How to Make Seed Tapes for Planting Vegetables


Making a seed tape for vegetables allows you to determine proper spacing ahead of time and eliminates the fuss of sowing fine seeds in the garden. When planting time arrives, the seed tape is simply placed in the desired location, covered with appropriate amount of soil and watered. As seeds germinate and grow, the seed tape degrades naturally becoming part of the soil. Although this method does not work well for large seeds, such as beans or peas, it provides a workable solution for sowing tiny seeds such as carrots, lettuce and other salad greens.

Things You'll Need

  • White glue, water soluble
  • Newspapers
  • Paper towels
  • Toilet paper
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Select the material for your seed tape. Old newspapers, paper towels or toilet paper can be used for making seed tapes. Toilet paper offers the added benefit of perforated squares to assist in laying out seeds for planting a large area, while industrial brown paper hand towels can be used to make strips in the desired length without worries about gluing or piecing strips together.

  • Cut the material into 2- to 4-inch-wide strips to match the desired length of your rows. Depending on the material used, you may need to tape or glue strips together for the desired length. You can also make the strips in short sections and lay them end to end in the garden.

  • Determine the desired spacing for the seeds. The amount of space between seeds depends on the plants you are growing. Refer to the seed packet for the recommended seed spacing.

  • Mark the position of the seeds on the seed strip with a pencil or marker. Place a dot of white glue on the marked position. The object is to apply just enough glue to hold the seed in place.

  • Press one seed into each dot of glue. Allow the glue to dry completely. Drying time depends on the amount of glue used on the seed tape and ranges from one hour to overnight.

  • Roll up the dried seed tape and store it in a cool dry place until planting time.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use strips of toilet paper for areas where you wish to grow plants evenly spaced in all directions, such as flowers beds or raised beds. Placing a seed in the center of each square, and laying several strips side-by-side results in seeds spaced 4 inches apart in all directions.
  • Make your own glue by mixing flour and water to the consistency of yogurt.
  • Do not use superglue or any glue that is not water-soluble, as it will not dissolve in moisture to allow the seed to germinate and grow.

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