I’m making seed tapes to use in the fall garden because what I’ve been doing isn’t really working. This is how sowing seeds for the fall garden usually goes around here. Sometime in October I hear that we’re supposed to have three or four days of rain. And that’s my cue to run out to the garden and start sowing. The problem is, that I’m in a hurry because I wasn’t planning on sowing seeds that day.
So, I throw caution to the wind, dig a little trench in a bed, scatter some seeds straight from the seed packet into the trench and cover it with soil. I repeat this until I have all kinds of seed sown, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, chard, carrots, lettuce, for instance. The problem with this plan (or lack of a plan) is that when the seeds germinate the plants are waaaaay too close and I have to go in and thin them out. Which is hard for me to do for a myriad of reasons.
This year I decided to try something a little different and make seed tape for our seeds. Of course, you can buy seed tapes which are rolls of paper about the size of scotch tape with the seeds embedded or glued to them. But goodness, they are expensive! Plus I have a lot of seeds and I really like to use what I have. So we grabbed the seeds, a roll of toilet paper and made some “glue” with flour and water.
You can use paper napkins and make seed “mats” but I don’t have paper napkins so I used toiler paper. This was a super easy project but it did take a bit of time. Carl helped me with it and I realized it’s been a while since we’ve leisurely worked on a project together. Those are my favorite kind of projects, the kind where you get work done but also have good conversation. This would make a great dead-of-winter project.
How to Make Seed Tape
Roll out the toilet paper the length you want it. Our beds are 8′ long and our table is almost 8′ long so we just used that as a guide. Since the toilet paper squares are about 3″ they make a great guide for deciding how to space your seeds.
We used a chopstick to dot the flour glue onto the toilet paper. If you’ve never make flour glue, just put a tablespoon of flour in a bowl and add enough water to give it a glue consistency. I’m sure there’s a real ratio but this is what I do. The glue should be thick enough to stay on the chopstick without dripping off. Just add a bit of water at time until you get a glue like consistency.
Once the glue is dotted onto the toilet paper, put a seed or two in the dot.
Let the glue dry and then roll them up.
I put them in a ziplock bag with the seeds name on the bag so I will know which seeds are on which tapes. Now, when I hear that we’re going to have a few days of rain, I can just lay the seed tapes out in the bed, cover them with some soil and not have to worry about thinning plants.
Have you ever used seed tape?