Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Awesome DIY Seed Tape

I'll never forget trying to plant my fall crop of carrots and turnips in the heat and humidity of August 2009. It was backbreaking and excrutiatingly sweaty. Well, never again will I have to go through that, thanks to information about how to make DIY seed tape that I read on the gardenweb forums.

I tried it for the first time this spring, and I'm happy to report it worked great! Here's what I did:

First I soaked my seeds overnight (each type in its own section of an ice cube tray). That made them sort of sticky.

Then I laid toilet paper out on a plastic tablecloth, misted it with a spray water bottle, and spaced the seeds out onto it with measuring tape as a guide. Then I folded the tp over and voila! seed tape.

The only tricky part was making sure the tape didn't blow open/away when I brought it outside. I guess that would be less of a problem if you use Elmer's glue as some people suggest, but since I wasn't planting a ton of rows, it wasn't really a big deal for me. It was so much easier than bending down to plant each individual seed! All I had to do was make a trench at the right depth, lay the tp tape on it, and bury it with soil. All of the hard part was done while comfortably sitting on my couch. :-)

Here is a piece of radish seed tape getting buried:

And the result about a month and a half later. I think they're spaced pretty nicely, considering I didn't do any thinning at all!

The carrots and turnips I planted with the seed tape worked pretty nicely too. It is a little tougher to see since some clovers have since popped up around the carrots that I still need to weed - but you can see 3 distinct rows of carrots & 2 rows of turnips. All with no thinning at all. I will never do it the old way again!

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