Right now there is a lot of hype about the so-called soil pot press, also called soil baler. Especially in America, the trend of “Soilblocking” is growing. We will show you the advantages of growing with a soil baler and provide you with simple instructions for creating your own soil bales.
At a glance
- Fill the soil pot press with moist potting soil and press down well, remove excess soil with a knife.
- Press soil pots into a box or other support (close lid if available)
- Put the seeds into the well and press down/cover them
- if lid is available: ventilate several times a day
- at the beginning moisten the pots well with a spray bottle (1-3 times a day)
- when the plants have already rooted deeper in the soil pot, water from below
- after approx. 2 weeks, strong-growing seedlings can be supplied with a little liquid fertilizer.
What is a soil pot press?
The soil pot press is a press with which you can create small soil pots for the cultivation. This saves you from having to use growing pots or growing pallets. Perhaps you already know these cuboids from purchased seedlings from the market. Many gardeners swear by this simple and practical method. And with a little practice, creating soil pots is no more complicated than using seedling pots! On the contrary – the soil pot press offers several advantages!
Advantages of the soil pot press
- Time savings. When you fill normal plastic pots or growing pallets, it may seem less time-consuming than using a soil pot baler to make many soil balls. However, you will save time later because you can simply plant the soil balls and do not have to remove your plantlets from the pots first. Also, you only have to get the soil pot baler once, while most plastic pots and growing plates crack quickly. The act of procuring new containers alone takes a lot of time and effort.
- Cost savings. As mentioned earlier, thin plastic pots or grow pallets break easily. A good soil pot press will last you a super long time with proper care. The only additional thing you’ll need to get are shims or boxes to place your soil pots on.
- Space Saving. Since the pressed soil pots can be placed right next to each other, you save an enormous amount of space compared to pots. And who doesn’t know: there is ALWAYS a lack of space when growing.
- Less plastic and waste. If you use a soil pot press, plastic pots will soon be superfluous. This way you use less plastic and create less waste. You’ll also avoid microplastics from grow pots getting into your soil and vegetable plants.
- No disease transmission. If you use plastic pots or growing pallets, you should wash them out regularly after use and, at best, disinfect them so that no diseases are transmitted between the seedlings. The soil pot press eliminates the need for growing containers. Here, diseases can not be transferred so easily. The only thing to clean is your coaster container!
- Gentle on your seedlings. Your plants will thank you for the soil pot press because their roots can spread out so much better and won’t bump into the outside of the plastic walls. This prevents roots from growing around themselves due to lack of space and “strangling” them. In addition, you always have an eye on how well the root system of your seedlings is developing and when they should be planted out! Even when planting out, your seedlings are protected, because you don’t have to remove their roots from the seed pots first, but can simply put the root balls into the soil.
- Soil mud fun – even for children! The final advantage of the soil pot press is the fun that comes from using your hands to fill the press with moist growing soil. This pleases not only the big gardeners, but also the little ones. Learn more about this topic in our article about gardening with children.
- If you feel like making your own soil pots, we have something for you: In our store you will find a high-quality, handmade soil pot press made in a small family business.
The right growing soil
In order to fill the chambers of the soil pot press, you first need sufficiently moist growing soil. Some people buy extra professional growing substrate from the nursery, but this is not absolutely necessary. If you prefer to use professional substrate, just ask your nursery what growing medium they use and if you can purchase it. It is important that the potting soil is fine and rich in humus so that it holds together well. If your growing soil is a bit older or quite dry, moisten it in a large bucket with a spray bottle. To see if it is moist enough, take a handful of soil and press it firmly with the palm of your hand. If it holds well, you can use it for your soil pot press. Tip: Some experienced gardeners:inside also mix betonite into their growing soil to help the pads hold together. This is a clay mineral that makes the soil particles stick together better. You can also add 10-20 liters of soil to one cup of Betonit.
This is how you use your soil pot press: Instructions
Step 1: Fill the soil pot press by pressing it firmly into the growing soil. Then press down once more on the floor or table and scrape off the rest with a shovel or knife.
Step 2: Then press the cuboid earthen pots into a box, which will serve as a base. For this purpose, ordinary hard plastic boxes are suitable, which are also available in (Swedish) furniture stores. In a 60 x 80 x 18 cm box fit about 90 to 100 soil balls with a diameter of 5 cm. If the boxes have a lid, it is even better, because this way the moisture in the soil pots is preserved. However, you should ventilate several times a day until germination, so that no mold forms!
Step 3: Place seeds in the small well and press down/cover with soil.
Step 4: Otherwise, by means of a spray bottle, depending on the humidity and cover situation, moisten your soil balls 1-3 times a day.
Step 5: If the roots of the seedlings have grown deeper into the root ball, you can also water the cuboids from underneath. This way they will soak up water.
Step 6: Approx. 2 weeks after germination, you can feed your strong-growing plants with some liquid fertilizer (preferably organic fertilizer). Here, however, give only half of the specified amount.
I have 30 years of experience and i started this website to see if i could try and share my knowledge to help you.
With a degree a Horticulture BSc (Hons)
I have worked as a horticulture specialist lead gardener, garden landscaper, and of course i am a hobby gardener at home in my own garden.
Please if you have any questions leave them on the article and i will get back to you personally.