Indoor 'gardening' Q: how2spread soil in flats, well, flat? how to spread damp seed well?

I hope group doesn't mind a question about indoor gardening in flats ...
I know this might sound silly but in last year I've been growing sprouts in flats with soil (wheatgrass, pea shoots, sunflower seed sprouts), I've not found a solution to 2 final things that works easily:
1. how to reduce "bumpiness" in soil I put in flats. No matter how level and flat I believe soil to finally be, when I spread the seeds, I really see the actual hills and valleys I really have.
2. Though I now don't dampen the soil and find everything grows better, I do have to soak and then sprout the seeds for a couple fo days. But haven't found easier way to spread the seeds than using a cylindrical plastic bottle to spread the seed. Was just curious if there was a more foolproof way.
Anyway, my last 2 lingering problems with growing sprouts in flats. Hoping someone here knows a tip or trick to help.
Cheers. :)
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I hope group doesn't mind a question about indoor gardening in flats ...
I know this might sound silly but in last year I've been growing sprouts in flats with soil (wheatgrass, pea shoots, sunflower seed sprouts), I've not found a solution to 2 final things that works easily:
1. how to reduce "bumpiness" in soil I put in flats. No matter how level and flat I believe soil to finally be, when I spread the seeds, I really see the actual hills and valleys I really have.
2. Though I now don't dampen the soil and find everything grows better, I do have to soak and then sprout the seeds for a couple fo days. But haven't found easier way to spread the seeds than using a cylindrical plastic bottle to spread the seed. Was just curious if there was a more foolproof way.
Anyway, my last 2 lingering problems with growing sprouts in flats. Hoping someone here knows a tip or trick to help.
Cheers. :)
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S.Rodgers wrote:

Take a straight dowel, ruler or whatever and run it across the tray on top of the edges.

What is wrong with the method that you are using?

David
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On Tue, 25 Oct 2011 00:43:03 +1100, "David Hare-Scott"

Thanks for your response and sorry for delay in responding. Thanks for the tip! It'll work.

I realized recently that it's the type of bottle I'm using since it's a pill bottle. It's the right size but it's not evenly cylyndrical as it has the knotches at the top. I'm thinking a cylindrical object like the pestle part of a mortar and pestle will be better esp. if it's not tapered in any way but a straight cylinder.

I found one thing that makes the whole spreading of the soil easier despite it being counterintuitive. One day a couple of months ago I just got so tired of fighting with evening out the slurry that in a fit of disgruntlement, I spread the soil dry then added the soaked and drained seeds/grains on top and spread out. That worked perfectly! I thought the lack of watering would be a problem but it isn't. I leave that first flat 24 hours before it gets its first watering and they do perfectly! Also, since spreading the seeds is so much easier, they spread better and much more evenly!
The only remaining issue is the slight unnevenness of the soil after spreading remains so raking it level will work very well here, too.
Also, for other people growing soil-based sprouts to the degree I do, watering has been a challenge but I recently found out about fogging nozzles like I imagine the misters in grocery stores over vegetables work, and I'm going to eventually buy one with a hose to attach to bathroom faucet so that I can water much more easily and evenly. Since I prefer to use closed gardening flats over the ones that have drainage holes (difficult to drain these since we're indoors in one's living space), it's very difficult to keep from overwatering.
Cheers. :oD
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On Wed, 19 Oct 2011 20:24:43 -0400, S.Rodgers

Just in case anyone has the same troubles, I wanted to post the solutions I'd come up with. I stopped wetting the soil in the flats and now spread dry soil and the wet seeds on top. This got rid of both problems. And I do the first watering of the flat 24 hours later. All-in-all, the results are far, far better than trying to spread wet soil evenly and then spreading wet seed on the wet soil evenly. Not a problem with damp seed on dry soil. And the plants in the flats grow as well as they did before, in fact often better as the thread of mold is reduced.
Cheers.
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