeds with a Soil Cuber

Marion Owen

 

soil cuber, soil blockerSoil cubers makes gardening fun!
When I used my soil cuber for the first time I thought, "Wow, this is fun!" You'll have fun starting seeds, too. What's more, your seedlings can enjoy their own growing space, which means no more tangled roots and transplant shock!

By Marion Owen, Fearless Weeder for PlanTea, Inc. and
Co-author of Chicken Soup for the Gardener's Soul

 


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love letter for soil cuber, soil blocker Remember when you were learning how to tie your shoes?

starting seeds is like learning to tie your shoess

Your fingers seemed to tie in knots faster than the laces. Eventually you learned an easier way, a huge step back then. Just like learning an easier way to tie your shoes, soil cubers give you an easier way to start your seeds...

Using a soil cuber means you’ll also save money and time. Since seeds are planted in 3/4-inch cubes, you won’t need a lot of extra containers. Best of all, growing seedlings in soil cubes eliminates the tedious (and frustrating!) chore of trying to separate tiny seedlings from a mass of tangled roots. We've all been there. Now you don't have to go there anymore, thanks to the soil cuber.

Seed starting tool

Your seed-starting success rate will also improve because each seed, or seed clump, grows in its own cube. This means that transplant shock is minimized and you’ll have healthier and stronger seedlings.(For complete seed-starting tips, read my Seeding is Believing article). One more thing, using a soil cuber is a lot like playing in the sandbox. Who can resist such fun?!

Made in England of brass and sturdy plastic, soil cubers last a lifetime, which means you can show it off when you get together with your friends and family! To buy your own cuber (or to give one as a gift), visit my friendly, online store. Soil cubers cost only $24.95, plus shipping. Such a deal when you consider all the time you'll save and the headaches you'll avoid!

How to use a soil cuber

  1. Moisten some good quality seed-starting mix (also called germination or 'soil-less' mix) with water until it resembles cooked oatmeal. TIP: Let the mixture soak for 30 minutes or so. Experiment with consistencies.

  2. Hold the cuber upside-down and pack the cells with damp soil using a rubber spatula, large spoon or trowel.

  3. Turn the cuber over, press the soil side against bottom of a tray and push the spring-loaded handle to release 20 soil cubes as a unit. It should resemble a big chocolate brownie. Refill the cuber with soil and repeat the process, leaving at least 1/2 inch between each brownie for irrigating later with water.
    Seed starting with a soil cuber, soil blocker
  4. Pinch a few seeds and carefully sprinkle them onto the cubes. Tip: To pick up just 1 or 2 seeds, get up a #2 pencil. Touch the tip to the damp soil, press it into a pile of seeds and then wipe the seed(s) onto a cube. (For more pencil tips, read A Pencil is a Gardener's Best Friend.) Cover seeds with soil to a depth suggested on the seed packet and mist with water.

  5. Keep cubes moist by misting or by gently irrigating water around soil brownies. TIP: Never let your seedlings dry out. You might also be interested in reading my other article about what seedlings need to stay healthy.

  6. When seedlings have developed their second set of leaves, transplant them to larger containers. Simply pick up a cube + seedling and set it in the next pre-filled container. This is also a good time to begin feeding seedlings. We recommend PlanTea, the organic fertilizer in small, easy-to-brew tea bags.

See how easy seed starting can be? Now, where did my Velcro-tie shoes go?!

If you have any questions about soil cubers, feel free to send me an email or call 1-800-253-6331 (toll free in US and Canada), 9 to 5 Pacific time. You can also find more gardening tips, recipes and other helpful information in my collection of articles.

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HOW TO PREVENT DAMPING-OFF DISEASE

1) Rinse your containers with a mild bleach-water solution (1 tablespoon bleach per gallon of water).
2) Spray plants & soil with chamomile tea (1 tea bag to 2 cups water).
3) Keep your seedlings healthy AND disease-resistant with PlanTea, the organic fertilizer in pocket-sized tea bags. Available online.
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Thanks for visiting and please stop by again. I'll put the coffee on!


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