Nav: Home

Planting small seeds simply: The allure of the slide hammer seeder

February 21, 2019

SALINAS, CALIFORNIA--Planting small seeds simply: The allure of the slide hammer seeder

The development of a simply made and easy-to-use planting device could make growing important herbs and beneficial insect-attracting plants significantly more efficient and effective. The low-cost tool, known as the Slide Hammer Seeder (a jab-style seeder), gives farmers and gardeners specific control in sowing plants with very small seeds.

The use and assembly of this device is documented by Eric Brennan of the USDA's Agricultural Research Service in his article "The Slide Hammer Seeder: A Novel Tool for Planting Small Seeds", an open-access article published in HortTechnology.

Planting seeds by hand has been standard operating procedure since the beginning of agriculture more than 10,000 years ago. Even in the modern era, hand seeding is still important for major staple crops, especially in many parts of the developing world. Although jab-style seeders were widely used for corn in the United States during the early 1900s, their use today is primarily in research plots for agronomic crops with relatively large seeds.

However, these seeders are unsuitable for precision planting of small-seeded species that are of interest as cash crops or as "insectary plants"--those grown in high-value vegetable crops to provide pollen and nectar for beneficial insects.

To address the need for a seeder that allows the precise planting of small-seeded plants, the slide hammer seeder was developed. To make one, all the parts are available at your local hardware store at a cost of about US$32.50, and assembly can take as little as 2 hours.

Using the slide hammer seeder, seed is discharged in small quantities beneath the soil at preset depths, calculated for optimum growth potential.

Brennan adds, "I think this planter can really help farmers to accurately inter-seed important insectary plants like sweet alyssum between vegetable crops to help control aphids without pesticides. It also could be great for precise seeding of novel and nutritious vegetables such as purslane, which has very small and expensive seeds.
-end-
To view a demonstration of the Slide Hammer Seeder, follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olO9zX1ggs8

The complete article is available on the ASHS HortTechnology electronic journal web site: 10.21273/HORTTECH04122-18. Or you may contact Eric Brennan of the U.S. Department of Agriculture at eric.brennan@usda.gov or call him at (831) 755-2822 for additional information.

Founded in 1903, the American Society for Horticulture Science (ASHS) is the largest organization dedicated to advancing all facets of horticulture research, education, and application. More information at ashs.org.

American Society for Horticultural Science

Related Farmers Articles:

Ant farmers boost plant nutrition
Research, led by Dr. Guillaume Chomicki from the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford, has demonstrated that millions of years of ant agriculture has remodeled plant physiology.
Could computer games help farmers adapt to climate change?
Researchers from Sweden and Finland have developed the interactive web-based Maladaptation Game, which can be used to better understand how Nordic farmers make decisions regarding environmental changes and how they negotiate the negative impacts of potentially damaging decisions.
CRISPRed wheat helps farmers control weeds
Recently, a research team led by Profs. GAO Caixia and LI Jiayang at the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (IGDB, CAS), together with Associate Prof.
Houston, we're here to help the farmers
The International Space Station's ECOSTRESS gathers plant data.
Maasai farmers only kill lions when they attack livestock
Maasai farmers do not kill lions for retribution whenever they lose sheep or cattle, new research shows.
More Farmers News and Farmers Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...