• Our Variety and Plant Spacing List
    Our Variety and Plant Spacing List

    This cheat sheet lists our favorite varieties and the ideal plant spacing we use when growing in our 30 inch wide beds. These are the spacings to use when marking out the beds with the bed rake and row markers.

Equal Parts:

  • Nitrogen Fertilizer: Feather meal or Soybean meal
  • Greensand: Contains a broad-spectrum of micro-nutrients. An alternative is a dried seaweed product like kelp meal.
  • Soft-rock Phosphate (Colloidal Phosphate): A clay material that provides phosphate needs to young plants

Full Recipe (makes 14 gallons of mix)

  • Peat Moss: 6 gallons
  • Compost: 6 gallons
  • Course Perlite: 2 gallons
  • Fertilizer Mix: 2 cups

Half Recipe (makes 7 gallons of mix)

  • Peat Moss: 3 gallons
  • Compost: 3 gallons
  • Course Perlite: 1 gallon
  • Fertilizer Mix: 1 cup

Quarter Recipe (makes 3.5 gallons of mix)

  • Peat Moss: 1.5 gallons
  • Compost: 1.5 gallons
  • Course Perlite: 1/2 gallon
  • Fertilizer Mix: 1/2 cup

Dibble Set

Dibbles are used for making different sized impressions on the top of each soil block or for making a larger square impression for either potting on smaller plants germinated in the mini blocks or for seeding large seeds.

Soil Block Propagation Trays

Propagation trays are useful for handling and transporting your soil blocks around.

Bed Rake and Markers

These are especially helpful when marking out where to plant your plants in your garden beds.

Digging Deeper

Join the Discussion


  • Dave

    Reply Reply November 28, 2016

    Best sources to buy implements, i.e. soil blockers, and fertilizer components?

    • Paul

      Reply Reply November 28, 2016

      Hey Dave! The green drop-down boxes under the videos on this page have some links direct to where to purchase different size soil-blockers. We suggest purchasing from Johnny’s Selected Seeds.

      And as for where to get fertilizer components we’d suggest Grow Organic in CA ( Seven Springs Farm in VA ( or Planet Natural in MT ( You can probably save on shipping by using the one closest to you.

  • Debra Davenport

    Reply Reply February 17, 2019

    In the soil block video you mentioned not to make it ahead to use, assuming you meant not to wet the mix. However, can one mix a batch of the block mix up and use just enough to make a few blocks without compromising the fertilizer aspect?

    • Paul

      Reply Reply June 10, 2019

      You bet Debra – absolutely! You can mix it up dry and store it and then just wet it as you want to use it.

  • Teresa Perez

    Reply Reply June 10, 2019

    I was wondering the same as Debra. Can we mix the mix up without adding the water in order to be able to just use the amount we need or will the mix deteriorate? Thanks for all you do for us.

    • Paul

      Reply Reply June 10, 2019

      Hi Debra and Teresa!! Yes, you can absolutely mix up the mix dry and store it. You should have any problem with it deteriorating as long as it is stored dry. Then you can wet it whenever you need to use it. Good question!!

  • Heather

    Reply Reply June 28, 2019

    Is there a video where you talk about grow lights? I have a single 4’ light, but I don’t think that will be enough if I am going to follow the calendars and start most plants indoors.

  • Maria

    Reply Reply April 5, 2020

    Hey Paul! Can anything be done if you happen to add too much water to the mix?

    • Paul

      Reply Reply April 7, 2020

      Hi Maria! You bet. When we add too much water to the mix (which is easy to do!) we’ll usually just add some more peat moss and or compost to balance it out and bring it back to the right moisture level. Hope this helps!

  • Christian Hunte

    Reply Reply October 23, 2020

    Is it possible to use a potting mix from a local garden store? If so which would you recommend if you did not have all the ingredients to make your own?

    • Eric

      Reply Reply February 13, 2022

      Yes! I tried to find all the ingredients but it’s hard to get in Europe (Czech), so I went to town store and bought a basic potting mix and a well known fertilizer mix, just to be sure. But I think a good mix should have plenty of minerals.

  • Michael

    Reply Reply December 27, 2021

    Hi Paul. Thanks for this great lesson here. I’m curious if coconut coir or leaf mould can be used to replace peat moss. If so, are there any disadvantages?

  • Eric

    Reply Reply January 16, 2022

    Hi Paul, thanks for making this available. We are looking forward to learning from you.

  • Angela Snyder

    Reply Reply February 8, 2022

    Is there an environmentally friendly substitution for peat moss?
    Suggestions, please?

    • Finneus McClain

      Reply Reply February 10, 2022

      Coconut coir is widely recommended as a substitute for peat. Though there is some debate that the peat crisis is not as bad as it is represented and/or that using peat as a soil conditioner doesn’t cause as much damage to peat bogs as is represented. I tended to want to lean towards preserving peat bogs as much as possible so for that reason I use coconut coir and have never had a big issue. The only thing is just to check and make sure it stays moist.

  • Gina K

    Reply Reply February 23, 2022

    I got your free seeding calendar thank you! I am confused about the Jan/Feb early seeding (onions, celery, parsley, cabbage, kale) in zone 6b. Do I start these indoors somewhere or will my unheated greenhouse be warm enough or closed containers laying on the ground in my garden? There is still snow here!

    • Steve Davies

      Reply Reply November 19, 2022

      I also have a question about planting seedlings. I am in zone 9 and I am supposed to start seeding celery and yellow onions.

      I’m not sure if I should grow the seedling inside where we keep our house around 65-70 degrees or should the seeds be planted outdoors where the temps right now are between 47-67 degrees???

      • Steve Davies

        Reply Reply November 19, 2022

        Never mind… I found my answer after watching one of the videos.

  • Shelly Warner

    Reply Reply January 3, 2023

    Why do you recommend pest moss instead of coco core?

  • Debra Walsh

    Reply Reply January 16, 2023

    I can’t find information on how to add a task. I want to add a task that involves moving horseradish and wild grapes to a different area. Another task might be extend a garden area or repair a fence.

  • Rebecca

    Reply Reply January 27, 2023

    Do we need the propagation trays as well as the solid (no holes) 1020 trays or will it work without them?

  • Penelope A Simonaire

    Reply Reply January 30, 2023

    How do I enter 2nd planting, etc. on the calendar?

  • Anastasia Elliott

    Reply Reply January 31, 2023

    Hi Paul,
    I learned so much. This is very helpful! I feel very supported. Two questions:
    1) what are the mini seed blocks for?
    2) I plant my seeds at home and the temperature jumps from 70 to 60 usually, but can drop to 50 F at night in February. Is that ok for my seedlings? Or is it better to keep them at the same temperature?

  • Bonnie Lass

    Reply Reply April 2, 2023

    The link for the plant spacing list is not working.

  • Sarah Wilson Holmes

    Reply Reply April 7, 2023

    I have been seed starting for 6 years so far. Last year I tried soil blocking for the first time. We used the small size blocker because we have a very small grow room. After I potted them up to water them I would poor a fish/kale emulsion diluted in water into their tray and after they soaked up the fertilizer I would pour what was left off. My kids help me and they complained about the fertilizer smelling too fishy. We are wanting to use organic fertilizers and since we are indoors we have to bottom water until we get a hoop house. What fertilizer do you use after you pot your starts up but before you plant them outside. And your method of fertilizing? Is there another recommendation for an organic fertilizer that’s not so smelly?

  • John Collet

    Reply Reply July 13, 2023

    I used Eliot Coleman’s soil block mix for years and it worked great. I have switched to peat free mix in the past year because of environmental concerns around Peat. PittMoss is the brand I found. It works great – It needs about 1/3 the amount of water as the Eliot Coleman mix – so there is a learning curve with it.

  • Ashlyn Ehsani

    Reply Reply July 31, 2023

    I always struggle with effectively hardening off my started plants. Especially in the spring here in Wisconsin we have some days that are beautiful and sunny but still chilly and other days we will get hit with temperatures dipping down below freezing for a couple days. I get nervous about killing the plants that I have put so much time into growing. What is their limit? Is there a sure fire way to ensure you aren’t hardening them off too slowly or too quickly?

  • Jeannie Thompson

    Reply Reply August 3, 2023

    I have a Seedtime account and I would like to cancel it, but I can’t find a phone no or other place to contact you. How do I go about it?

  • Jeannie Thompson

    Reply Reply August 3, 2023

    I have a Seedtime account and I would like to cancel it, but I can’t find a phone no or other place to contact you. How do I go about it?

  • Ashlyn Ehsani

    Reply Reply August 3, 2023

    Since peat moss is not sourced in a sustainable way I would substitute this ingredient with coco coir. Would it be the same amount? Is there any reason this substitute may be ineffective?

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