Seed Tape – A Tutorial

Seed tape is something that is mind-blowing kind of simple, as in palm to forehead “why didn’t I think of that?” type of moment. It quite possibly may change your life. Yeah, it’s that awesome.

Tiny seeds, like carrots and lettuce are somewhat of a pain to work with, especially when it comes to spacing. Their ability to blend in to the point of becoming invisible is beyond impressive! There you are planting along and something catches your eye. You look away and the next thing you know you’ve lost track, so you find yourself with your nose in the dirt (looking like an idiot) trying to locate where you left off! Plus I refuse to germinate seeds only to thin them out later. What a waste of time, energy and most importantly seeds! This is where seed tape comes into play!

I’m sure there are lots of variations to making seed tape and I’m willing to bet you can probably even purchase it, if you’re really that lazy. It takes but only a few minutes to make (depending on how many seeds you have of course) and when it comes time for rolling it out you will be so glad you have it! Besides it a nice activity to help beat those mid-winter doldrums when you’re convinced that Spring is never going to get here!

What you will need:

  • toilet paper
  • seeds
  • flour paste (mix a little bit of water with a little bit of flour)
  • ruler
  • pen
  • small paint brush

Step 1, roll out your toilet paper. Mine was approximately 4′, the length of my table (when it’s time for “planting” I will line them up, end to end). Mark where you will be placing your seeds, my spacing was done in 2″ increments.

Step 2, place a small amount of “paste” everywhere you made a mark, then add your seeds.

Allow your tape to dry completely, then roll it up and store it until you are ready for planting.

When it comes time for planting just roll it out and lightly cover with dirt. The toilet paper will rapidly decompose and the flour will add additional organic matter to the soil.  It’s that simple!

This year I’m going to try my hand at square foot gardening, so I think I’ll use tissues. I will place my seeds in 2″ increments in every direction. I may need several tissues to cover the right amount of space but it should work all the same!

Images and content copyright © 2009-2011 Danielle R Limoge.

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6 Comments

Filed under Micro-farming

6 responses to “Seed Tape – A Tutorial

  1. Very nice! i keep meaning to make these but haven’t yet. Maybe this weekend. i think we’ll be using newspaper instead of toilet paper though.

    • I’ve been wanting to try other materials for the “tape” part; newspaper would be a good one, let me know how it turns out. I’m going to use newspaper for mulching this year, but I don’t get the paper so I have to check with my neighbors and have them save it for me!

  2. Katy

    I will definitely be doing this for corn this year! Perhaps carrots as well.

  3. You wouldn’t have to do it for corn, just create a trench the length you are planting by using the side of a hoe and drop seeds 2″ apart…well, Lancaster can seed corn ridiculously close, apparently the rest of the world doesn’t plant it that way, but we have wicked rich soil (top 5 on the planet, baby)! Carrots on the other hand, it is a big help since their seeds are sooooo small!

  4. Pingback: Carrots ‘n Swiss Chard @ Stanley Garden Club | Healthy Waltham Garden Blog

  5. Pingback: Garden Growth | One Green Tomato

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