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Use a Shaker for Planting Small Seeds

By abhege
July 26, 2013

For those tiny seeds that are hard not to sow too thickly, like carrots and radishes, use one of the large spice shakers you buy at the store. After it's empty, wash thoroughly and dry. Add your seeds and shake gently.

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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Jul 25, 2013 6:41 PM CST
I love the salt-shaker idea!

Sometimes I do the same thing with an empty pill bottle. I drill a small hole in the cap. Sometimes I add white sand so I can tell where I have or haven't shaken.

Then I use a 2-liter Coke bottle filled with vermiculite to cover the seeds.

I have a plunger-gadget and a dial-an-opening hockey-puck-shaped gadget.
I haven't yet bought the suction-and-needle puffer gadget, but I have one blunt-end needle that I might glue onto a turkey-baster-bulb.

The best thing I've seen for "put exactly ONE seed EXACTLY where you want it is from Lee Valley Tools. Precisely-sized indentations in thick plastic, like a mini-micro one-seed-scoop/

http://www.leevalley.com/en/garden/page.aspx?cat=2,2200,3326...

Someone said that he used a pencil sharpened to a point, then dipped in water, to pick up one seed at a time.

I've used a tiny plastic or stainless steel measuring spoon to scoop one medium-size seed out of an ice-cube tray where I've been soaking them in dilute hydrogen peroxide.

Sometimes I use a small spoon or the plunger-gadget to drop 3-10 seeds onto a dry white saucer. Then I roll them aorund until one is well-separated from the others. I touch a finger to that ONE seed and pick it up, then rub two fingertips together until it drops into roughly the rigt place.


Sorry: no photos!

Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Georgia Garden Sages Organic Gardener Beekeeper Vegetable Grower
Seed Starter Cut Flowers Composter Keeper of Poultry Keeps Goats Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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abhege
Jul 25, 2013 6:47 PM CST
Jennifer bought that tool from Lee Valley! I have used the sharpened, wet pencil as well. I always start out good but then get impatient so the shaker works well for me. I like the vermiculite in the two liter bottle idea too!
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Jul 25, 2013 7:17 PM CST
Thanks!

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Name: Gracie
Palm Coast Florida Zone 9
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Flowersoul
Jul 27, 2013 7:22 AM CST
An old salt shaker, I would think, would also work well to spread Diatomaceous Earth for ants. I was spreading the DE with a small plastic cup until I read this tip. Thank you!
Gracie

Butterflies
MoSunshineGirl
Jul 27, 2013 8:52 AM CST
Hello everyone, I am kind of new here, and just wanted to say how much I appreciate all the sharing of good information that goes on here! I also use the "salt shaker" method when planting tiny seeds. Adding the white sand is a great idea to keep track of where you've been!
I also use a thin strip of masking tape. Just the cheap kind. I stick it, sticky side up, to my dinner table, a piece about 2 1/2 feet long. Just long enough so it's not awkward to handle. Then I pour the seeds into a shallow saucer, and with tweezers, I grab one seed at a time, and stick to the tape, spaced however far apart from each one I want.
Then I "plow" a shallow trench, lay the tape with the seeds on it into the trench, seed side up, then gently pat a little dirt over it. The masking tape breaks down pretty quickly once wet, and the seeds germinate nicely on it. I think it may even keep the seed from washing away in a hard rain.
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
Peonies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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CarolineScott
Sep 13, 2013 7:52 PM CST
I like the idea of the masking tape.
I have a shaker bottle which came with a lid
which allows for different size openings so can sprinkle different size seeds.
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Georgia Garden Sages Organic Gardener Beekeeper Vegetable Grower
Seed Starter Cut Flowers Composter Keeper of Poultry Keeps Goats Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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abhege
Sep 14, 2013 5:54 AM CST
Oh my gosh, that's a great idea too. I guess I didn't realize masking tape would break down. I have been using the toilet paper with flour/water glue. I like it but I can't always control the drops of glue and I'm not sure it's good for carrots because this spring the ones I did didn't germinate very well.

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