Learn How To Make Seed Tapes And Save Time And Money Gardening
The soil is warming up and the birds are singing, after a long winter Spring is almost here!
It’s time to start thinking about what you want to grow, and where you have space to grow it. If you’ve not started planning your growing yet. You can get our updated Vegetable Gardening Planning sheets here.
Once you’ve chosen your seeds and ordered them online (remember the days we could visit the garden centre) it’s time to get sowing.
We like to reuse different containers and materials when sowing our seeds. Why buy plastic pots when you can reuse loo roll inners, yogurt. pots and fruit containers.
Have a look here for our favourite containers you can recycle. I love sowing seeds, it’s so calming and easy. The kids love helping too especially with the larger seeds like peas and beans. There is more recycled projects here
If you’ve sown seeds before, you’ll know some smaller seeds can be a little fiddly. It’s not easy to sow these at the right spacing without washing them away or planted too deep. There’s always a tendancy to sow them too close together and waste a lot of seeds as you thin them out.
To stop this we use a super simple way to get the right spacing and amount of seeds without having to pull out half your seedlings later on or re-sow the ones that wash away.
With flower seeds we make seed bombs and you can find the instructions for those here. Vegetables seeds don’t grow in a clump, so for these we use seed tapes.
How To Get Started Making Seed Tapes
That makes them fantastic for using in a full size plot or even in a patio pot. You can buy a limited selection of seed tapes but I try to be a very thrifty gardener (and keep my kids amused) I’d much rather make my own from saved seed from last year.
They are incredibly easy to make and a great way to spend a soggy afternoon stuck indoors with the kids.
Once made, we store them in little envelopes ready for sowing time. When the weather’s ready, we simply
- use a hand trowel to make a thin drill in the soil,
- lay the seed tape along that line.
- water the seed tape well (no washed away seeds)
- then cover it with soil.
A slightly unusual tip I have, is to sprinkle cinnamon powder around the soil covering the seed tape. Cinnamon prevents seeds going mouldy and ‘dampening off’ or getting fungle infections. I’ve also found it stops ants from carrying off the seeds and making a nuisance of themselves.
You can make the seed paper any shape you want. Traditionally they come in a long stripe that can be cut and rolled out to length.
However, because we grow a lot of vegetables in pots, we tried out making round seed papers too and they work wonderfully.
So, don’t feel you have to stick to one type.
To make these seed tapes you will need;
- White kitchen paper, (toilet tissue or crepe paper will all work well)
- Your chosen seeds
- A Measuring tape or ruler
- A Marker Pen
- A chemical free glue made from flour
- A small stick or paintbrush (optional)
Once you’ve decided what your going to grow and ordered your seed, you’re ready to get started.
If your not sure what to grow take a look at our 12 easy to grow plants here and think about what your family will eat and grow that first.
Take your flour in a small bowl, add water and mix well into thick paste. Now your ready to make your tapes.
I use kitchen paper and loo roll paper 1 layer at a time, you can separate the layers quite easily.
- Cut a piece of kitchen roll into 5cm thick strips. (You can stick each strip end to end to make a much longer strip)
- Using a measuring tape or ruler to measure out the spacing for the seed your growing. You can find this on the internet or on the back of the seed packets
- Mark the intervals on one side of the paper strips with your marker. We started with radish and carrot seeds, so I made my marks 1″ or 3cm apart.
- Fold this strip in half lengthwise, keeping the marks on one half.
- Using a stick or paintbrush, dab a spot of ‘glue’ at each mark, then place a seed onto the glue. Repeat this for every mark on your strip.
- Dab more glue on top of your seed and along the edge of the strip of paper, and fold it in half over on top of your seeds. I have heard you can use wall paper paste for the glue but I don’t like the idea of chemicals in the soil so I’d much rather have something plant based gloop.
- Now use your fingers to press the edges of the seed tape together, making sure to seal it well.
- Allow the glue to dry completely, before carefully folding or rolling up your seed tapes. Keep them somewhere safe and dry until you’re ready to use it. Remember to label them well so you don’t forget what you sowed.
DIY Seed Tapes For Any Space
You can also make seed tapes for pots using circles of kitchen paper. Simply cut the paper into circles or whatever shape you want to try. Use the same method as above, but instead of sitting your seeds along in a line.
Sow over the whole sheet keeping the space between the seeds each way. Glue around the outside and stick another on top.
These tapes save so much time and money when your sowing seeds. No seeds wash away or get weeded out and you know exactly what you have to sow.
It’s a brilliant way to get ahead when the weathers not so great and your itching to get planting. I’d love you know what you think of seed tapes, do you use them?? Comment and let us know.