How to Construct a Bicycle-Powered Seed Pelletizer for Use in Gardening and Restoration
Seed pellets encapsulate seeds in a mixture (often clay, and nutrient-rich organic matter such as compost, humus, or charcoal) that will potentially reduce predation by insects and rodents while allowing for increased water retention and seed-soil contact. Seed pellets are an ancient method of sowing seed, and are especially useful in areas with compacted or dry soils. Seed pellets are strewn in the desired location (no need for soil preparation) and remain inactive until heavy rains arrive, washing away the clay and allowing seeds to germinate. Making seed pellets by hand is extremely time consuming and labor intensive. To make large numbers of seed pellets in a reasonable amount of time, we constructed a bicycle-powered seed pelletizing machine that effectively coats seed in clay and compost materials. It is designed to be easily taken apart for storage or transport,so each component fits against the others without being screwed together. The bicycle spins a barrel containing the seeds and coating materials while the operators periodically mist the contents with water. The result is coated seed balls that can be used for restoration or home gardening. Here, we explain how to construct the seed pelletizing machine.