Seeds forum: Favorite Tools to Use with Seeds

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Name: Leslie
Chapin, SC (Zone 7b)
Keeps Sheep Daylilies Hybridizer Garden Photography Cat Lover Hummingbirder
Birds Region: South Carolina Plant and/or Seed Trader Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 2 Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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Lalambchop1
Nov 18, 2016 10:36 AM CST
Hi,
I'm new generally to seed growing and have some questions. What tools are your favorites? For example, do you use a soil thermometer, handheld seed sower/spreader, dibber for bulbs? What do I need for planting bulbs, annual/perennial, herb & lettuce seeds?
Leslie

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15
Name: Mary
Lake Stevens, WA (Zone 8a)
Near Seattle
Bookworm Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Plays in the sandbox Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter
Winter Sowing
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Pistil
Nov 18, 2016 11:11 AM CST
Hmmm, interesting question. Depends.

For sowing seeds in the ground, I use a rake and a hoe, just use fingers to drop seeds. If just a few flower seeds, I get down on my knees instead. I got an official dibber as a gift, it must be for big vegetable seeds, seems too big for tiny flower seeds so I rarely use it. I like my Gardening Pants with knee pads built in, from Duluth Trading Co. Nice gift for the gardener. Gloves, the thin kind with nitrile coating so I can feel what I am doing.

Sowing in little pots or flats : workbench or table, big plastic bin thing (TubTrug) and big metal scoop to mix the dry bagged potting soil with water. Then use the scoop to put soil in pots. Fingers and little home-made dibber thing (whatever is handy like a pencil!) to make holes, trenches. I have a Brother P-Touch Labeler that is a kind of nice gadget (also use around the house, nice gift for gardener, homeowner, crafty person).

Planting bulbs. For a lot, I got a giant screw thing that you put on cordless power drill, it is designed for bulb planting but is $$$ and you have to have the drill. For just a few bulbs I do have one of those "bulb planter' hand held thingies, they works OK unless you have too many rocks in which case ordinary trowel is better. Also the bulb planter does not work in sand as it cannot pull up a "core" of soil, just use trowel.

Wintersowing is a bit more complicated. I use Kitchen scissors (designed to cut up chicken etc so very sturdy) and tinsnips to cut up milk jugs and gallon vinegar jugs. I use a soldering iron to quickly burn holes in the jugs to wire them closed and make drain holes, but you can punch holes it is just a pain in the neck to do a lot. Then planting is like the above in pots.
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Region: Alabama
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Seedfork
Nov 18, 2016 12:59 PM CST
One of the fun things when sowing seeds is devising "tools" to help. That is sometimes as much fun as the actual seed planting. I think we all have used spoons, forks, knives, screwdrivers, rulers, blinds, etc. at one time or another. There is a never ending list of seed planting tools sold commercially and derived from our own ingenuity.
Name: Mary
Lake Stevens, WA (Zone 8a)
Near Seattle
Bookworm Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Plays in the sandbox Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter
Winter Sowing
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Pistil
Nov 18, 2016 3:08 PM CST
Larry I agree-
I have a kitchen full of gadgets.
I have a garage full of gadgets.
I love gadgets. I love making them, buying them.


Last winter when I was doing seed saving and swapping I started wanting more stuff (gadgets) to look at seeds, photograph them, separate them. Now I have gadgets for that too. Lots were from the dollar store (tea strainers, organza bags, etc), but I have now some nice magnifying lenses on stands so I can see tiny things while I work on them (also great for splinter removal btw), and my Supreme Gadget I got for Christmas last year, a binocular dissecting microscope! I was absolutely amazed at the current low cost of a decent microscope. You can buy one for $103.

It was interesting to think about what I actually use for seed planting: bench, bucket, scoop, trowel, pencil, gloves. Not really very fancy!
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
Frugal Gardener Garden Procrastinator I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest
Photo Contest Winner: 2014 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.
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RickCorey
Nov 18, 2016 4:26 PM CST
sieves for cleaning seeds

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tiny measuring spoons,

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card-stock funnels and 2x3" Ziplocs for splitting and storing.
"Trays" cut from chipboard boxes and cut-off pill-bottles

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A drugstore gadget for measuring liquids to give to children
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a postal scale with 0.1 gram resolution, though it drifts more than 0.1 gram
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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
Frugal Gardener Garden Procrastinator I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest
Photo Contest Winner: 2014 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.
Image
RickCorey
Nov 18, 2016 4:33 PM CST
(duplicate post)
[Last edited by RickCorey - Nov 18, 2016 4:35 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1320602 (6)
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
Frugal Gardener Garden Procrastinator I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest
Photo Contest Winner: 2014 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.
Image
RickCorey
Nov 18, 2016 4:35 PM CST
Small and large Ziplocs and glassine envelopes.

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Plastic tubs. Cardboard boxes.
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Silica gel desiccant.
Humidity-indicating cards.

A several-thousand cubic meter seed vault buried 120 feet deep that maintains -18 'C and dry air.
Thumb of 2016-11-18/RickCorey/8e293e

Name: Leslie
Chapin, SC (Zone 7b)
Keeps Sheep Daylilies Hybridizer Garden Photography Cat Lover Hummingbirder
Birds Region: South Carolina Plant and/or Seed Trader Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 2 Avid Green Pages Reviewer
Image
Lalambchop1
Nov 19, 2016 2:02 PM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rick, you're too funny.

Thanks to everyone who responded. I see there's a lot more to collecting and storing than I'd thought of. I'm still on the planning and planting end of newbiedom.
Leslie

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15
Name: Colleen
Edgewood, NM (Zone 5b)
Live Long & Prosper.
Agoo
Nov 20, 2016 12:23 AM CST
Rick Cory, my momma taught me about cooking & planting. The really big thing that has always stuck was she'd always say...It Ain't Rocket Science.
After seeing your extensive set up, I'm not so sure nodding Rolling my eyes. Confused I tip my hat to you. Thanks for sharing
Happy Gardening :-)
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
Frugal Gardener Garden Procrastinator I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest
Photo Contest Winner: 2014 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.
Image
RickCorey
Nov 21, 2016 5:40 PM CST
Just because something doesn't HAVE TO be complicated, doesn't mean that I can't MAKE it complicated!

Name: Colleen
Edgewood, NM (Zone 5b)
Live Long & Prosper.
Agoo
Nov 21, 2016 6:37 PM CST
Rick, I didn't mean anything ba
d by you awesome collection. I was totally fascinated by all the cool stuff you use :-)
Happy Gardening :-)
[Last edited by Agoo - Nov 21, 2016 6:38 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1322293 (11)
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
Frugal Gardener Garden Procrastinator I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest
Photo Contest Winner: 2014 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.
Image
RickCorey
Nov 21, 2016 6:57 PM CST
Oh, I know I'm a lunatic when it comes to doing things that don't need to be done, or doing simple things in a complicated way.

I think they left the "pragmatism" gene out of my makeup. But I got a double-dose of loving gadgets.

Name: Ronnie
Southeastern PA (Zone 6b)
Zinnias Morning Glories Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Annuals Bee Lover Dragonflies
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bookworm Region: Pennsylvania Garden Photography
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luvsgrtdanes
Nov 22, 2016 11:16 AM CST
Rick love the sieve idea for seed cleaning! And the vault is on my Christmas list Rolling on the floor laughing

I don't really use anything fancy, pencils or screwdrivers for making little holes, nail clippers for seeds that need to be chipped a bit before planting. Fine pump mister for inside watering and gentle hose spray for outdoor direct sown seeds. I do have a bulb digger that I use often.

I save seeds starting trays as long as I can and keep reusing them. Store them in the shed until after the holidays then they come in and get a good cleaning.

For seed saving I have lots of boxes from the craft store I decorate myself, plastic take out containers, baskets, tins, etc, whatever is cheap and looks pretty since I keep mine insight. Small coin envelopes, small plastic and glassine bags. Cut up card stock and labels, paper plates too sift over, small plastic or paper cups to dry seeds in for a while (watch the cats don't knock em over Hilarious!

If I didn't save, buy, trade and start seeds in winter I'd be in the looney bin for sure. Nothing beats a cold winter snowy day than seeing some green emerge form the dirt Lovey dubby
It happens in a flash, but the memory of it last forever. It can not be borrowed or stolen, and it is of no earthly good until it is given away. So if in your hurry you meet someone who is too weary to smile, leave him one of yours, for no one needs a smile quite as much as he who has none to give...

Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
Frugal Gardener Garden Procrastinator I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest
Photo Contest Winner: 2014 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.
Image
RickCorey
Nov 22, 2016 1:07 PM CST
luvsgrtdanes said: ...
small plastic or paper cups to dry seeds in for a while (watch the cats don't knock em over Hilarious!
...


Cats are a problem, and for me at least, finding enough open space that isn't already cluttered is a problem, when each type of seed needs its own plate.

I switched over to drying seeds in paper envelopes saved from bills. Now instead of being annoyed when I get bills, I enjoy saving the empty envelopes. And I can cat-proof them with a paper clip or two.

But I still spread flower heads out thinly on a plate until they are mostly-air-dry.

The idea for the seed sieves made from nesting PVC "DWV Sewer & Drain Adapters" came from katlien on Dave's old site, "Dave's Garden", that the current owners ran into the ground.

This link still works!
http://davesgarden.com/communi...

I've also put window screening (24 mesh) into an embroidery hoop to use for cleaning seeds.



[Last edited by RickCorey - Nov 22, 2016 3:24 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1322625 (14)
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Sempervivums
Salvias Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Art Plumerias Seller of Garden Stuff Bookworm
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plantmanager
Nov 22, 2016 1:18 PM CST
RickCorey said:Just because something doesn't HAVE TO be complicated, doesn't mean that I can't MAKE it complicated!


Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing

Handcrafted Coastal Inspired Art SeaMosaics!
Name: Ronnie
Southeastern PA (Zone 6b)
Zinnias Morning Glories Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Annuals Bee Lover Dragonflies
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bookworm Region: Pennsylvania Garden Photography
Image
luvsgrtdanes
Nov 22, 2016 3:12 PM CST
Thanks for the link Rick!
It happens in a flash, but the memory of it last forever. It can not be borrowed or stolen, and it is of no earthly good until it is given away. So if in your hurry you meet someone who is too weary to smile, leave him one of yours, for no one needs a smile quite as much as he who has none to give...

Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
Frugal Gardener Garden Procrastinator I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest
Photo Contest Winner: 2014 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.
Image
RickCorey
Nov 22, 2016 3:26 PM CST
Katlian's idea worked great for me. One of my few gadgets that is USEFUL and stays in frequent use.
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
Echinacea Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder
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kqcrna
Nov 22, 2016 6:39 PM CST

Moderator

I just use kitchen strainers/ colanders to clean seeds and separate chaff. I have a metal one with big holes, a plastic one with smaller holes, and 3 wire strainers with different size screens. One of them works for everything. Hilarious! Works great.

Karen
Name: Mary
Lake Stevens, WA (Zone 8a)
Near Seattle
Bookworm Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Plays in the sandbox Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter
Winter Sowing
Image
Pistil
Nov 22, 2016 7:59 PM CST
I ordered some screens like RickCorey, and I like them. I don't have them in any nice tubes though, I just use them flat and gently shake the seeds/chaff. I also keep my eye out for colanders/strainers and especially tea strainers, mostly at the dollar store but also sale racks at grocery store, Target etc, I now have a really nice selection of mesh sizes. I even have one plastic thingy with about 1/8" round holes, designed as a kitchen sink drain sieve.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
Frugal Gardener Garden Procrastinator I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest
Photo Contest Winner: 2014 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.
Image
RickCorey
Nov 23, 2016 11:12 AM CST
I thought I was very lucky to be given one strainer with a finer mesh than my kitchen strainer. That was the first time I knew there was more than one "kitchen strainer" mesh size!

One nice thing about the nesting "DWV Sewer & Drain Adapters": I can set up three with increasingly finer meshes as you go down the stack. Then I put seeds + chaff in the top, and shake. The seeds sift from mesh to mesh and settle wherever they need to.
[Last edited by RickCorey - Nov 23, 2016 1:03 PM (+)]
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