Make Your Own Seed Tape
We're only a few weeks from spring planting. Those of you in Zone 9 are probably already planting.
One of my pet peeves is trying to plant the really tiny seeds. Lettuce, carrots, cabbage, and thyme give me particular trouble.
But I found an easy method to sow seeds without waste, and all it takes is an artist's brush, toilet paper, a 1/2 teaspoon of flour and water.
- Make a glue from a 1/2 teaspoon of flour and enough water to make a slurry.
- Fold and cut a length of toilet paper into thirds. I like to cut my lengths into 2-3 foot sections, but whatever length is comfortable for you is fine.
- Pour a small amount of seed onto a plate and spread them out.
- With a fine tipped artist's brush, dip the tip into the slurry and then ever so gently pick up a seed from your pile.
- Immediately brush it onto your cut lengths of toilet paper. Spread out each seed to how you want it planted in your garden. For instance, put your radish seed two inches apart, whereas I would paint my lettuce and cabbage seeds 4-6 inches apart.
- I might have to thin them out or transplant them, but they'll be easy to move if they're not too close together.
- Once dry (they dry quickly) take your seed tape and plant as usual. Most of these tiny seeds don't need to be buried deep. I just lay my tape to the predesignated spot and cover with soil.
It's a pleasure to see seedlings come up exactly where you want them and in a straight row, not scattered about by carelessness, wind, or rain. They stick to that tape until they sprout.
Because the paper is biodegradable it all breaks apart in the soil very quickly.
Note: Some people like to use paper towels because they're thicker, which is fine, but it is more expensive than using toilet paper. Use whatever is handy for you.
Note 2: You can use plain water, but I find the flour slurry makes a better paste.
Try it the next time you've got tiny seeds to sow. The tape makes it so much easier and you spend less time bent over trying to get the seed in a row. All you have to do is lay the tape and cover with soil.
Is it too early for you to garden yet?
I'm really going to concentrate on the garden this year, especially on the more expensive vegetables and herbs. My plan too is to grow grain and greens for chickens and try to offset my feed bill.
I'm also going to attempt artichokes again but this time I'll grow them in pots. Our summers are too hot for artichokes. I need to be able to move them to cooler spots during the worst of it.
What's your plan for the gardening season? Is there anything you'd like to try?