[Market-farming] Re: Seeders

pam at twinoaks.org pam at twinoaks.org
Fri Jan 3 17:39:36 EST 2003


We have both a walk-behind Earthway seeder 
and a walk-behind Planet Junior. Each has its 
limitations. We leave our Earthway set for 
carrots, and use it only for that, and clover 
(same plate). This makes carrot sowing very 
quick and easy, and as it's something we do 
frequently, speed and ease are important. We 
do have to thin the carrots. I believe, though I 
have not tested it out, that the more expensive 
seeders sow more accurately and involve less 
thinning. The only problem we've had with the 
Earthway is the belt stretching and slipping, but 
as it's immediately obvious, that's not so 
serious.
	Now, the Planet Junior: it's much more 
sturdy and much more expensive. It's much 
more complicated. Changing the plates/disks 
seems to require three hands and the neck of a 
giraffe! You have to engage the gears, the pin 
by the hopper and the cam going through the 
plate, all at the same time. I confess it reduced 
me to tears at first! It can't be used if the soil is 
too wet or too fluffy (eg just rototilled). If you do 
use it with wet or fluffy soil it clogs up and you 
might not find out till your seeds don't emerge! 
We added a paint-pen mark on the hopper side 
to show the "open" position, because if the pull 
lever gets at all bent, it's a bit hard to tell. The 
machine is designed to be walked behind, and 
using it for inner rows on raised beds requires 
either adding a crossbar with bungey cords, or 
tilting the machine slightly. Either way, once 
started, don't stop. Keep up a moderate pace 
so you don't bog down! We use our Planet 
Junior mostly for spinach, beets and kale. It 
won't do beans or corn or other large seeds. It 
is a very durable machine, and Johnny's sells 
spare parts, if you should ever need them.
	I hope these notes from my experience 
help others deciding what to buy.
	Pam Dawling, Twin Oaks Community, 
Louisa, Virginia




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