This seed flat marker design comes from the Mittleider Gardening Course book. It is designed to be specifically used with the seedling trays. It allows me to make 64 perfectly spaced holes in seconds. When I first saw the plans, I thought it was an unnecessary tool, but as I have been using it I have found it is a massive time saver. If I was only doing one flat of seeds it might be no big deal to create the holes individually but if you multiply the time it takes to prep 64 holes in multiple trays over multiple years that changes things. This is now one of my favorite tools in my greenhouse.
Supplies to Make a Seed Flat Marker
1″ x 2″ x 15″ board with 45-degree angle on each end (1)
2″ x 2″ x 10″ board with 45-degree angle on each end (2)
3/4″ x 18″ x 18″ plywood (1)
2 1/2″ x 1/2″ dowel pieces (64)
5/8″ x 1/2″ PVC pipe (1)
1/2″ carpenter’s pencil sharpener
drill with a 1/2″ drill bit
2 inch exterior screw (6)
Seed Flat Marker Directions
Begin by marking a grid on the plywood of every 2 inches. Using a 1/2″ drill bit, drill through the plywood at each junction of the grid. If you clamp another piece of wood to it before you drill that will give you a cleaner hole. This should give you 64 evenly-spaced holes.
Next, it is time to glue the wood dowels into the holes in the plywood. It might be a good idea to protect your work surface from the glue. Sometimes a hammer is helpful to encourage a dowel to go in all the way.
After the glue dries, use the pencil sharpener to sharpen the dowels to a dull point. Placing the PVC collar over the dowel beforehand will help keep them all uniform sizes. It is a good idea to wear a glove for this step as it is very repetitive and can be hard on the hands.
Make the handle by connecting the 10-inch boards to both ends of the 15-inch board. Then center it on the back of the plywood and attach it with the screws being careful not to place screws where the dowels are.
The seed flat marker is complete. To use it, just center it on a seed flat filled with wet soil and press straight down. If your soil is more compact you may need to wiggle it a little. Then, when you remove it you have all the holes 2 inches apart and ready for planting.
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