I'm thinking of buying an Earthway Seeder and I'd love to hear some feddback about them. I'd like to use it for planting carrots and lettuce, because it is so difficult to plant them evenly. Has anyone used them for this, and how has it worked?
We just bought ours this year and have not used it yet. We bought it primarily for sweet corn seed as we are doubling our crop this year. We sold out last year two hours into the market. Will be watching to see what answers you get. Sorry couldn't help.
It seems to plant carrots in little bunches that still have to be thinned but much easier than hand planting. Plus you can have the company make custom plates for you if you want different sized seed cups or spacing. It's a nice unit for the price. Tom
Thanks for the info, Tom. Which plate do you use for the carrot seeds? I see 2 listed, one which is standard when you buy the seeder, and one called "light" seeding. Do you use the same one for lettuce?
I think they are worth every penny ( AND MORE !!!!!!)
For years I seeded by hand which took me days, now I can plant my garden in a couple of hours ( I have a large garden )
If you want to seed small seeds more evenly, mix them up with about 1/3 to 1/2 sand, you will get more even seeding and less thinning out . Works well on red beets, or in case of carrots, mix some radish seed ( they mature so early and by harvesting them you create room for the carrots )
Hope this will help .
Have a great day
sundacks, the seeder hasn't made the move to here yet so don't know which one I used. I start lettuce underlights in plug trays. Tom
Love my Earthway! I need to order another before it's time to plant again. I'm going to hook two together side by side. I'm linking to Red Hill General Store. They have the best price I've found. I ordered my first seeder from them and have ordered replacement plates too. I've always received my order in three or four days.
Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.redhillgeneralstore.com/earthseed.htm
Those with experience, have you used the Earthway or other seeders for sowing soaked seeds such as sweet peas? I wonder if it would crush them?
I have one and I never use it. One year I remembered I had it and should use it but when I tried to use it for corn , it did not sow very evenly and seemed to dump a lot of seed in one spot rather than spacing it out more evenly. I have a couple fairly large gardens so you'd think I should get a lot of use out of it now, but I don't want to waste seed by dumping it all in one spot so I don't use it.
Besides, I kind of like the connection I feel to the earth by hand seeding. I feel I have a little more control. I've even been thinking of selling mine coz it is just sitting in a storeroom unused. I think I'd be afraid to see what would happen with carrot seed.
I love mine for small seeds, but I have problems with the larger seeds like beans, peas, and corn. Mine (all 4 of them)spit/pop the large seeds out the top, or get stuck behind the plate. Any suggestions? I have put "bonnets" on top of the seed holders to keep the seeds from popping out, but still have the sticking problem.
In regard to Earthway Seeders, I wouldn't be without mine!!
I have 5 in use every year, 3 of which are mounted side-by-side 12 inches apart on a light angleiron frame. I use these for turnips, collards, lettuce, cabbage, beets,etc.
I have used the single ones to plant lima beans & corn with no problems. The corn plate sows the seed about 8 inches apart. The light plate for carrots works well for planting turnips for roots, and for collards and cabbage.
for big seeds in the earthway seeder - I seed peas, but not corn, I use the large pea plate, but in order to get it not to stick and with less popping, fill it only to the "fill line" or lower is even better. It makes it a hassle, but I just carry extra seeds in a bucket with me to fill it up more often.
thanks for the tip regarding the large seeds, I'll try that. My back really likes the seeder vs hand seeding. I have put a plastic bag with extra seeds or plates on that handle. Just tied it on above the spacer of the handle.
Try adding a little talcum powder to the hopper.
Just sprinkle it over the seed. Makes everything flow better.
Used my seeder last year for cover cropping a large area with oats - very useful. Also tried carrot seeds, which I liked because it reduced thinning. I did go over the rows a couple of times with the carrots, because it seemed to come out a little sparse.
I have been researching these and from what I can find, people say to buy the Jang Clean Precision Seeder. They say that the earthway puts out too many seeds at once but the Jang seeder wastes less. Earthway is much cheaper. The single row Jang seeder is 395.00 plus each roller that you need for different size seeds is $21. This is Canadian prices from Willsies. http://www.willsie.com/brochures/seeder_brochure_january_2010.pdf
I hooked 3 together. Basically, I used a all-thread 18" or 24" inch rod, washers and wing nuts. Took the 2 axles out (1 at a time), replacing with the rod. Placed the seeders at the locations that I wanted with washers and wingnuts on either side of seeder. This way, I could change the distances between rows. It worked every well, I would suggest tying the handles together somehow and add alittle weight over the 'wheels'.
If your garden bed is very smooth, the Earthway works well, especially with small seeds. No thinning needed. My parents used my first one and bought the rest of them at yard sales. I have a total of 4 now, and don't use them much, only because my garden beds are acres and not smooth.
For a large gardener, they work well. For truck farmers, not so well. Only because of the amount planted.
I have not used a Jang but keep hearing from those who do if the seed bed is not perfectly smooth and free of all rocks and stones it will not work well at all. that pretty much made my mind up to stay with the Earthway seeders we have as we have a lot of stones, rocks, cobbles and boulders on our farm that would just get in the way of the Jang.
Now, if I had sandy loam soils than the Jang would probably work better than the Earthway
And Know the Earthway Seeder is made in America (Bristol, IN), the Jang is Korean made.
I have two Earthways. I bought one from the company and another off Craig's List. I like this machine. I have had problems with it with beans and peas. I believe that is due to lack of experience and I'm not ready to stop using it yet. I especially found it useful with large plots of radishes, carrots, chard, salad mix and scallions. Be careful about going back and forth because you think the planting is sparse or you will end up doing a lot of unnecessary thinning.
I'm going to try that talcam. I use a spiecal plate i bought from 'Jonny's seeds" they sell for pelleted lettuce.It was high I think $30. but well worth it.
I've been using an Earthway for quite a few years and found that mixing the radish and carrot seeds together using the radish plate works quite uniquely. Yes, it plants both together in the same row mixing the entire length with radishes and carrots, but the results are pretty neat. The radishes germinate and come up first, which helps mark the row location and then the carrots emerge a little later. They grow well together and is especially beneficial for the carrots, providing them with stability and shade. When the radishes ripen and are sporadically pulled depending on ripeness, it creates more room for the carrots to grow and also thins them out a bit. By the time all the radishes are pulled, you have strong carrots that require minimum thinning. The other benefit is that the radishes help loosen the soil for the carrots' root growth. I've been doing it for years and it still works great,
I do that too. I also have done old parsnip seed mixed with the carrot and radish. Some germinates and some just acts as a thinner.
The only drawback to carrots and radish together is if you plan to do a weed torching of the carrots. The radish germinate too quickly to allow that.
What proportions of radish to carrot are you using? I've been using pelleted carrot seed and like it. However I bought the plate from Johnny's for pelleted seed ($30) and was not happy with it. It seemed to crush the pellets. So I played around with all the other plates and discovered that the spinach plate puts 2-3 seeds every 2-3 inches. Works about perfect for me. Little or no thinning but even sowing.
I use two Earthway planters. One is a stock planter and the second is attached to the rear of one of my garden tractors, using a sleeve hitch. Plant with the garden tractor for about everthing, except carrots. Proper depth is too inportant with them.