There are several garden seeder designs available, from small handheld models to larger wheeled units, and choosing the best one involves knowing what will be planted with the seeder and where. A large, wheeled seeder is appropriate for long rows of plants, such as corn, and can be used to disperse wildflower seeds over a broad area. A medium-size model, which often consists of a single wheel attached to a handle, is effective in a medium-size garden where there are open areas but not enough space to warrant a larger unit. Small garden seeders are handheld and can be used to space just a few seeds in a small row, pots or raised bed. Some larger units have optional attachments, such as fertilizer spreaders, although the overall usefulness of the attachments depends on how the garden is being planted.
A very common type of garden seeder is a standing variety that usually has a hopper for the seeds connected to one or more wheels and a long handle that allows the gardener to push the device so seeds are dispersed as it moves. These are most effective for a garden where a good amount of seeds of the same type need to be spaced evenly in a large area. They are not as effective at distributing small amounts of seeds, because the hopper sometimes will not be full enough to allow the seeds to drop and disperse evenly.
A wheeled, standing seeder usually depends on metal discs or plates that are placed in the bottom of the seed hopper to control the rate or pattern of seed dispersal. Some models only come with one plate, while others can include quite a few. Additional attachments, such as a watering attachment or a fertilizer distributor, can immediately water and fertilize the seeds as they are set down. Some seeders have multiple hoppers so more than one type of seed can be planted without having to worry about creating a homogenous mixture first.
A medium-size garden seeder tends to be made from a wheel-like plastic disc that is hollow on the inside. The seeds are placed in the disk and a perforated screen or other physical barrier spins along the edge of the wheel as the seeder is pushed forward, releasing seeds at regular intervals. These are a good choice for medium-size gardens, because they cannot hold a large amount of seeds. They also are excellent for areas that are hard to get to or are very narrow.
A handheld seeder is designed to allow a gardener to drop single seeds where they are needed. They can be similar to syringes or shaped like spades with dividers in the center or even small bladders that release seeds based on pressure. A handheld seeder is good for a very small garden, indoor gardening or container gardening. Handheld seeders also can be a convenient choice for handling and tracking seeds that are small and easily lost.