Who doesn't like a how-to tip that will save you time in the garden? Seed tape is one of those things you're sure to love if you are trying to work with tiny carrot and lettuce seeds on a windy day — all those lost tiny brown jewels against the dark soil! Seed tape can also save wear on your back and the needless chore of “thinning.” With seed tape, you can have seeds already perfectly spaced apart
Making your own seed tape has one further advantage — saving money! Not only do you conserve wasted seed, but have you ever noticed how expensive pre-made seed tape can be? You can make seed tape quite easily from supplies you likely already have in the house.
You can make seed tape indoors and months in advance of needing it, making it a perfect rain or snow day task. Seed tape making is also a great craft for the whole family. Children can help measure and mix, while you handle the delicate seed placement part of the operation.
You Will Need:
- Toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, or newspaper (black-and-white, plain newsprint pages) cut into 1-inch strips
- Flour (or white glue)
- Small bowl
- Small craft brush
Step by Step Instructions:
- Make a paste or glue out of flour and water. Start with a quarter-cup of flour and add water until you have a paste-like consistency. It should easily coat a spoon, not just drip off. Add a few drops of food coloring.
- Check the instructions on the back of your seed packet to see how far apart to space the seeds. Use the ruler and marks on your strips of paper at the correct intervals.
- Dab a bit of colored flour paste onto the marks you wrote.
- Place a seed (or two, if you’re concerned about whether they’ll germinate) into each dab of flour glue. If using toilet paper, fold it over the seeds and flour glue, then press together to form a sealed line.
- Write the name of the variety on each strip of paper.
- Wait for the flour glue to dry completely, then store your seed tapes in an airtight container, preferably in a cool place, until it’s time to plant. The refrigerator works well, as does an unheated garage.
- When it’s time to plant, simply place your seed tape in the garden, and cover with soil, a quarter- to half-inch deep, depending on what type of seed you’re planting. Water in well, keep it moist, and wait for those first sprouts to show up.
By Kathy Jentz