Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Seed Starting Tapes

I've seen seed starting tapes in the garden center.  It seems like such an easy way to plant seeds.  Just make a furrow, unroll the seed tape and cover with a bit of soil.  What could be easier?  The only set back was the price.  For what seemed to be the cost of a pack of seeds, you only had enough product for a row or two.  This tip shows how to make a seed tape using items you already have around the house.  For this project you will need:
I started by cutting the paper in to 1" strips and folding each of the pieces of paper in half length wise.

I made a paste out of the flour and water, making it the consistancy of pancake batter.

Place dots of the paste on the newspaper, spacing the dots according to the seed starting directions. 

On each dot place a seed.

Fold the paper over and seal the top to the bottom by pressing down.  The paste acts as a glue to stick the two halves together. 

This project went so quickly that I finished 5 rows (approx. 2 feet each or 10 feet in total) in just minutes. 

The seeds tapes can be planted now, or rolled up, sealed in a bag and stored for future use.  I was using some left over seeds, so it cost very little to make these seed starting tapes.
This would be a fun project to do with children or granchildren. 
Many thanks to Sandi Bloms of North Dakota.  She submitted this tip to Garden Gate magazine and it appeared in the Feb. 1996 issue.

Follow-up 05/05/2011
I planted the seed tapes in a bed that was ruined by a rogue raccoon.  Hopefully he will leave the bed and seedlings alone, but you can't fight the wildlife.

Seed tapes placed in furrows
10-2 foot rows
5 Beets -Golden
2 Swiss Chard - Bright lights
1 jalepeno chile
1 habanero chile
1 poblano chile

I covered the seedlings with a light layer of potting soil.  I replanted some green bean seeds that hadn't germinated, and I added a plastic pot in the center of the beans.  I like to reuse old plastic containers to fertilize and deep water my gardens.

I hope to follow up soon with new pictures of my summer garden. 

Follow up:
The seed tapes with the swiss chard and the beets are sending up seedlings. 

I don't have any seedlings from the pepper plants yet, but those seeds generally take longer to germinate, especially if the soil temperature is still cool.
Watch for weekly follow up pics.


  1. Hey gardengirl,

    Thanks for the post about seed tapes. I've been wanting to make some myself. How well are the seeds germinating for you?

  2. I love the seed tape idea. Thanks for sharing. Great for kids projects.