Look in any vegetable garden catalog and you’ll find seed tapes for sale at a pretty expensive price. Let’s look at what they are and how to make homemade seed tapes.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
Seed tapes are a biodegradable strip of medium with seeds attached to it. The purpose of the tape is to plant seeds into the ground that are either require set spacing or are too small to plant effectively.
What are seed tapes?
Seed tapes are a strip of biodegradable material in which you can attach the seeds to it for planting. Tapes are great for tiny seeds that are hard to see when planting. Tapes are also great to use for proper spacing and planting depth between plants. These tapes can be made out of newspaper, paper towels, or toilet paper and all of these materials work effectively.
What seeds are used?
The best seeds for using a tape for planting are seeds that do best sown directly into the ground and are small in size. A watermelon seed would not need a tape for planting and would be too heavy. Seeds such as carrot, radish, beet, spinach, and kale are wonderful examples to use a seed tape for planting. I find that carrots and beets do especially well planted as a seed tape for both proper depth of planting and plant spacing.
Homemade tapes are so easy to make and use simple household items on hand:
- Newspaper, paper towels, or toilet paper cut into strips
- Flour and water combined to make a thin paste
- Toothpick or means to dab the flour paste onto the strip (I use a squeeze bottle that I picked up at my local Dollar General store)
How to make homemade seed tapes
I use paper towels and cut into approximately 1-inch-wide strips. With the flour paste, place small dots of “glue” onto the strip, spacing in between each dot according to how far you want your plants to be spaced. I used a few drops of food coloring in my paste to be able to see it better. Then place 1-2 seeds on top of the paste dot. Allow to dry thoroughly and place in a sealed bag. Mark your bags with type of seed and planting instructions. Store your homemade seed tapes in a cool dry place until ready to use.
Why use seed tapes?
Homemade tapes are a great way to plant tiny seeds that need spaced between seeds and rows. Often, small seeds are planted in a row then thinned out as they sprout to avoid overcrowding. With seed tapes, the thinning process is eliminated, and you prevent seeds from being waste.
Planting your tapes
Planting the tapes are no different than sowing seeds directly. Follow the planting guide found on the seed packet for proper depth and spacing. Have other seeds you want to start? Check out my indoor seed starting blog. How are you using seed tapes? Let me know in the comments section below. Happy planting!!