I’m typing this while having created some time tonight, well, Mother Nature created it for me by sending through a huge rain storm. It’s raining so hard the gutters aren’t keeping up. Therefore I’m not out weeding and doing garden work like I need to be, but inside typing and working on all the other things on my never ending to do list.
Today for the first time I used an Earthway seeder. And I loved it! I love this thing! My gardens at home are all sq ft gardens which are planted fairly laboriously by hand using Mel’s techniques. I even did this with most of the crops that I planted at our urban farm as they are all sq ft garden beds as well.
It’s no wonder that bigger farmers use tools such as this to grow their crops. It would make the seeding so much more effective, especially when you are seeding in a row. I did figure out though that you need a fairly well broken up seed bed. The seeder liked my beds made of all compost but didn’t care for the beds that were trucked in dirt with clods and whatnot. (When I’m planting by hand I can just work around them so the clods don’t really matter. 🙂 )
I used the seeder today to plant green bean seeds, and I tried it in the sq ft garden beds as an experiment, in addition to the long rows I intended to be bean rows. Typically a sq ft garden bed would have 9 plants per sq, or 288 plants for one 32 sq ft box (8×4). Today I was able to run 7 rows across the bed (on the 4 ft spacing side) that size and as long as the seeds are spaced at the stated 3.6 inch spacing that would work out to about 200 plants in that bed. ((8×3.6)x7 rows) That isn’t as many as with the sq ft method, but I had the bed planted in less than 5 minutes compared to a solid 30 minutes to do it with the finger method. Given this time savings it might be worth the slightly reduced yield from each bed. Of course I could try to get in an eighth row which would put the number of plants up around 230.
Planting is mostly completed for this summer (save for tomatoes and peppers) but when it’s time to direct seed the fall crops I’m going to use the seeder and see how it works for the beets and carrots, two plants that always take a ton of time to plant in the beds.
Check out the videos below! Some cool information about the seeder.
If you’re interested, check out this info from Johnny’s.
Also, the human powered home has a section (I need to review this book at some point)
Also, also, 🙂 I know I saw something on Gene Logsdon’s blog about how he uses Earthway Seeders on his acreage but I can’t find it now. He meshed together 3 of them I think and used them to plant his corn rather than buying a device to pull behind the tractor. (Gene is really big on keeping costs down when you grow instead of getting bigger and bigger)