Saturday, March 19, 2011

Seed Tape Project 101

Have you ever made seed tapes.  They are so handy and a great project to do with children.  But really for me, to be honest here, seed sowing is not one of my favorite garden chores.  Because of this I'm always looking for ways to make this necessary chore quicker and less painful. Part of the reason has to do with a truth that you youngsters will discover sooner than you probably want to which is that the older one gets the further away that that ground down there is.  Even with raised beds it can get wearing on the body...all that bending over the beds to be sure all the seeds are sown just right.

Carrot seeds are not very fun to sow because they are so stinkin' small.
Some seeds are rediculously hard to sow without getting way too many in the carrot seed.  It is teensie weensie and just when you think you are only sticking a couple of seeds in that hole..oops...there go five!  Ugh...I hate wasting seed.  Seed tapes are a great away to solve both of these problems at once.  Oh what are seed tapes you ask?  Keep reading and I'll show you...their pretty darn cool!

You will need:
  • Flour and make a paste like thick paint
  • A paint brush
  • Strips of toilet paper(TP) or black and white newspaper in measured lengths (mine are 2' and 4' long)
  • A yard stick or ruler (Mine is a 4' long metal ruler I found at a thrift store)
  • Tweezers (needle point type work best)
  • Seeds...carrots, lettuce or other smaller seeds are good for this method...even flower seeds!
  • A place work and a place to lay the strips to dry.

First blend the flour and water paste together until most of the lumps are out of it.

Gee, lets make paper mache'!

Lay out your strips of paper next to the ruler.

You have got to get one of these rulers!  They are so cool!
Fold the TP in half before adding paste (you don't need to do this with newspaper)

Just a thin layer will do

With the paint brush paint the flour paste down the center of the paper. We're not making pancakes here so be sure you don't slobber the paste on the paper too thick.  A nice even layer to hold the folded sides of the paper together when you press them down over the seed.  

Spacing seeds every 2 inches.

Place seeds at proper spacing on the pasted portion of the paper using the ruler as your guide

Folding again and pressing over the seeds to stick them in place.

Once all your seeds are placed on the strip of paper, fold it over length wise and gently press down to seal the sides together.

Once you have it all pressed down you can set it aside to dry on a countertop or other surface that the damp strips won't harm.

Clothes drying racks...another favorite thing.
A couple of hours after I had finished my seed tapes I needed my dining room table for dinner so I moved them to the clothes rack.  If you want to do this you just need to be sure they are about half dry before hanging them up.  I suppose you could use one of those mesh sweater racks that are designed for flat drying clothes too.

When the strips are completely dry just roll them up and store them until its time to plant them.  Oh don't forget to mark those seed tape rolls so you know what they are or you will forget.  Trust me.

There you have to make seed tapes.


  1. I love this idea Patty. I am going to do this. It's so true - lettuce and carrots are ridiculously hard to space out but this would take care of it. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Laurie I'm glad you like the idea. I'm surprised it's not used more by folks. Have fun making your seed tapes!