Seed Shaker Makin’

By 25th March 2022 May 11th, 2022 Creative Practice
  • Been looking for an effective way to distribute mixed seeds evenly over a given area. Needed something that spreads a good amount of seed but not to the point it pours. Research online suggests using a parmesan shaker. Well, I don’t have such a middle class, one-function item such as a parmesan shaker laying around the house and I’m not about to go buy one and add to the demand for junk that won’t degrade for a bajillion years. I did have an empty jam-jar in the cupboard though, so I decided to to a DIY job on that instead.

  • Discovered that hammering a screw in to make the holes caused the metal to rip and be quite sharp, so found a nail to use instead. The nail was quite stumpy though (couldn’t find another one) and I couldn’t hold it properly to hammer safely, so adapted on the spot to use a bit of cardboard with a slit through it to hold the nail.
  • I originally made five holes (pictured) but felt that it wasn’t going to be enough. So I made four more holes to total 9.

  • I sorted through all my collected (and donated) seeds and picked out the flowers and herbs (as they are the most drought resistant) and combined with pre-mixed wildflower seed, and lawn seed with ryegrass (to help retain water underground and protect water from evaporating too quickly). I didn’t want to buy pre-mixed wildflower seeds because I was hoping to collect enough seeds myself… but I realised that I wasn’t going to be able to collect the amount I needed in the time I realistically had. Moreover, I have been struggling to find an appropriate DIY spreading agent. Potato starch was recommended, but this proved very difficult to purchase. I also considered cornflour, plain flour or ground porridge oats – but all become sticky when wet. Due to having limited appropriate seeds as well, I didn’t want to spoil seeds through experimentation in the limited time I have (planning on seed sowing during the next appropriate lunar phase).
  • I realised a little too late that I accidentally mixed in some naturalised seeds (naturalised plants don’t pose too much of a problem, but using native seeds is incredibly important to increasing and sustaining biodiversity)  – being lemon balm, periwinkle and zinnias – but these were in such small amounts and aren’t invasive so I don’t think it should matter too much? The bees and butterflies will still like them!
  • I tested the seed shaker using this seed mix. I noted how much seed came out with ten shakes.

  • Seeing that next to nothing came out, I made the holes bigger. Nails wouldn’t have been thick enough so used the sharp part of a claw tin opener to increase the size of the holes. The holes became jagged, but there’s not much I couldn’t have done about that. I made a mental note to be careful when handling.

  • Still not satisfied, so made them bigger still!

  • I was happy with the final alteration, because there was a more diverse seeds present and a nice even spread. If I discover it’s not enough, then I’ll just make the holes bigger.

 

Update on 08/04/2022: Seed shaker is absolutely rubbish for scattering over a large area quickly (and/or discreetly). When I first tried to use it, I became really frustrated and tired really quickly and ended up ripping the lid off and scattering seeds by hand!

 

 

 

 

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