Chapin 8701B Garden Seeder – Inexpensive and Durable
For less than the price of a quality weed eater, you can own this Chapin garden seeder – a real back saver.
As long as the ground is adequately tilled beforehand, this 11 pound seeder, with 6 interchangeable seed plates can plant 20 different seed sizes – correctly spaced, at the appropriate depth – cover – and pat the soil firmly over the seeds. It can easily plant larger seeds such as sunflower, watermelon, and pole beans.
- Plate #1 – baby lima beans and peas
- Plate #2 – medium beans and medium peas
- Plate #3 – sunflower, cucumber, and small corn
- Plate #4 – sweet corn
- Plate #5 – small beets and radishes
- Plate #6 – brussels sprouts, rutabaga, parsnips, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, rhubarb, endive, carrots, cauliflower, celery, kale, lettuce, onions, peppers, and turnips
A wedge shaped ground opener makes a furrow in the soil, the seeds drop just behind the wedge, and a metal ground closer covers the seeds with dirt just before the wide back wheel tamps it down – to ensure good seed-to-soil contact. Then, add in an adjustable row marker to mark the correct width for the next row to seed.
The steel frame is powder coated. The seed hopper is a durable poly plastic. And, this 8701B has a kickstand to keep the seeder stable when it is sitting idle.
Concerns Expressed About the Chapin 8701B
“The seed plates are vertical and occasionally the seeds will get jammed between the rotating plate and the seed hopper – literally grinding the seeds to a pulp.”
FIX: Don’t fill the seed hopper more than halfway – less is better. You can always quickly add more seeds and you won’t be stopping to clear a seed jam as often. Also, tilt the seeder slightly to the right – towards the seed plate – to help the cups pick up the seeds and minimize skips in the seed drop process.
“The row marker doesn’t work well. It slides and bounces around a lot.”
FIX: Don’t use it. It just gets in the way anyhow. Measure, mark, and string the rows – and you don’t need to mess with the row marker.
“Seeds get clogged up easily.”
FIX: Make sure to use the correct size seed plate for the seeds to be planted. Also, seeds of the same type can be slightly different sizes – so, sort the seeds into piles of the same size – some of the bigger seeds may need to be used in a completely different seed plate. The seed needs to freely drop into place without extending beyond the opening of the hole or cup – otherwise, the seeder will skip or clog up.
“Seeds are getting stuck in the drop chute.”
FIX: Chances are, the soil is too wet and it is getting kicked up and clogging the chute – preventing seeds from dropping – so, the seeds are backing up in the chute. It’s good to have the soil very slightly moist – to help with seed-to-soil contact – but if it’s soggy wet, give it a day or two to dry out a bit.
Tips For Chapin 8701B Garden Seeder Care
- Dust, dirt, or seed residue can cause the seed plates to stick and alter the accuracy of the planting of seeds. Wipe the seed hopper out with a clean cloth after each use.
- Also, static electricity could build up in the seed hopper and interfere with the planting of very small seeds. Washing out the seed hopper and seed plates with a mild dishwashing liquid and thoroughly drying them will go a long way in preventing this occurrence.
- It is highly recommended to remove the seed plate – and, clean the seed hopper and seed plate between seed changes or, at least, before storing the garden seeder.
Quotes from Chapin 8701B Owners
“Using the Chapin 8701B is way better than jamming seeds into the ground by hand and gives me a much better germination rate.”
“Very easy to use. It definitely makes my planting quick and effortless!”
“Plants corn easily and quickly.”
“Very easy to assemble.”
“Great product and easier on my back. Excellent job!”
“Good quality. Well put together.”
A Great Entry Level Machine
If this is your first foray into using a garden seeder or, if you have a fairly small to medium sized garden of 1,000 square feet or less, then the Chapin 8701B Garden Seeder may be the machine to save you time and back pain at a modest price. It comes with a 1 year limited warranty.
For a more in depth look at garden seeders, as well as a few tips and tricks, head on over to the Garden Seeder Review page.
Comments and/or emails are welcomed!
Jim, the Lifelong Gardener