Monday 8 March 2021

EarthWay Seeders for Grain Crops – ?

One of our customers is starting some experiments with small-scale grain growing, using his EarthWay Precision Garden Seeder to sow the seed.

Here are his comments so far:

"It looks like the following plates are going to work best:

wheat, rye + barley - radish plate or popcorn plate.  The radish one won't accept the larger seeds (often picks them up but drops them back in the hopper as they won't entirely fit through the hole) but does surprisingly well, the popcorn plate has a tendency to pick up a couple instead of just one but with the wider spacing that might be fine anyway.

Emmer wheat (much bigger seeds) - small peas plate works really well, occasionally getting 2 seeds.  The chard plate also works pretty well but drops larger seeds back or drops them if it picks them up sideways.

Oats - it seems to have the most trouble with these as they're quite long thin seeds.  Best option seems to be the chard plate but it alternates between picking up several and missing them fairly frequently."

If you have been trying any experiments like this and have some advice to offer, please email us and we will pass on your thoughts.  We can also put you in direct contact with our customer if you would like to compare notes.


  1. I am pet of a group of crofters starting to grow grains again on the west coast of Scotland and we have not found hand wheeled seeders to work as well as broadcast seeding using a sowing sheet or sowing fiddle or a small plot sized seed drill for aa small tractor. But happy to hear other peoples experiences.

    1. Hi, I'm the customer mentioned in the blog! The seeder has worked pretty well for me but I've only sown a few beds, the other thing I tried was seed bombs, which had the promise of doing less soil prep but used less seed, which doesn't seem to have worked really. Not sure if the birds took it all or what.

      How did you prep the soil for broadcasting? I'd never heard of sowing sheets or fiddles before, are you sowing larger areas? Did you do anything after? I have problems with birds taking stuff here (even taking drilled peas by poking their beaks through the netting that covered them!).

      I found the drill to need a high level of soil prep (eg making a seedbed) but have had some pretty good results and because it's in rows I can hoe between them. The bit of land I'm using got dug over by pigs last year but I didn't haul all the bits of turf away when they were getting them off which I now regret! Unfortunately the grass is mixed into the soil in huge chunks at different depths which makes it hard to work, I've been doing it all by hand and found a Canterbury fork is the best tool to get it out but it's very time consuming unfortunately. I've been making raised beds and planting into those...

      Going to try just digging small trenches for my corn and amaranth as a time saver but they've been started indoors so don't need a good tilth to plant into.

  2. We have put these two in touch with each other directly and can do the same (subject to everyone's agreement!) if that will be useful.