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Make Your Own Seed Tape with Paper, Seeds and Glue

Seed tape makes quick work of direct sowing tiny seeds that must be sown close together.
Unfortunately, buying seed tape drastically limits the varieties of veggies you can grow and it's quite expensive at $3+ per square foot of tape. By making your own seed tape with paper, seeds and glue, you can reduce the cost of sowing seeds while taking advantage of the vast array of varieties available. Whether you are looking for giant spinach or purple carrots, if you make your own tape, it's easy to grow what you want.

Sowing Tiny Seeds

One thing you might notice when looking at some of our cool weather seeds is that they are tiny. Let me tell you, putting one tiny little carrot seed every two inches 300 times outside in the harsh March winds can make you dislike carrots. This is why I make seed tape. I like to spend a cold day by watching a movie, spreading out my supplies and making seed tape in the comfort of my living room.

Seed tape is ideal for tiny seeds that need to planted fairly close together like spinach, carrots, turnips and radishes.

Making Seed Tape

To make seed tape you will need:

Newspaper or toilet paper, cut into 3 inch strips
White glue (elmer’s school glue, for example)
A ruler or measuring tape

  1. Look at the back of your seed packet to find the FINAL seed spacing for your seeds. If it says to thin seedlings to two inches apart, make the seeds on your tape 2 inches apart to save thinning time.
  2. Place your ruler beside the tape to measure your spacing and place a tiny drop of glue at the desired increments.
  3. Drop one or two seeds in each wet drop of glue. Typically for fresh seed (packaged for this year) I just use one seed per spot of glue. If it’s more than a year old I use 1-3 seeds per spot.
  4. Allow the glue to dry completely, roll the tape up and secure with a rubber band until it’s time to plant. When planting time arrives, simply lay out each strip and lightly toss some soil on top to secure it. Read the back of the soil package to determine the desired soil depth. As always, do this before a rain or water the area well.

As it breaks down, the paper will feed the soil and the seeds will stay in place for germination. Making your own seed tape with paper, seeds and glue will save time and money and offers an excellent project to get kids excited about the spring garden.



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