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What is a Seed Planter?

Ken Black
Ken Black

A seed planter is a tool used in landscaping to spread seeds over a certain area. In small-scale landscaping and gardening, a hand-operated seed planter can be used. In large farming operations a planter can be a massive device, usually attached to the back of a tractor.

Seed planters can work one of two ways. Some will actually make a small hole in the ground and lay the seed in, then cover the hole and seed back up. This is usually done in a single pass. Others will simply spread the seed out on the ground, where it will eventually take root by itself. This is most commonly done with grass varieties and sometimes done with a fertilizer spreader, rather than a true planter.

Farming operations use large tractors to pull seed planters across fields.
Farming operations use large tractors to pull seed planters across fields.

The main benefit to a seed planter is its ability to save a tremendous amount of time and keep the rows spaced evenly in a garden or a farm field. For those planters pushed by hand, there is usually a guide offset from the planting wheel that will mark out the next row, allowing the user to keep neatly spaced rows. All the planter has to do after planting the first row is follow the guide for the second row. This will not only save time, but allow for a more efficient utilization of available space.

Determining the type of seed planter that is right for you will depend on factors such as amount of use and type of crop. Some may be able to get by with a cheap planter that functions adequately for many years with minimal use. If grass is the main concern, a spreader may be an option. For others who are planting crops in a garden, they will need a planter capable of putting the seed into the ground. Seed planters start at approximately $80 US Dollars (USD) and go up from there, depending on quality and other features.

In farming operations, large planters can cost many thousands of dollars, in addition to the cost of the tractor which will pull them across the field. However, these can save significant amounts of time as well. A large seed planter may be capable of planting up to 24 rows of seeds during a single pass. This bulk seeding enables farmers to cultivate thousands of acres, whereas in the past he or she may have been able to work with a couple of hundred acres at most.

Discussion Comments


@Perdido - Yes, and I have one. I found a garden seed planter online that fertilizes while it sows. It is a huge time saver!


I have a small garden that I know will need fertilizer added to help my plants grow and produce fruit. I don't want to buy a fertilizer spreader in addition to a seed planter. Does anyone know if there is such a thing as a garden seed planter that also fertilizes?


When I started planning my vegetable garden this spring, I looked into the different types of vegetable seed planters, and I discovered that three types are available.

Drill Planters plant any size seed, but they do not adjust the spacing, and I did not want to have to thin the seedlings out later, so I searched further. Precision Planters are highly accurate planters that space out seeds very well and plant one seed at a time.

However, because these are very high quality planters, the cost was too much to justify the purchase for such a small garden. So, I found the perfect fit in the last type, the Plate Planter.

Plate Planters are for use with medium to large seed, and they plant one seed at a time. They also space out the seed, and the spacing can be adjusted with the spacing gears.

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    • Farming operations use large tractors to pull seed planters across fields.
      By: Johan Larson
      Farming operations use large tractors to pull seed planters across fields.