A seed drill is an ingenious device utilized in modern agriculture which sows seedlings for future planting by placing them directly into the ground and burrowing them to a certain depth. This ensures that seeds are being distributed equally. Most of us have seen these devices either at a local nursery or seed store or online and may even own a hand-held version. What is so fascinating about a seed drill is the fact that these machines can also be used to pull up weeds and dig furrows for the cultivation of crops.
These seed drills come in both hand-held versions as well as those that can be driven by an electric motor. The hand-held ones are essentially smaller versions of their larger cousins. They utilize batteries, which must be recharged periodically, and therefore can only be used for a limited time before having to be replaced. Electric seed drills, on the other hand, are capable of working continuously for a period of time before needing to be recharged.
Most modern day drills for seed dispersal utilize a drilling design that consists of a rotating disc. This rotating disc is stationary and remains in place while the hand-held device rotates vertically within the reservoir of the drill. Seeds are placed into the reservoir which is located just above the ground, with the drill head left in a vertical position. As the seed drill rotates, it drills into the earth to break up the seed. The drilling process causes the seed to release from its seed coat, which forms a small hole in the prepared soil.
Many variations of this technique exist. In one variation, the rotational disc is stationary and the hand-held device rotates horizontally, drilling holes vertically to sow the seed. Another variation is to drill a hole in the seed directly, which forces the seed out into the plant bed. One variation that is gaining in popularity is the method that makes use of a mechanical sifter. This sifter is placed between the seed drill head and the ground and allows the fine seeds from the drill to fall into the sifter, where they are sorted by size.
Depending upon the specific needs of the project, there are many different drill bits suitable for each task. The most popular drill bit is the wood drill bit, which is usually cylindrical in shape and made from steel or plastic. Wood drill bits are especially useful when making holes in hardwoods, such as maple, oak, birch, pecan, etc. Most wood drill bits are available at garden centers and online ordering is quick and easy. For a wide range of sizes and drill patterns, one can go to any good drilling equipment dealer and find the right seed drill for the job.
Seed drills for home use range from very small hand-held units designed to make small holes in seedlings to elaborate battery-powered machines that can drill several holes in a row. Handheld seed drills are convenient for most home gardeners but may not be as effective on larger seed quantities. Battery powered seed drills may be more cost effective but tend to run up a lot of electrical energy. There are also combo units that combine handheld and electric power. The most efficient way to decide which type of seed drill is best for you is to read up on the features of each and then try a few different ones out to see which one seems to suit your purposes best.