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EASY- Make Your Own Seed Tape Info ~ Save JFE

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
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by comfrey on October 07, 2005 08:41 AM
Toilet paper seed tape

If you plan to build an in-the-ground garden bed with children, let them help with the whole process. Provide appropriate tools for turning soil, fertilizing, and watering; containers for weeds and other garden wastes; and systems for sowing seeds.
Large seeds—beans and pumpkin, for example—can easily be spaced in the soil with fingers. Smaller seeds—like tomatoes, radishes, and lettuce—are hard to control. You can buy seed tape at gardening stores with seeds appropriately spaced on biodegradable tape. But making seed tape works just as well—and it’s fun.

Here’s what you need:
packets of gelatin (like knox gelatin)
mixing bowl and spoon
water
seeds
white, unscented toilet paper
ruler
scissors
cardboard scrap
marker
cotton swab or small paintbrush

1. Cover the work area with newspaper if it needs to be protected.
2. Measure the garden plot and determine the row length for the vegetable or flower you are planting.
3. Examine the seed packet to determine the appropriate spacing for that plant. Cut the cardboard to the length of the space recommended.
4. Unroll the toilet paper to the length of the garden row.
5. Using the cardboard spacer, make evenly spaced marks along the center of the toilet paper roll.
6. Mix the gelatin with enough water to make a soupy paste.
7. Dip the cotton swab or paintbrush into the gelatin and dab each spot on the toilet paper.
8. Place a seed onto each of the gelatin paste dots. Let the paste dry.
9. When it’s time to plant, make a trench in the soil at the recommended depth for the seed—1/2 inch for carrots, for example.
10. Set the toilet paper seed tape in the trench and cover with fine soil. A neat row of plants will sprout.

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by tkhooper on October 07, 2005 10:16 AM
I would end up with toliet paper mess everywhere. Sort of like toliet papering the house from the inside out lol. But with a stronger paper streamer I think I could do it. What about those birthday streamers in white?

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by comfrey on October 07, 2005 11:54 AM
I would think any type paper product might work as long it would allow the seed when sprouting to be able to come through the paper or if the paper breaks down fairly easy with water...This method is really great for small seeds such as carrots, but works well with others also. Plus it gives some us garden related things to do during the winter when we are stuck indoors..LOL

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by PAR_Gardener on October 07, 2005 01:47 PM
Comfrey,

Thanks for the instructions. I've been mulling over how to make my own seed tapes, and I was thinking that it would be a perfect winter activity for all those carrot seeds that I bought this year, but never got around to planting.

I have an off the wall question. What brand of TP do you use or recommend for seed tapes? I considered TP but discarded the idea because I figured it would be too flimsy, but I was thinking of the TP that we use at home. The industrial strength stuff that is in most public restrooms would be perfect. I wonder if they sell that stuff at a warehouse club like Sam's or CostCo, or I could snag a roll. Not that I'm advocating TP stealing.

I have a suggestion to substitue for the gelatin. You could make corn starch past with 1 cup cold water and 1 tablespoon of corn starch. Mix well and then heat until the mixture becomes transluscent. Let cool before using like the gelatin. I figure its a more common ingredient and cheaper.

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Composting is more than good for your garden. It's a way of life.
by comfrey on October 08, 2005 07:07 AM
Cheap white toliet paper that is unscented...If it is two ply then you will have to separate the two layers...Or cheap paper towels would also work, also another tip is when you are finished making your seed tape and it dry and rolled up, I have found a widemouth canning jar is ideal to store it in...Just be sure to label the jar if you plan on making more then one seed tape. This is really great for flower beds also!

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by woodchuck on July 28, 2006 03:05 PM
Wow, I learned something new today, never would have thunk this up on my own. Thanks, good winter project.
by patches1414 on September 11, 2006 09:09 PM
quote:
I would end up with toliet paper mess everywhere. Sort of like toliet papering the house from the inside out lol. But with a stronger paper streamer I think I could do it.
Tammy, here is how I do my seed tapes. I cut old newspaper into one inch long strips and I only use the black & white sections since colored print ink can emit toxins into your soil. [Frown] Then I will make a glue using 1/4-cup water to one-cup all-purpose flour. Sometimes I will add 1/4 teaspoon of water-soluble fertilizer to each half cup of paste, but I don't do this all the time because I may not feel like mixing any up. [Roll Eyes] Then I take a yardstick and marker to mark where the seeds need to be placed on the strip.

Then I dab each seed with the with the flour-water glue and stick them in the center of the strip. I make sure the seeds are spaced evenly apart, by checking the back of the seed packet or researching the recommended amount of planting space between each seed if the seeds were given to me.

When the glue is dry, I roll up the strips and place in separate sealable plastic bags and add one tablespoon of salt to help keep the seeds dry. I also put name of the plant and the care directions in each bag so I will what to do when I plant them (sun exposure, watering, etc.). Then I store in a cool place, such as a basement until I need them.

When it's time to plant the seed tapes, I lay each strip seed side up in rows and plant it just a tad deeper than recommended. Then I cover the strip with soil and water them. I hope this helps! It's very easy to do! [Wink]

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"Lord, I love you and I need you, come into my heart, and bless me, my family, my home, and my friends, in Jesus' name. Amen!"
by plantqueen on September 11, 2006 11:38 PM
Thanks Patches! I was wondering how you made those! I am going to try that this winter!

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All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.
by patches1414 on September 12, 2006 02:34 AM
Plantqueen, I find it makes a good winter project when it's cold you can't get outside. [Wink] It reminds me of all my flowers and gets me to thinking about what I can do once spring arrives. Most of the seed tapes I make I give away to friends who wouldn't plant any flowers if it weren't for the tapes. [thumb]

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"Lord, I love you and I need you, come into my heart, and bless me, my family, my home, and my friends, in Jesus' name. Amen!"
by Jiffymouse on October 22, 2006 01:05 PM
[flower]

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