I have planted way too many beds of wild simulated.
Some problems I've encountered are as follows:
1) - On slopes where broadcasting would be a bouncing joke, I have to hand sow seeds this is such a slow method its frustrating when I have many pounds to sow.
2) - On level ground if I cast more than three seeds I can't find the beggars to stand them down they are so camouflaged. So broadcasting consists of throw three, stand on three. Then they never fall on that sweet spot I want the seed, so i throw one more, damn then another.. Darn it too many in this square foot to be sure lol.
3) - Raking on many beds pulls up as much fine leaf litter as it does leaves. Hard to use rake to evenly put these piles back - end up using hands - a big pain to recover - margins at the side of fine leaf mulch a mess.
So I have an ECF seeder on order from Emerald Castle Farms. Supposed to be able to seed through the leaves so no raking is required, good on slopes, seed 1/2 lb an hour or so the claim goes....
Does anyone have any experience with the seeder? How did it work out?
Does damp seed get stuck on the inside of the drop tube and not make it to the ground?
Does the device plug up and require constant de-bunging?
I have used one quite a bit this year. I guess how good it is will be determined by what kind of germination I get, it puts the seed a bit deep,and I've read on here that deep seed equals lower germination, but I like to believe it also equals safer, more disease resistant roots. To answer some ?'s, No mine has not clogged up, ever! I love mine because it allows me to get in brush, on slopes and through leaves without disturbing the ground and undergrowth. My limited success with growing ginseng has been to plant thin, in underbrush and disturb as little as possible and this allows me to do this perfectly. I plant maybe a half pound in a half day (4 to 6 hours), but I'm probably a little slow and I don't just stick seed after seed in close proximity-prolly less than a pound an acre.
You know, you can add some washers to the top (over or under the spring) to lessen the planting depth. Or, a more permanent solution would be to grind down the bar. However, you can't adjust it back deeper that way like you can with washers.
I never thought about the washer idea, but sure enough see how it would work. But like I wrote, I'm not opposed to sticking them down an inch or so like it does as I feel it keeps the seeds safer from critters and I feel like it might make the young root a little safer and more disease resistant. I was just concerned after reading a post on here that deeper seed means low germination. Hopefully that won't be the case. Guess I'll know soon enough!
I am excited to get my seeder. I have planted quite a few pounds of seed this year. Wild simulated, some beds in rows, some beds by broadcast and some by hand poking seeds directly in the ground. I have four pounds or so left for the seeder. I am using seed from three separate vendors this year: Harding, Wild Grown and Schumacher - they all sourced from Wisconsin farms (with Schumacher using their own seed), as the seed looked quite different from each other, I am hoping that they are not all from the same source lol. I have planted a few control beds this year with three rows one row of each vendor. But thinking about it if the seed vendor uses different sources of seed each year, or several in one year - it would be hard to choose a preferred vendor - I guess at a minimum I will see if there is value in more expensive seed.