Ezra’s Soil Techniques

Ezra’s Organics believes strongly in the importance of healthy soil and organic soil amendments to strengthen and nourish each seedling. We employ several organic soil-building techniques to ensure strong, healthy plant growth at every step.

Soil Blocking

Soil BlockingAll our organic grafted tomato seedlings start life in soil blocks: free-standing cubes of our own blend of compressed potting soil, which hold their shape without the aid of a container. We employ soil blocks partly because they save environmental resources and eliminate the waste of disposable plastic pots and trays during production. They are also an excellent way to germinate tomato seeds and aid in transplanting! Soil blocks have a higher success rate due to the volume of soil compressed in the cube. They completely eliminate transplant shock, making it much easier to move them into bigger containers when the time is right.

Soil blocking also supports and enhances root growth. Root growth in grafted tomatoes is far superior to regular tomato plants and Ezra’s Organic grafted tomato seedlings have root growth that goes well beyond the average, partially due to our soil blocks that include our high nutrient soil mix.  Our roots remain intact, compact and undamaged throughout the growing process, including when you transplant them into your garden! It has often been said that the bigger the root, the greater the fruit! The prolific roots in Ezra’s Organics grafted tomatoes result is superior growth, a longer growing season, the highest success rates, and better yields!

Our soil mix includes

  • Worm castings from a high cellulose source to contains chitin (the stuff crab shells are made of) to increase cellular strength and integrity of your plants and act as a pest deterrent.
  • Leaf mold (leaf compost): the treasured compost used by competitive French melon growers is included because of its nutrient density.
  • Beneficial bacteria, fungi, and beneficial nematodes.,
  • Our organic fish emulsion, a nutrient rich mixture that is fermented to provide micronutrients and beneficial bacteria and enzymes.
  • Worm tea for its beneficial nutrients, bacteria, and enzymes.
  • Peat moss as a natural sponge that can hold up to 30 times its weight in water, keeping water near the roots and readily available for plant uptake.
  • Coconut coir, another natural water-holding ingredient that provides on-demand moisture for your plants.
  • Perlite is included to maintain the air space needed for optimum root growth.
  • Multiple strains of mycorrhizae for optimum root colonization, improved nutrient and water uptake, and better resistance to stress and disease.
  • An organic wetting agent, so soil absorbs water quickly and easily.
  • John and Bob’s Smart Soil Solutions, to enhance the bioavailability and nutrient uptake of our plants.

Soil Mix

Each of these ingredients is added at the appropriate time during the growth of our plants so that you get the healthiest, most vigorous and productive plants available on the market today.

Compost

We add compost to our soil mix to give our organic tomato starts the complex nutrients they need to start their lives on the right foot. After the grafting process is complete, grafted tomatoes need extra nutrition, to heal and seal the place where two plants have joined into one. Compost is made from decomposed plant life (and occasionally manure) and is one of the most nutritious, beneficial soil amendments available. We use commercial-grade organic compost in our soil mix, but many people make their own from yard waste, food scraps and other leftovers.

High-cellulose worm castings

Worm castings are the waste of earthworms and are a healthy source of complex nutrition that is readily available for

Plant Cell (Photo from Wikipedia)

plants to uptake. It is a high-quality soil amendment on its own but we use an especially potent variety. High-cellulose worm castings are made when worms are fed chitin-heavy foods. Chitin is a complex carbohydrate that can be found in the cell walls of mushrooms, shellfish and other organisms as a strong, rigid structural component. For example, lobster shells are made of chitin. Chitin is processed by the worms into a form that is usable for plants. The result for our grafted tomatoes is stronger cell walls throughout the plant. This means stronger stems, a better-fused graft, and thicker skin on every piece of fruit to prevent splitting. It also makes them less susceptible to boring insects! By adding this one helpful ingredient to our soil mix, Ezra’s Organic tomato seedlings have yet another boost towards optimum health.

Worm tea

Similar to compost tea, this highly nutritious soil amendment is made by soaking worm castings and using the resulting concentrated liquid to fertilize plants as they grow. Packed with nutrients and live microbes, worm tea boosts plant growth, strengthens stems, and increases foliage production to give these little guys another boost towards a healthy life!

Kelp Extract

A rich source from the sea, kelp extract is full of natural plant hormones and beneficial trace elements. The plant hormones help boost overall health in tomatoes but have the added benefit of increasing overall root mass. Greater root mass provides better uptake of water and nutrients, leading to better health, more stress and disease-resistance, and larger fruit production.