BEST Way to Start Seeds for Healthiest Seedlings



hey everybody welcome back to another

nature's always right episode today I'm

going to show you guys the results of my

soil block versus plug tray video if you

haven't seen that one go ahead and click

the link above and I'll show you guys

how I made soil blocks and how I am

testing all this out so what we have

here are three different types of trays

so we have right here our soil blocks

that are in a mesh bottom tray so that's

the correct way to do soil block so that

the air pruning is really good

these are soil blocks in a solid bottom

tray just a 1020 these are the wind

strip trays which mimic air pruning but

in a plug tray situation so these are

all open on the bottom and they have

slits on the insides of these trays I

get a wind strip tray in a 1020 so that

the bottoms couldn't really air prune

which had an interesting result and then

I have just your standard plug tray and

I have it sitting in a 1020 because

these plug trays are so flimsy they need

support so if you haven't seen my other

video about how to make soil blocks this

is a soil blocker and the whole purpose

of that tool is to create soil blocks

like this and what happens is the roots

are air pruned really well making a much

healthier plant that has less transplant

shock and a better root structure

overall then of course you have your

standard plug tray which only has a hole

on the very bottom so these roots will

tend to spiralize more inside of the

tray especially if you're leaving in

them in there for a long period of time

if you transplant them quickly that

doesn't happen as much and then these

are the wind strip trays from never sink

farm and these mimic the soil blocks so

they have these little slits

so that when the roots try to go round

and round they hit air causing more

smaller capillary roots to be created

rather than long spiraled roots okay so

now let's go ahead and check out the

results let's see which ones do you guys

think are healthier and I'm gonna let

you know which ones I think are

healthier as well but the video is gonna

speak for itself

okay so first I'm going to show you what

the plants look like and then we're

gonna pull out each type of plant and

look at the roots individually so here

are the soil blocks in the mesh trays

here's the soil box in the 1020's

these are the wind strip trays that were

kept on a mesh bottom completely open to

the air I did two of these and they look

pretty similar to me this is a wind

strip tray with a 1020 bottom tray so

that the roots on the bottom were

allowed to spiralize and then this is

your standard plug tray with a 10 20

bottom okay so as you guys can tell they

all look pretty darn healthy and there's

a little bit of differences I guess

between some of them so let's take a

closer look at that but all of these

will transplant really well they'll all

turn into healthy plants so I just want

to emphasize that that no matter how

you're starting your seeds these will

all turn into healthy plants but there

may be a slight edge between some of

them and I'm gonna at the end of this

video I'm gonna plant these and then the

next video I make will be a comparison

of how they grew throughout the season

now it is a little tricky when you're

doing it dealing with plants and trying

to test out nature in any sort of

scientific way because there's so many

variables it's hard to keep it a super

controlled situation so you know all of

these were receiving basically the same

amount of light they have the same soil

mix I planted the same amount of seeds

in each each row so I did the best I

could to control as many variables as I

could but because we're dealing with

nature you can't perfectly control it


so you know take all of these results

with a grain of salt okay so let's just

do a little bit of comparison guys so

let's check out the soil blocks to me

these look like they're the biggest so

if you look at the kale here and you

compare that to the wind strip size and

there's the wind strips they got bigger

when they were in the 1020 tray it looks

like now look at the kale in the plug

trays you know almost as big as the soil

blocks slightly smaller and a part of

that reason could be not just because of

the air pruning but because in the soil

block this is a 2 inch by 2 inch block

so it's a lot more room for the plant to

develop also I'm noticing the yellowing

on the cotyledon leaves it's a little

bit greener and you're noticing the

cotyledons turning yellow and the plants

will actually start turning a little bit

yellow because they want to be potted up

they want to get into a bigger area and

that's typically what will happen if

it's the plant is left too long in a

tray or a pot you know you're seeing

these are squash I tried some squash

seeds in the wind strip that's why

they're starting to yellow right now

because they need to get to a bigger

size so that's that's an interesting

thing to note the lettuce is obviously

bigger in the soil blocks there's the

wind strips

I'd say the the plug trays were the

biggest now the plug tray cell size is

bigger than the wind strip size so that

may be the reason why we're noticing

bigger sizes in the plug tray versus the

wind strip and that's why the the soil

blocks have a little bit bigger size

plants I believe now let's just judge

the health now so I'm judging health by

the green color the size the amount of

true leaves that looks pretty similar

throughout I'd say on some of the wind

strip items here like the dill and these

tomatoes in the back they look really

healthy I think the basil looks

excellent the health of the plug trays

they look a little bit

more yellowed to me than the other trays

but overall I'd say it's pretty darn

similar throughout to me though I do see

a little bit better health in the soil

blocks and the wind strip trays no

matter which bottom tray we're using and

at the end of the video I'm gonna put a

little clip together of all the

different plants so you can see the

differences but I'm just going to show

you some in depth right now and kind of

talk about them

okay let's compare the the soil blocks

the mesh bottom tray versus the 1020

tray now in the 1020 the the air pruning

on the bottom won't be as as good right

so let's kind of see what the bottom of

this tray looks like it may be hard to

see this on the camera but I can see

some roots but then they stop they're

not able to go beyond that they just go

to the bottom they hit the air and

they're done and I do a lot of my soil

box in just 10 20s just because they're

easier to deal with I don't really have

a lot of the mesh trays so I've got my

healthiest looking soil blocks here okay

and I chose that front row so I'm

already noticing a pretty big difference

actually so these are the ones in the

mesh tray these are the ones in that

1020 tray and let's just take one apart

so look at those roots looks excellent

now let's check out the healthiest one

on here and also great roots it does

look like there's maybe a little bit

more on the mesh one let's take a look

at the bottoms so on the the ones with

the mesh bottom the roots really stop

and don't grow into these longer roots

but check out on the 1020 the roots

started to get much longer and kind of

spiral a little bit but you can kind of

pull those off so it allows longer root

development it does appear though that

in the mesh trays they're getting more

of the capillary root

which is what we want another plant

super good let's take another look at

this this is the ten twenty you know

they're both excellent they're both

going to do really well okay let's take

a look at one more plant in here so with

the mesh bottom here really filled out

roots there's the bottom and then here's

the roots for the 1020 and you can see

how much longer that they're getting

because they're not able to air prune

but still really healthy roots on both

of them okay so that that's the major

difference it seems between the two soil

block trays so if you want the better

air pruning effect it's obviously

happening better in the mesh trays so if

you don't have any trays already and you

want to do soil blocks I highly

recommend getting the mesh ones I'll put

a link in the description to all the

different trays the soil block are the

different tools that I use for making

these so let's check out the wind

stripped raised the difference between

having a 1020 bottom and just an open

bottom it's kind of similar results to

what we just looked at with the soil

blocks but so if you check out the

bottom of the wind strip alright

basically no roots are coming through

there check this out

so this is the wind strip with the 1020

so because there's darkness

the roots were able to come out and this

is you know created this gigantic mat of

roots underneath so it's kind of negated

the effect of the soil blocks okay so

let's look at these up close now so on

the lettuce here this is without a

bottom tray perfectly air pruned roots

this looks really healthy here's a kale

you can see on the edges where that

where it hits the slit okay now let's

look at the 1020 bottom tray and look at

that the roots actually even spiralized

on the bottom right

because we didn't allow for the air

pruning so the roots on this are

definitely thicker they're definitely

longer and they spiral eyes at the

bottom and you know breaking those roots

like we did it will probably shock the

transplant a little bit so it'll be

interesting to see the results what

should we go plant these in the ground

and see what responds better to the

planting so very interesting to see that

ok so now we have the plug trays and

this is a great example of the

spiralizing of plug trays so here at the

bottom you can see how they could just

wrap round and round and round and these

roots are really long and they kind of

just go up and down there's another one

spiraling this is a cucumber here's a

kale starting to spiral so that's just

the major difference between the idea of

the air pruned roots and the idea of the

plug trays where they going to spiral a

bit so currently my the results I still

think that this the soil blocks with the

mesh tray and the wind strips with the

open bottom that is definitely how gonna

have the best health of the plants I'm

excited to go ahead and plant these and

then watch the results from there and

then we can really get a good idea of

you know how big of a difference is

there do the plug trays kind of lag

behind from there transplant shock by a

couple days or is it really negligible

so it'll be really interesting to see

those results

alright so check it out I just planted

everything this morning I've got

everything labeled really well so I know

what's what I've got the irrigation set

up and I'm just filmed a video all about

how I set up my irrigation as well so be

sure to check that out when it comes out

so this is the area that I'm going to be

doing the test it gets pretty even light

for all these grow bags here

unfortunately I don't have an open field

where that would be like the perfect

place to test with the most even amount

of sunlight but this is gonna do really

great for the test I think

so what I'm gonna do is kind of film

probably everyday out here for the first

seven days then once a week and I'll

update you guys maybe in a month all

about the growth and and how well

everything did and the differences

between each of the five different

setups that I did now what am I gonna do

going forward I planned on using the

wind strips a lot more in certain

situations I really like how lettuce

grows in them I really like even how

kale and chard grows in them I will keep

growing tomatoes any fruiting crops like

peppers things like that that have more

importance and I will kind of watch a

grow bigger before I pot them up I still

will do those in soil blocks and

anything else that you know makes sense

to do it in I wouldn't do green onions I

wouldn't do celery would cilantro

parsley dill all of my herbs I think

I'll do the wind strips cucumbers I was

pretty happy with them in the wind

strips and then you just pop them up you

know also the tomatoes and and peppers

and stuff they're still great to do in

the wind strips and then pop them up so

you could do everything in the wind

ships without doubt you could you also

do everything in plug trays and that's

what a lot of people do so I think what

we're really talking about here some

fairly negligible differences but I

think that as you guys can see from the

test as far as the root structure the

soil blocks do look the best but let's

check it out and see what happens once

we plant them and see the response I've

noticed in the past that I thought that

soil blocks started to grow faster than

things that I had in plug trays so we're

gonna see in the next video so hope you

guys stay tuned for that I hope that I

did this test decently enough so that

you feel confident and making a decision

which way you want to start your own

seeds it's almost the whole point of

this I feel definitely confident

recommending any three of these methods

but to me the soil blocks and the wind

ships were the best at the end of the

video I'm going to show all the results

of each plant type of plant

that I started here so you guys can see

every little thing so stay tuned for

that if you want to see that please like

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check out the video description I've

always got launched a TIFF and links and

details in there all all have all links

to all these different types of products

and stuff if you're gonna build a drip

system I've got links for the best drip

places I've got books lots of different

things to help you guys if you are

trying to start your own small farm or

maybe you just garden thanks for

watching see you guys in the next video

okay so this is just gonna be a little

video compilation of the best of each

type of crop from each of the different

types of cell trays and soil box wind

strip tray in a 1020 tray and the crops

here are kale chard cilantro basil

marigold flower lettuce green onion

parsley dill and tomato







so next up we have the plug tray and I'm

picking the healthiest plants for each

row I'm going to show at the very end of

this video I'll show you every single

plant so that if you want to check it

out you can see every single plant but

I'm just going to show you in the next

clip some of the best ones so that you

guys can just comparing some platinum

compare and contrast really quickly





this is winch trip trays with open

bottom on mash so the way that supposed

to be used he's got a little bit dry

today and they're starting to look a bit

more unhealthy I should have filmed this

a few days ago you can see the roof

structure really well








okay so this one is the soil box and a

1020 not allowing for full air pruning





okay last but not least these are soil

blocks and a mesh tray the way they are

supposed to be




soil blocks in a 1020 plug trays with a

1020 underneath slow blocks on a mesh

tray wind stripped raised with 10 20

underneath wind strip tray standard with

a mesh bottom