If you struggle with planting tiny seeds in your garden, homemade seed tape might just be the perfect answer!
We have all been there. Trying to parcel out tiny lettuce, radish or perhaps carrot seeds into our garden rows. To say the task can be difficult might be the understatement of the year.
Tiny vegetable seeds can be nearly impossible to space and plant evenly. Trying to pluck a single seed from a pile in the palm of your hand can be a maddening process.
You either struggle to get any seed out of your hand, or watch as they all come out at once. There isn’t a gardener around that hasn’t muttered a few inappropriate words under their breath as they plant 40 small seeds into a once inch space.
But the answer to your tiny seed planting woes can be found by making homemade seed tape.
Not only does it simplify the planting process, it’s easy and inexpensive to make. One thing is for sure, it can make planting and spacing those tiny seed crops a breeze!
How To Make Homemade Seed Tape
Although commercial seed tapes have been around for years, they can be quite expensive. Tapes for small seed vegetables like Carrot Seed Tape and Buttercrunch Lettuce Seed Tape can cost around $10.
But with a little unbleached toilet paper and scissors, you can create homemade seed tape for pennies on the dollar. And the best part, it works incredibly well!
To create homemade seed start by rolling your toilet paper out flat. We have found that keeping the tapes to about 2′ to 3′ in total length works best when taking to the garden.
Place your seed of choice evenly on the toilet paper about 3/4″ in from the edge of one side. We use unbleached toilet paper to eliminate any bleach from entering our soil.
Space your seeds according to normal spacing requirements found on the back of seed packets. Next, fold over the 3/4″ edge to cover the seed, and proceed to roll the toilet paper until you have a 3/4 wide strip of seed tape.
Some make a paste of flour and water to secure seeds to the toilet paper. We have always found it easier to make the tapes, fold, and then spritz with water.
As the water dries, the seed will attach itself to the toilet paper and stays in place until planting. All that is left is to take the tape to your garden and plant!
Making Homemade Seed Tape Directly In Rows
Another way to use create great spacing and simple planting is to create your tape directly in the row. Start by creating your planting furrow.
Next. roll out your unbleached toilet paper in the row, with the middle of the toilet paper centered in the planting furrow.
Next, walk down the row evenly spacing your seed out in the middle of the toilet paper. This allows you to see exactly where the seed is placed.
It also helps if you happen to have one of those aforementioned spills. The toilet paper lets you easily pick up the fallen extra seeds.
Next, simply roll over each side of the toilet paper on top of the seed, cover with soil, and water. No more worrying about if you missed planting seed in a spot. And no more worrying that you may have planted 25 seeds in another spot!
Looking for more on small seed crops? Check out our article on creating inexpensive raised beds for small seed crops. It’s a great, hassle-free way to grow lettuce, carrots, and other tiny seed crops. See : Creating Simple Inexpensive Raised Beds
Happy Gardening – Jim and Mary!
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