I am new here so this might be common knowledge with all of you. There is a product called "Clinere Ear Cleaners" designed to do what the name implies, but on one end of this plastic device is a tiny scoop which is ideal for picking one or two seeds out of the palm of the hand or packet or whatever. I have been using one to plant lettuce seeds (yes, I live in an area of the country where we can garden all year) and it was perfect for the job. Check your pharmacy's ear care section if interested.
Great Seed-sowing device!
Thanks for the tip!
I found some 1/64th tsp spoons at Amazon.com, but they're too big for 'dust-like' seeds.
Then I cut a 2" piece of plastic soda-straw and slit it lengthwise.
Cut one end of the piece diagonally, so the un-slit half was longer.
Then I wrapped that tightly around a bamboo skewer so that the un-slit part extended past the blunt end of the skewr.
Then I taped the slit piece of soda straw tightly around the skewer (the skewer was smaller than the starw, so it overlapped itself.
Now I have a TINY shovel that can pisk up just a few tiny seeds at a time.
But I still find it handy to take a small scoop (say 2- 5 seeds) and sprinkle that over a dry white china saucer, soreading them far apart. Then I can use a ifngertip to pick up JUST ONE SEED and brush it off my fingertip onto the soil.
I have a plan to make medium-size scoops out of 22 shell casings (brass) by cutting them to just a few mm length. But it is going to be hard to make a scoop much smaller than 1 / 64th teaspoon!
MsDonalds used to have coffee stirrers that were tiny scoops. The urban legend was that they discontinued those and made flat paddles instead "because coke dealers used them".
Walmart sells a set of measuring spoons that includes one that measures a "pinch". I bought it a few years ago for sowig seeds.
I am not sure why there are special names for them, but
Tad = 1/4 tsp
Dash = 1/8 tsp
Pinch = 1/16 tsp
Smidgen = 1/32 tsp
I lost or misplaced my Dash/Pinch/Smidgen set of spoons in a move, but they were flatter and shallower than is handy for me. They looked like the set that is available at Walmart. I have a 1/8 tsp that I fill half full to get a "pinch". That 1/64 tsp that Corey mentioned interests me. I think I will do a little search on Amazon to see if they have some fractional teaspoon measures that appeal to me.
I really like the Danesco set that I bought, and just marked them "1/64" "1/32" and "1/16" with sticky labels.
One reviewer said the Amco spoons can rust if left in a drainer for too long - I don't know.
I hope some day to make "1/100" and "1/128" tsp measures with sawed-off .22 brass.
Amco (but one review said they can rust)
In order to pick up a single small seed (coleus, petunia, tomato, etc), I first dip a toothpick in water and then touch the wet end to the seed to pick it up. Then, just touching the seed to the growing medium causes it to release. The surface tension of water is the working mechanism.
Zen_Man, that's very effective, but too simple for Rube Goldberg-philes!
Since I heard about the "vacuum-suction-needle-gadget" I've wanted to build one from a turkey-baster-bulb and some kind of narrow tubing.
But I don't need it.
If I scatter the seed thinly on a dry plate so each seed is far apart, my finger works. If I want to move it 1/4" from where it lands, a pencil, chopstick, finger, spoon or fork is pretty effectvie, and often I have one handy anyway, to cover the seed with soil or pine bark fines.
P.S. Someone pointed out a precison way to sow seeds outdoors without bending over.
Cut a length of dry garden hose long enough to reach from waist level to the ground.
If you want to be fancy, tape a funnel to the upper end.
(A piece of magazine cover or ceral-box taped into a cone works)
Push the bottom of the hose into the soil exactly where you want the seed.
Drop seed into funnel.
I saw a rather expensive gadget that worked about the same way for dropping transplants from waist level into the soil without bending over ... but they suggested that TWO people should work it! I dunno, my "sharpshooter" spade is alsmost as accurate, and then I already have it poised to push the soil down around the transplant.
The "Dash" measuring spoon might be 1/12 tsp, not 1/8.
Here is a photo of the "sliced soda straw scoops". The pointed ends make it easier to get just a few tiny seeds. The bamboo skewer design is more p;ractical than a chopstick: if you're going to build one based on a chopstick, you might as well just use a 1/32nd or 1/64th tsp measuring spoon.
I'm still looking for some .22 brass. No ranges near me!
Can't beat this for tiny seeds. They drill tiny holes into a pointed strip of plastic. It's like a 1/1,000 teaspoon measuring spoon.
You get four different-size holes, so you pick a hole that is just big enough for one seed to fit in.
Scoop, tilt, and you have exactly one seed ready to drop precisely.
$4 for the set.
I have the same ones as Susan has pictured.
They are called "seed spoons" and they work fine.
I forgot! Yes, the photos posted by Susan / virginiarose arre exactoly what I ws trying to desc ribe.
Well, I got by fine without them before I knew they existed - now I have to have a set.
What I did before was scatter a few on a paper plate, then pick them up with a damp toothpick.
The tricky part was getting the potting soil damp enough to transfer the seed, but not so damp as to transfer water or mud back to the plate.
Lee valley was out of stock, and so were every other vendor I checked. I asked Rittenhouse, and got a very prompt reply:
The Seedspoons were not ours. We did sell them but the company stopped making them years ago. We have none left. We do not know of anyone selling them.
Bruce Zimmerman GWA HTD LICRH
Consumer Products Manager
M.K. Rittenhouse & Sons Ltd.