The idea here is to create a tool for small acerage farmers to use a lawn tractor or an ATV to quickly and efficiently plant seeds. The concept is based on the seed drill that punches a hole to a particular depth, pushes a seed down a tube, and fills the hole. There is a lot of complexity to a seed drill, and the alternative I am proposing is to create a plough that digs 1 inch down and ploughs a furrow 1/2 inch wide. The trailing 2x4 supports the weight of the rig and sits to the side of the furrw, this will push the dirt from the side and fill the furrow. I might even consider beveling the bottom of this 2x4 higher on the plough side to help force dirt to the side. The plough has a stainless steel tube welded to the back end to receive the plastic seed tubing on the top and be cut at a bevel on the bottom so the falling seed is pulled out into the furrow. The plough is bolted to the side of a 2x4 and 7 inch wide concrete weights straddle the 2x4. Stack 6 of these side by side for a 42 inch wide planter. The trailing end is held together by a rope threaded through each 2x4 so that the ends can have some small independent movement, and the head is held together by a cross piece 2x4. If you have an even number of rows on your planter then there will be a convenient middle spot to mount a trailer hitch receiver or with a pin for the back of your yard tractor.
The seed tube is not actually cut at a straight bevel with a saw, it needs be cut or ground out at the back to the full width of the inner opening at the angle described but the sides need to be left in place to keep dirt out.
So far there are no moving parts, just drag this across the field to create and then immediatly fill a 1 inch deep furrow. The remaining challenge is to figure out a simple way to meter out seeds at a set rate. I don't know yet if this might work but I am thinking of a funnel full of seeds feeding into a tube which ends at a T junction. A puff of compressed air from one side of the T would force the seed down the tube, and when the puff ended the next seed would fall into place. This certainly would not be accurate enough for industrial farming but it might be pretty decent for getting the most out of our acerage.
I have designed concrete weight blocks that are 7" wide because that is a minimum row width for intensive farming of barley. I intend for the six weight blocks to be pressed up against each other and to provide for the proper row spacing. You get 5% to 15% less yield per plant at 7 inch wide rows than you do at 14 inch wide, but you also get twice as many plants in your field. Slightly less return per seed but much higher return per acre. I plan to store the barley for winter and feed my animals matts of fresh grown barley sprouts because barley can go from seed to big thick barley sprout matts in 7 days.Return to Dave's Planet