Seed tape is great for tiny seeds such as: carrots, lettuces, herbs, and greens (spinach, collards, kale). Medium-sized seeds like watermelon, cucumbers, pumpkins, and squashes may work for this project, but large seeds like beans and corn will be too heavy and bulky for this project.
Now that you have your supplies, it’s time to get to work. First tear off a strip of toilet paper that is as long as your intended vegetable row; we went with 4 feet. Then check the spacing for your seeds; this information should be found on the back of your seed package. For the Danvers half long carrots we were planting, the spacing was 2 to 3 inches apart. We decided to glue the seeds down every two inches.
This project surprised us with how quickly everything went. If you have all of your supplies gathered and ready to go, you could easily prep most of the seeds for your garden in a fraction of the time it would take to sow them directly.
When you’re ready to plant, unroll your seed tape in the garden. Then plant at the recommended depth for your seeds. Give it some water and you should see vegetables sprouting in no time.
A Note on Seeds
Next, using your paintbrush, glue seeds to the toilet paper. We found it worked well to first dip the brush in a bit of the glue and then pick up one or two seeds to apply. Repeat this process until you have gotten to the end of your toilet paper "row."
Seed tape supplies: seeds, toilet paper, flour “glue,” and a paint brush.
Thinning is an important garden chore that many gardeners loathe doing. If you don’t thin though, you find yourself with an overcrowded and unhealthy vegetable garden. Using seed tape is a great way to ensure that your vegetables are properly spaced in the garden. Pre-made seed tape can be expensive or difficult to find, but making your own is so quick and easy, you won’t regret going the DIY route!
After everything is glued and labeled, fold the length of toilet paper in half, so that the seeds are safely situated between toilet paper on both sides. Then, roll it up and set it aside until you’re ready to plant.
Using the paint brush to place seeds on the toilet paper.
OK, I’ll admit it. Up until now I haven’t appreciated the usefulness of seed tapes. Assuming the store carries them at all, the variety selection is extremely limited. When it comes to spacing the seeds and rows in my raised beds, I’m a gardening perfectionist–always trying to get nice, neat, perfectly spaced rows of seeds. Not only that, having to thin out perfectly good seedlings is always a painful experience. Since it is now time to plant fall carrots in our area, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to try the seed tape thing out. The following project will yield 2-4 seed tapes, about an inch wide. You can certainly vary this, to make whatever spacing configuration you need.
Making your own seed tape can save you time, ensures your plants are spaced out correctly, and is a great “rainy day” project for kids.
1. In a small bowl or container, mix the flour and water until a thick paste forms. You’re aiming for the consistency of white craft glue or syrup. It should be thick enough to sit on the end of your brush or pencil without dripping.
5. Using the small paintbrush, put small ‘dots’ or dollops of the paste along one side of the toilet paper strip, on the marks you made.