If you want to start your plants indoors weeks before you can put them into the ground, soil blocks is the way to go. They have many advantages, but the main one is that soil blocks GREATLY reduce transplant shock, leaving you with more survivors in your garden. They won't create root balls like starter pots or trays, they don't limit roots in the soil like peat or paper pots, and they don't destroy roots like flats.
Making soil blocks requires a soil block maker, or blocker. The blocker compacts soil into plugs that come with a preformed depression for placing your seeds. Getting your plants off to a good start has never been easier!
More info: http://VelaCreations.com/soilblocks.html
More Photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/velacreations/sets/72157623487087642/
Step 1: Materials
Smooth can, either metal or plastic, with lid 2” - 4” in diameter
3/8” eye bolt, 6-8 inches long
2 or 3 3/8” nuts for eye bolt
2 washers for eye bolt
Several large trays (I like to use plastic bakery containers)
1/8” and 3/8” Drill bit
Step 2: Preparation
The main thing with the can selection is avoiding a corrugated can, like a soup can, as the soil doesn't release well. Make sure you clean the can well before starting.