Courtesy of Michael K. , Good Fortune Farm, Brandywine MD
If you are having trouble using the Earthway, here are a few tips.
1. Try spraying the interior where the plate rides, and back of plates, with spray wax like pledge, let dry and and polish.
2. The Earthway instructions suggest soaking the plates in a soapy solution and letting it dry.
3. Try different seed varieties to see which work best. For example spinach and beet seeds vary by 2X in diameter so different varieties will work differently with each plate. Round smooth pea seeds sometimes work better then wrinkled types.
4. Keep the interior as clean as possible. Little bits of dust get behind the plate and cause problems. I use an air compressor to blow out the seeder before use if it looks dirty.
5. I purchased a small vacuum like a dust buster to help remove the seeds.
6. Watch out for spiders building nests in the seed shoot, they seem to like that place and it is tricky to clean out. A weed whacker line works OK or maybe one of those as seen on TV drain snakes.
7. Earthway sells a few other plates for different varieties about $5 each. The popcorn plate works great for okra and some similar sized seeds. The cucumber plate works nicely. They also sell a heavy cabbage or turnip plate. I find it plants too heavy, but it may work for some farmers. Lima bean plate is very size sensitive.
8. Tilt the seeder to the right when seeding it helps to keep the seeds in the plate cups.
9. Alter your pace, sometimes the speed that you push it changes the way the seed react in the seeder.
10. Store it upside down or covered to keep the seed chamber clean.