I finally did it. Sort of. For a while now I've been wanting to start a podcast--for those unfamiliar with the term, basically a downloadable internet broadcast--about farming. I've been...wait for it...ruminating on how the show would work for a long time, but finding the time to put it together has been challenging. Challenging enough, in fact, that this first episode is just a shell of what I'd like the show to be. This episode has just one lonely segment in it. But it's the segment I'm most excited about, in which I'll talk to experts on various farming and gardening skills about the skill in question. Usually, I'll also include a novice who has had one or two seasons' experience with the skill. In this first episode, I speak with Jason Beam, founder of pottingblocks.com, on the topic of potting blocks--the practice of starting seeds without plastic pots by creating dense, free-standing blocks of soil. Potting blocks have a number of purported advantages: seedlings don't become root-bound, they experience less transplant shock, and don't result in having to throw out plastic trays when they wear out. Vanessa and I used potting blocks in our market garden for the first time last season, and in my interview with Jason I ask him about some of the challenges we experienced as we went along.
It's a long interview: almost an hour. So below I've listed a few topics covered in the interview and where to skip to to find them. I hope you enjoy the recording. And hopefully I'll have another one soon.
5:20 What are potting blocks? 8:14 Making the right potting mix 17:49 Fertilizer considerations 22:44 Watering the potting mix 26:17 Spacing of blocks 28:09 Good Germination 36:18 Watering seedlings 46:15 Multiplant Blocks 52:23 Transplanting 57:40 Endorsements
You can stream or download the episode using the media player above. I should also be on iTunes after not too long.
Here's hoping this becomes a regular thing (he says as farming season looms...)