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DIY Seed Tape

Thinning is an important garden chore that many gardeners loathe doing. If you don’t thin though, you find yourself with an overcrowded and unhealthy vegetable garden. Using seed tape is a great way to ensure that your vegetables are properly spaced in the garden. Pre-made seed tape can be expensive or difficult to find, but making your own is so quick and easy, you won’t regret going the DIY route!

This project surprised us with how quickly everything went. If you have all of your supplies gathered and ready to go, you could easily prep most of the seeds for your garden in a fraction of the time it would take to sow them directly.

First, gather your supplies. You’ll need seeds, toilet paper, "glue," something to measure with, and something to distribute your glue and seeds. For our glue, we mixed flour and water together into a workable paste, we used a yard stick to measure, and for seed distribution, we used an art paint brush.

Seed tape supplies: seeds, toilet paper, flour “glue,” and a paint brush.

Now that you have your supplies, it’s time to get to work. First tear off a strip of toilet paper that is as long as your intended vegetable row; we went with 4 feet. Then check the spacing for your seeds; this information should be found on the back of your seed package. For the Danvers half long carrots we were planting, the spacing was 2 to 3 inches apart. We decided to glue the seeds down every two inches.

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Next, using your paintbrush, glue seeds to the toilet paper. We found it worked well to first dip the brush in a bit of the glue and then pick up one or two seeds to apply. Repeat this process until you have gotten to the end of your toilet paper "row."

Using the paint brush to place seeds on the toilet paper.

Be sure to label your seed tape. This is super-important, especially if you are making multiple seed tapes for different vegetables.

After everything is glued and labeled, fold the length of toilet paper in half, so that the seeds are safely situated between toilet paper on both sides. Then, roll it up and set it aside until you’re ready to plant.

Roll up and label your seed tape for storage.

When you’re ready to plant, unroll your seed tape in the garden. Then plant at the recommended depth for your seeds. Give it some water and you should see vegetables sprouting in no time.

A Note on Seeds

Seed tape is great for tiny seeds such as: carrots, lettuces, herbs, and greens (spinach, collards, kale). Medium-sized seeds like watermelon, cucumbers, pumpkins, and squashes may work for this project, but large seeds like beans and corn will be too heavy and bulky for this project.

Additionally, larger seeds are much easier to sow at the correct interval in the garden, removing the need to thin out seedlings later. With smaller seeds it’s difficult to maintain the correct interval. That’s why seed tape is so helpful. It saves you from having to spend time thinning seedlings later, and makes your seed packages go a lot farther by cutting down on planting excess seeds.

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How to Make Your Own Seed Tape

Seed tapes make it easy to plant rows of perfectly spaced seeds. Learn how to make this easy seed tape using materials you probably already have lying around the house! When you’re finished making this seed tape, simply unroll into a furrow in your garden and cover with soil.

  • Working time 20 mins
  • Start to finish 20 mins
  • Difficulty Easy

What you need

  • Ruler Qty: 1
  • Marker Qty: 1
  • 2 tablespoons white flour Qty: 1
  • 1 tablespoon water Qty: 1
  • Single-ply toilet paper Qty: 1
  • Seeds Qty: 1
  • Toothpicks Qty: 1

How to do it

Part 1

Make Seed Glue

Make the seed glue by mixing 2 tablespoons of white flour and 1 tablespoon of water together. Make sure the seed glue is not watery, so the seed does not absorb the water.

How to Buy Seeds

Before even making your seed tape, you’ll need to buy seeds. Learn the RIGHT way to buy seeds for this upcoming gardening season.

Fold Toilet Paper

Unroll the toilet paper to desired length. If you only have two-ply toilet paper on hand, split the two layers. Fold toilet paper in half horizontally, then unfold it to make a crease.

Measure and Mark

Reference your seed packet to determine how far apart your seeds need to be from one another (for example,

Place Seeds

Dip toothpick into the seed glue to get a small amount on the tip. Pick up one seed with the toothpick and place onto marked dots on toilet paper.

Seal Together

After placing seeds, dot seed glue around the perimeter of the strip of toilet paper. Fold the toilet paper in half at the crease and seal the perimeter. Let strip sit for about two hours, or until glue dries. To store, roll up the seed tape and store in a cool, dry spot until you are ready to plant.

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