Large scale production requires an automated or mechanical seeder. For example, plug production requires the use of a seeder to place very small seeds in a plug tray.

The choice of a seeder depends on several factors including cost, seeding speed, volume of flats to be seeded, and the need for flexibility to sow a variety of size and shaped seeds.

Three types of seeders are commonly available to plug growers. These are template, needle and drum seeders.

Photo of a needle seeder machine.

Needle seeder

Mechanical field seeders are available as either random or precision seeders.

Random seeders meter seed in the row at no exact spacing.

Precision seeders selectively meter seed from the hopper to maintain a preset spacing in the row and can greatly reduce the number of seeds required to seed an acre compared to random seeding. Precision seeders include belt, plate, wheel, and vacuum seeders.

Photo of a mechanical field seeder. Detail photo of a mechanical field seeder.