What are seed tapes? Where can I use the seed strips? How do I make seed tapes?
These questions will be answered in this article.
Seed tapes are an easy and alternative way of sowing.
You can make your own seed tapes.
What is a seed tape?
A seed tape, as the name suggests, is a tape containing seeds. We can plant the seed tapes in the soil and wherever there are seeds they will germinate.
Seed tapes can contain seeds from the same plant or seeds from different plants.
The seeds on a seed strip are spaced at fixed distances.
The seed tape can be made whenever we want and stored for future planting, in the refrigerator or outdoors.
What material can I use to make seed tapes?
Seed tapes are made from a material that, when in contact with water, is easy to dissolve so that it does not hinder the growth of the seeds.
Depending on the size of the seeds and the strength to penetrate hard, soft or semi-hard materials, we can use toilet paper, newsprint, wrapping paper. We do not use greaseproof paper because it does not dissolve with water. We do not use paper from magazines.
The easiest solution is toilet paper, double or single.
Where can I use the seed tapes?
Figure 1: Very small seeds. Petunia seeds in relation to a 1 cent Euro coin. They are very small!
We use seed tapes:
- when we want to plant very small seeds
- when we want to sow seeds at equal distances
- when we want to mix different seeds at equal distances
- when we want to store seeds for future sowing
- when we want to get our children interested in plants and the garden
How to make seed strips
What materials will we need to make our own seed strips?
- Toilet paper (double sheet)
- 2 Brushes or 2 Swabs
- Sugar (one pinch) optional
Take a piece of toilet paper and fold it in half to make two sides.
Figure 2. This gives the paper two sides.
We will put the seeds on one of the two sides of the paper so that they stick to it and then fold the two sides of the paper to form a seed strip.
As a glue, we will use flour paste, the type of glue we used to make when we were kids.
To make the glue, mix 1 part flour with 1.5-2 parts water and a pinch of sugar (optional). Mix the ingredients well. The “glue” is ready when the material is easily malleable.
Figure 3: Making glue using flour and water. We call it flour paste.
Spread out the toilet paper in a roll (previously folded, now unfold it again).
Using a paintbrush, scoop out some glue and place it on one side of the paper, like a drop (do not spread it out).
Figure 4: Using a brush, place the flour paste on the paper. Apply glue in the form of a blob.
Repeat by putting glue at the desired distances.
If our seeds are large, then we simply place them by hand on the glue.
If our seeds are small, or very small, we use the second brush to grab them (helps if we’re drooling) and drop them onto the glue.
Figure 5: The small seeds (like petunia seeds) on the glue. We place them with the help of a brush.
Repeat as many times as necessary.
Then fold the two sides of the paper so that they stick together. Press lightly. No force is needed.
Figure 6: Fold the two sides of the paper so that they stick together and form the seed tape. You can see where we have put the glue and seeds.
You’ve just made a seed tape!
If you like, you can mark the seeds on the paper of the seed tape if you like. You can also mark the positions of the seeds with a little marker so they stand out better.
Take the seed tape and hang it in a sheltered place with a clothespin so the glue can dry.
Notes: The seeds will not germinate even though the glue is wet, because the glue will dry very quickly.
Once the seed tape is dry, you can store it for future use, or use it immediately.
Do not use a single sheet of toilet paper to make spore strips. It is not thick enough to absorb the moisture in the glue and it gets punctured.
Figure 7: Single-ply toilet paper is not strong enough and melts easily, creating holes where we have put seeds. This is why we don’t use plain toilet paper!
How to use seed tapes
Using seed tapes is simple!
- You make a groove in the soil
- You place the seed strip in the groove
- Cover with soil
- Water well with water
- Wait and your plants will appear evenly spaced
The water will dissolve the mealybug and the seeds will germinate.
The paper will dissolve and will not prevent the seeds from growing.
Good luck sowing with your seed tapes!