In order to reduce cost, as well as the number of plastics we’re using on our market farm, we decided to make our own soil block trays for starting our seedlings this year. 

We made 3-sided and 4-sided seedling trays because we are not sure which design we will like the best, so we are going to give both a try.

These are the material you will need to make these soil block trays: 

  • ⅜ plywood cut 2ft x 2 ft (4′ x 8′ sheet)
  • 2” x 2” pieces of wood, cut to fit the edges
  • Wood screws

Tools needed:

  • Drill
  • Tape measure
  • Saw
  • Clamps
  • Wood glue
  • Square (may not be necessary)

I find it easier to pre-cut all my pieces and mark them clearly so I know where they go after they are cut.

After you have all your pieces cut it’s time to assemble. 

Check out my detailed video for how I cut and assembled the materials for our soil block trays.

Soil Block Tray Assembly

Step 1: Mark ¾ of an inch (which is half the thickness of the 2” x 2”s) around the three sides of the 2ft x 2ft plywood.

Step 2: Every 6”, put a mark for your screw holes.

Step 1 and 2 soil block trays

Step 3: Put a little wood glue on your 2” x 2” (a little goes a long way!)

wood glue

Step 4: Set a piece of the plywood on top and flush the 2” x 2” to the edge of the plywood.

Step 5: Clamp it in place to stop any movement while drilling and screwing.

clamp plywood

Step 6: Pre-drill your holes (may not be necessary, use your judgment.)

Step 7: Drill in your screws.

Repeat steps 1-7 for all three or four sides of your trays, depending on how many sides you want on your soil block trays.

Step 3 soil making soil block trays

Your finished soil block trays should look something like this  ——————–>

completed soil block tray

We were able to make 4 four-sided soil block trays and 4 three-sided soil block trays out of:

  • 1 sheet 4’ x 8’ plywood ⅜”
  • Six pieces of 2” x 2”s

This was a great project to complete for our market farm as indoor planting is just days away!

We hope you enjoyed this tutorial and found it useful.

If you give this soil block tray method a try, please tell us about your experience in the comments below.

Stay Local,

Jon & Kathy

your friendly neighbourhood growers


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