Thursday, 30 March 2017

Earthway Seeder Modification

So I decided with all the planting I'm doing here and how the area is growing every year it was time to invest in some sort of a seeder. 
The only one that people really recommend in my budget is the Earthway seeder (there are many other better ones but out of my price range for now).

I bought second hand, (around £40) but I had to buy the seed plates separately. Once they turned up I was desperate to try it. I got some old seed and ran through it, carrot and beet seed worked fine. Smaller seed not so much. 
Carrot seed being sown

 In fact small round seed was terrible, unusable in fact. 
I was a little gutted, the seed would get behind the plastic plate and the hopper and then grind to a paste which would cause the plate to move further away and more seed to get in there. 
I was disappointed as I had ideas of plating mustard and turnips with it for fast catch crops. 
A quick search of the internet came up with a few answers, most involved buying a few bits, I decided to see if I could fix it with just a few scrapes in the workshop.
Replacing the centre bolt
The first thing I did was to replace the centre bolt for a much longer one. This doesn't affect it when using plates normally but it gave me a way to secure a spreader plate to hold the seed plates tight against the hopper body

Gap down the side of the plate and the hopper (this is the carrot plate which it doesn't affect much but you get the idea)
 I then cut out a few rings out of 1/2" and 1/4 ply to go over the plastic "nut" that holds the plates in place (I cut it with a jigsaw) and a circle to go over the top of them with a centre hole in to go over the newly lengthened bolt. The outside diameter must obviously be less of a diameter than the seed holes on the plate!
The three ply parts cut ready. 
Gluing them up to make putting it on easier

The spreader plate in place doing it's job. 
 I then glued these up and left them to go off over night. 
Now when I want to seed small seed all I have to do is fit the plate then add my spreader, put the nut on and tighten up a bit. the seed goes round perfectly and because the pressure on the plate is so much nearer the edge nothing gets stuck behind it anymore, it holds flat to the hopper.
I will upgrade the nut with a wing nut welded to a washer once I get to my dads farm at the weekend and can borrow his welder for a few minutes, as that will remove the need for a spanner as well! 

What do you think?

Do you use a seeder? What one would you recommend?

8 comments:

  1. Impressive solution, I've made note for future reference!

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  2. Wow, I wish I had one of these. It would make life a lot easier. You say it does carrot and those are pretty small. And it does the spacing well?

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    Replies
    1. That was a brilliant fix!
      practical parsimony

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  3. wonderful fix up, I had often thought about a seeder but reviews were never good, might reconsider now

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  4. Well done.
    I've never used a seeder-but I've got nothing but raised beds and wouldn't think that would work well in those.

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  5. Kev, you're so clever! I've thought that a seeder would be a great way to go, and have two of them, but the seem to be made for lawn seed. The are what I'd call the whirly-gig kind: one hand held and one push type that I bought at a garage sale for $1. These are the most common kind around here but both sit neglected as I write!

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  6. We are putting all our seeds into pots to start off instead of planting them straight out into the veg plots this year. We think that this will save us the back breaking task of trying to get the weeds out without damaging the planted crops. Means filling loads of pots though, but we think that it will save time and effort in the end. So, no seeder here, but I do use a little round seed saver thingy.

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  7. We've used one of these since the early 1970's! Here's what we do to improve the way they work: 1. Add baby powder (talc) to the seeds in the hopper. It makes them ever so much more workable. 2. Sometimes the drag chain is too much. I opened a link so I can hook the drag chain in place to help cover the seeds, or take it off when my soil is too trashy or when I plant little tiny seeds. These are great planters for the money, and they will last forever!

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