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Soil Cube: Garden tool of the day

September 12, 2010

Somewhere along the way this season I read about “soil cubes” for seed starting and the concept appealed to me. An “invisible pot” to start seeds in…..

I came across this soil cube tool at . Clayton came up with the design and makes/markets these at a very reasonable price vs others I had seen. I found him through Jack Spirko’s The SurvivalPodcast members support brigade section, where it is offered with a modest discount.

So what is it?

This little device spits out two 2″x2″ cubes of compacted soil mix with a small seed reservoir on top. It comes with instructions (read them before you try it and you’ll save yourself a little of the learning curve 😉 Duh.)

This is it- pretty simple. The wooden “tongs” are included as well; they are handy for moving the cubes without damaging them,

The nut that holds the “plunger” bolts to the frame provide the relief needed to make the seed reservoir.

Does it work? Absolutely, provided you read the tips and tricks first you won’t have any issues after the first couple of sacrificial attempts.

Here are some freshly made cubes sitting in a high-tech seed starting tray (a scavenged Chic-fil-A chicken nugget tray that comes with a convenient clear plastic cover).

An earlier tray has a young crop of lettuce seedlings a couple of weeks away from being moved outside. This is good, since the temperatures have been so high so far this September and my direct sown seeds are having germination issues as a result.

I think I’m going to like this tool; the cubes offer a lot of advantages over both peat pots and the trays, especially with plants that are traditionally poor “transplanters”.

The Soilcube website has much more information including a video demonstration on exactly how it works.

Clayton was in the process of moving when I ordered and my order was delayed a bit. Nothing too bad; he emailed me to apologize for the delay and when the package arrived, it included a second soilcube tool to make up for it. It wasn’t necessary but a nice touch just the same.

My only advice for Clayton would be to invest in a wood burning metal stamp of some sort to permanently put the name on the tool; the printer label dissolved pretty quickly with all the rinsing. (I couldn’t recall the exact name of the tool or website when I started this post and had to pull it back up via the email mentioned above. ) This seems like it will turn out to be a useful tool that I’ll recommend and having the name on it would make that easier for forgetful old guys like me.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Mister Donald permalink
    October 30, 2010 12:22 pm

    Absolutely! I agree Clayton should have the company name & website permanently imprinted on the cube. I am just seeing my first seedlings rising from their cubes; looking healthy. I’m in Savannah, he’s out west, yet he has not allowed over 24 hours to pass after I’ve sent questions/comments. Not your average “I got mine – you get yours” entrepreneur.

    BTW, added your page to my FBook page as a share. Great job man, primo! I mentioned your page to Clayton in a recent note and suggest he follow your lead on this one.

    Be Blessed and Be Happy,

    • October 31, 2010 4:42 pm

      Thanks for the comment. .

      I started out with the mix too dry and kept having the top corners break off when I pushed the cubes out. (Wetter is better imho, and definitely dunk the tool in a bucket of water between loads. )

      So far I’ve transplanted around 200 little lettuce and spinach plants out and have another couple of trays hardening off under a shade cloth right now. Still, spring is when this took will be most useful for me.

  2. November 7, 2010 4:11 pm

    Wow…this is just what dirt growers need! I agree with the others you should burn in your website and product name in the wood would be cool!

    Great craftsmanship too, very impressive. Soil growers can save money and more important save plant shock when you transplant seedlings. For those of us who clone this is a real winner and no need to buy Rockwool ever again!

    Now if I or somebody else can come up with a soil-less formula then Rockwoll will be dead! No more wasted Rockwool to toss out in your trash, no wasted money being thrown away after every grow.

    I used Fox Farm Happy Frog potting soil and just added more Ph adjusted water with a little B-1 in the water and it was perfect 10 out of 10 in my test and no transplant shock when they were moved to larger pots to finish.

    I give this a 9 out of 10 (with my arthritis the spring was a little hard to compress) That said this is a solid winner for any gardener anywhere!

    Great idea, Great Product!


    Zandor – GrowReport podcast

  3. November 7, 2010 7:04 pm

    Thanks for posting Zandor – I was considering trying potting soil as a medium.

    (To clarify I am not affiliated with Soilcube – I just liked it well enough to post about it. on this silly blog. 😉 )

  4. Ben lannoy permalink
    December 15, 2012 7:06 am

    I love the soil cubes too. Just spotted flower grenades as a little novelty it too. They look great for guerrilla gardening.

    • December 15, 2012 7:21 am

      Ha good idea. Maybe I make some herb grenades and try to overpower the weeds on the back of the commercial lot behind me.

      • Ben lannoy permalink
        December 15, 2012 6:48 pm

        Nice! Every little helps!


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