Getting the Most from Your Garden Seeder
In this newsletter we'll go into depth about the Earthway Precision Garden Seeder.
If you own one, you'll appreciate the valuable and extensive information contained in the Tips and Suggestions section below, which gives you the rundown on this machine that you won't find in the instructions or in any promotional materials.
If you don't own a Precision Garden Seeder, read on to learn how it can save you a great deal of time and effort in your garden, and really put the fun back into planting time.
Earthway Precision Garden Seeder
This highly popular seeder has been around for decades, but this latest model 1001B is the best yet. It allows you to plant your row crops infinitely faster than by hand, and with no bending or stooping. It also allows you to adjust the planting depth, the density of coverage, and the width of the rows. It comes with six interchangeable plates that can handle most seeds. A set of five additional plates can be bought separately that will take care of the rest.
To watch the Precision Seeder in action, check out this video review from Alderman Farms. As you can see, what's so timesaving about this machine is that it digs the trench, plants the seeds, and covers them up, all in one pass. Customers rave about how they were able to sow large swaths of their garden in a fraction of the time it would have normally taken them. Weighing just 10 pounds, it's easy to push and, by the way, easy to assemble. But the heavy-gauge aluminum frame, nylon fittings, steel bushing shafts, and cleated drive wheel are built to last.
Tips and Suggestions
- You won't want to use the Precision Seeder with hard clay soil or soil that is lumpy, clumpy, or full of clods, rocks, weeds, or debris. The finer the soil, the better it works, so if you have sandy soil or any smooth, level soil that has been freshly tilled, you will get excellent results.
- It's best to first do a dry run in the place you are planning to sow, but without putting seed in your seeder. Your aim will be to make sure the planting depth is what you want it to be and to confirm that the seeder is able to furrow and then cover the soil effectively.
- The Precision Seeder works best when it is well stocked with seeds, so don't let the hopper get low. It's best to put in more seeds than you need and then remove what's left after you finish.
- To determine which plate is best for the seeds you're planning to sow, don't take Earthway's word for it but find out for yourself through some quick experimentation. Keep the unit stationary, stock it with seed, put a basin beside it to catch the seed when it drops, and then slowly turn the front wheel by hand. You can then observe whether the seeds drop through one at a time at the rate they're supposed to.
The Bayou Gardener has put together a very helpful six-minute video demonstrating this, as well as how to manually adjust seed spacing. As he explains, the circumference of the front wheel is 36 inches and the seed plate makes one revolution for each turn of the wheel. Therefore the number of pockets on each seed plate represents the number of seeds dropped in every 36 inches of travel. If you divide 36 by the number of pockets, you’ll arrive at the seed spacing in inches. To increase the spacing, you just cover some of the pockets with electrical tape. Thus if you cover every other one, you will double the spacing.
- Be sure you have the plate on correctly, or else some seeds will end up behind it. Even if it is on correctly, some seeds or debris will collect behind it, so use a rag to periodically clean the space between the seed plate and the container to prevent the plate from binding up.
- Once you begin to sow your seeds, it's a good idea to keep your eye on them to make sure they are coming out one by one at the rate you want them to. If they are not, try tilting the machine slightly in the direction of the plate and see if that helps. Another idea is to mix a little talcum powder in with your seeds. If you still are not getting the results you want, manually adjust the plate by covering some of the holes with electrical tape as discussed earlier. Note that even seed distribution depends on the front wheel being in contact with the ground.
- To remove seeds from the hopper, you can tip the entire unit or turn it upside down. However, if you simply remove two bolts, the hopper itself can easily be removed as demonstrated in this one-minute video.
We hope this newsletter has been helpful to you. Leave us a comment to let us know. And if you have any questions, write to Karen, our master gardener, or call us at 1-888-907-4769.
Until next time, enjoy your Precision Garden Seeder, and Happy Gardening from all of us at Garden Harvest Supply!