Vacuum Seeder

I erected a 10×12 greenhouse in my backyard two years ago, with the intent to start all my herbs and vegetables from seed. This year, I expanded into starting all my annual bedding flowers for both summer and winter.

With what is now a year round hobby, I had the need to plant a lot of seeds, very many of which are so small that it’s nearly impossible to both see and pick up just one seed.

I found this compact, reasonably inexpensive, vacuum seeder that does the job perfectly. I start most of my seeds in mini soil blocks (reviewed here on Cool Tools). Because most seeds are dark in color, I empty them into a small, white, plastic tray. Here’s how it works:

1. Squeeze the bulb of the pro-seeder
2. Place the vacuum tip next to a seed.
3. Release the bulb. This creates suction on the seed and holds the seed against the tip of the seeder.
4. Transfer the seed to the starter block by squeezing the bulb.

In a short time, I developed the coordination of squeezing and releasing the bulb perfectly, to plant hundreds of seeds in a very short time. I’ve found nothing on the market that is easier to use, and, for about $20, nothing that compares on price.

I would also like to share a something that I’ve found to work very well for seed starting using the mini-blocks and pro-seeder. The mini-block compresses and forms a square of 20 starter cubes. I occasionally buy sushi at the grocery store. The packaging tray consists of a channeled bottom, and a snap-on clear top. Each tray holds 40 starter cubes. Once the cubes are made and the seeds are planted, mist the blocks with water, snap on the top, and you have the perfect mini-greenhouse for starting seeds. Germination is faster because of the heat and moisture held inside the tray. Even without a greenhouse, these small trays can sit in a sunny window in late winter to give you a head start on your spring planting. The manager at my local grocery store sold them to me for 50 cents each when I asked.


-- Wayne Wittke  


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