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  • Writer's pictureTeresa Derrick-Mills

Farm Tools 5: Seeding Vegetables

Seeds are expensive. You want to be sure that you get the most plants from your seeds, and to do that you have to know how your seed will grow and what it needs when you plant it. All seeds take many days to become a plant, and they to grow the fruits or vegetables that we are all seeking. It can take a long time to know if you are going to get what you were hoping for, and if you find out you are not getting what you hoped for, it may be too late to do it again. (If you are planting your own garden, see these tips from the Maryland Extension office.)

Trickiness of Seeding Properly

Seeding plants is obviously essential for farming, but it is very tricky to do well. The seed for each type of plant (fruit, veggie, herb)

Time-Consuming and Back-breaking to Seed by Hand; Other Seeding Options Challenging Too

In your garden, you probably seed by hand. This is when you take each seed and place it into the ground one at a time either by making an individual hole and putting a seed into it or by making an indented row in the ground, placing the seeds down the row and then covering it up.

Neon green seeder is being attached to the back of a tractor; dog nearby
Attaching seeder to tractor

Various kinds of tools can help with this seeding process when you have much longer rows and many more seeds like you do on a farm.

  • One challenge that we have found with the tools is that many tools are made for a single type or size of seed -- you have to buy a tool for each type or size. On a farm like Chocolates and Tomatoes, that is very expensive because we grow lots of different crops.

  • Another challenge we have found is that some equipment is very big -- made for a tractor and a farm that is much bigger than ours.

Seeder attached to back of tractor, raised in the air to transport to field
Seeder being transported to field attached to back of tractor
  • The best "right-sized" and multi-seed seeder we found came over to join us from Italy (see neon green thing above and to the left on back of tractor). It is one of the few pieces of new equipment that we purchased to help us with the farm work.

  • We still can't use it for all the things that we plant because

    • some of our seeds have to go in trays first

    • some plants come to us as small bushes or trees

    • we use some raised bed

    • some seeds we plant into landscape fabric -- the seeder can only be used to plant in dirt on the ground

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