Location: Crop Improvement and Protection Research2019 Annual Report
1. Novel planter developed for small-seeded plants. Precision seeding of herbs, vegetables and other species with extremely small seeds that are the size of salt grains can be difficult with standard planters. Small seeds are often pelleted in order to plant them with precision, but this process is expensive. An ARS researcher at Salinas, California, developed a simple planter, called the Slide Hammer Seeder, for precision, hand seeding of unpelleted (raw), small-seeded species. The planter works well for seeding a variety of small-seeded herbs and vegetables and has been used to inter-seed sweet alyssum plants in vegetable crops. Sweet alyssum helps to control pest aphids on many vegetable crops and this novel seeder can help farmers do this efficiently.