Welcome to Growbox Hill

Welcome to Growbox Hill
Welcome to Growbox HIll!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Seed tapes

I was talking with a dear friend today about a new home and their wee girl and gardening. Considering the time of year I was suggesting some plants vs seeds.. and it struck me that a very kid friendly project is making seed tapes.

Seed tapes can be made year round. All it takes is some tape, flour glue and seeds. And it's great for very little seeds that like some spacing, like carrots, beets, lettuce, spinach, radishes..

What you need:

Flour and water for glue. The consistency depends on the seed. Bigger seeds like beets, some spinach or radishes need a thicker glue. Smaller seed like carrots or lettuce can use a thinner glue.
Cheap paper, like cheap toilet paper, paper towels, or crepe paper streamers left over from whatever.
Seeds! That whole bucket is seeds I want to keep making seed tapes with.
A little dish to pour your seeds into. Makes picking them up much easier.
A marker- to write the seed name on the paper with.
Something to work on. I'm using a brown paper bag here. markers can write through the paper super easy, and the flour glue can seep in pretty quick too.
And lastly, something to lay the tapes on while drying. I'm using a stack of cooling racks, but you can use paper bags or news papers. Keep in mind those tapes have to lay till dry, which can take several hours.

Little bit of flour. This is a couple teaspoons maybe. You don't need to make a lot of glue, it does not keep well.

Mix with a bit of water. This is thinner than pancake batter.

Lay out a piece of paper. I like using 4 squares at a time.

Write the name of the seed on the paper. Be careful, the stuff likes to tear.

Drip out little drips of glue in the right spacing. For this spinach it's about 4 inches.

Drop on your seeds into the drips. This one called for 3 per spacing.

The seeds sitting in their drip. with bigger seeds like this it's nice to gently press the seeds into the glue. For smaller seed like carrot or lettuce, that's usually not necessary.

Set your paper aside to dry.. And on to the next one :)

Here's some seed tapes that are done already. If I have the seed envelope, I like to keep it with the tapes for helpful information when actually putting the seed into the garden. And wrapping a sleeve around them makes them more manageable.

When time comes to plant the seed, just lay it down, cover it with a thin layer of dirt to keep the paper in place and give the seeds their proper planting depth. Water in well and treat it like any other direct seeding.

Some notes on flour. You can use any kind of flour. I've used wheat and found it made a thicker glue, good for beet seeds. If you want to, you can add food coloring to your flour when you make your tapes to help you ID them :) Or just make making seed tapes more fun for kids.

You can do this any time of year. It's kind of nice to do them in the winter when there's no hope of any gardening, but you can still feel like you are planting seeds.. sort of...

No comments:

Post a Comment