I stumbled on an old thread regarding planting seeds and an auger, etc. That thread I think was several years old.
I've been planting for the past few weeks using TN's suggestion of 4X4 plots, two seeds per square foot...
I've been using a tomato stake to push each seed into the soil after raking back the leaves. I've been planting in areas where ginseng is already growing or companion plants are growing. Many of these areas are rock and root covered so raking the soil for the whole plot seems very laborious.
I used this method last year before I had discovered ginseng on my property, with varying degrees of success. Part of my lack of success is likely in part that I was picking spots at random (well, sort of), not marking my plantings (and couldn't recall where a couple of them were) and really not feeling confident because I had not located the three ginseng colonies growing on my property by that time.
Yea Jim, my memory ain't what what it once was plus last season I was still in my first year and still exploring this property. I misspoke somewhat in my previous post in that I did used tomato stakes to mark my plots but every plot was random in size and dimensions and despite making notes, some were difficult to locate (tomato stakes 6 inches out of the ground are hard to find in the woods). In a couple instances, I found new plants, then the stakes. In part, I was trying to be discreet in case people wandered onto my property. My game cams have since indicated that this is very rare.
I have been driving stakes into the ground at the top left corner (looking up slope) of each plot and dating the day of planting. I'm also numbering each stake so I can account numerically each plot come next spring.
Last year I planted within each plot a random number of seeds so I had no clue how many to look for and where they were within my plot. Based on TN's great suggestion, next spring should be easier to determine how successful each plot is.
It would be more convenient if ginseng grew in flatter places and that my lower back was not 59 years old with one surgery under it's belt. It's only good for about 200 seeds a day. lol
I planted a few pounds of seed in areas that was not so 'rake and scatter" friendly... using a sharp shooter shovel, with a pvc pipe attached with duck tape.
It worked well..
I could just push that shovel blade into the soil (thru the leaves) and give it a half twist to open up a little cavity in the top soil.
Then drop a seed or two down the pipe. Pull the shovel out, and cover the seed (close the hole, and cover) with my boot.
I almost always put 2 seed down the pipe and remember seeing them up the next spring, and most all of the had 2 3 leafers up and looking good. they are still out there today, but most are nice 3 prongs now.
Will include a Pic so you can see what I am talking about.
TN, you're just a regular MacGiver there, aren't you? lol
I think I'll plant the rest of my seeds using that method and compare the two come next spring. Still two seeds per square foot I presume!
Sometimes while planting the soil seemed pretty firm and I like the idea of not raking the leaves, I still have a lot of leaves on the trees so the seeds should get good and covered. We're having a bit, and I emphasize a "bit" of rain today and supposedly some tomorrow, tomorrow afternoon or Monday might be a good day to employ this new tactic.
Looks like I need to add a piece of PVC to my Lowe's shopping list.
Planting using my original way I could manage just 200 seeds on a good day. Most days were less than that. Using the shovel is so much faster which allows me more time to plant and less strenuous since my back isn't killing me within the first hour from bending over to plant each seed.
TN, I have modified my shovel by replacing the one pvc pipe with two PEX lines which allowed me to position them so the seeds drop further apart more consistently. With the one pipe my seeds would often follow the same route and end up next to each other. I tried tilting the shovel between drops with mixed results.
With the two lines, I tilt slightly one way as I drop a seed in the red tube than tilt slightly the opposite way as I drop a seed into the blue tube. I'll attach a couple of pics and as you can see, I used a couple of pieces of scrap wood to position the tubes.
On Halloween we had some nasty weather and a lot of leaves fell. Sometimes the seeds would hit a leaf and ricochet off someplace so I did start raking the leaves again but that only takes a moment and is easy to do.
I used 1/2 inch PEX because I had a couple scrap pieces in my shed but I think for next year, I'll replace them with a larger diameter, maybe 3/4 or 1" to make the top openings easier to hit. Friday morning the temp was 39' and with cold fingers I missed a couple drops. lol