How to Grow From Seed Tape

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Seed tape is a length of tape with seeds attached to it that are just the right spacing. Grow from seed tape with help from a longtime and experienced gardener in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Planting & Gardening Vegetables
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Video Transcript

I'm Kathy Martin, Author of the blog, Skippy's Vegetable Garden, a journal of my sustainable garden. I'm here in my backyard in Belmont, Massachusetts in the spring and I'm going to show you how to grow from seed tape. Seed tape is a length of tape with seeds attached to it that are in just the right spacing for how you want the plants to grow. And this is particularly helpful with seed like carrots where it can be really hard to get those little seeds in the ground at just the right spacing. I looked to buy some commercial seed tape and couldn't find any in my local area. It can be difficult to find commercial seed tape, but fortunately, it's easy to make your own. And when you make your own, you can use any variety of seed that you will want. This is a nice early variety of carrots, I have Nelson carrots here and I'll show you how to make them. To make my own seed tape, I've used paper towels; I cut them into strips. As a glue, I'm using corn starch and water. Instead of corn starch, another glue that you can use is Elmer's glue, which is a non-toxic glue. And what I'm going to do is to get some seeds into my hand here; I'm going to use a Q-tip to dab some cornstarch onto the paper towel, give a bunch of spots here and then get the seeds onto the cornstarch. I'm doing about three spots and then adding the seeds. This is a great project to do with the, with your family, with kids. It's a project you can also do in the wintertime. Let's get some seeds in this spot down here. And so, the idea here is that the seeds are all spaced out nicely and they're going to come up with a proper distance for carrots. We're not going to be wasting seed by having to thin a lot of seeds. The paper towels pull the moisture out and they dry pretty quickly. I then have been folding them over to give it a little bit more protection. And that is a piece of seed tape. So, now, we've moved to the garden and I'm ready to plant the seed tape. Carrots like a poor soil. So, I'm just going to plant right into un-amended soil, no compost added, no fertilizer. If you add too much fertilizer or compost, you get a lot of, you get hairy carrot roots. So, what I'm going to do here is I'm using the shovel as a marker to keep my row straight. I'm going to draw a furrow, then I'm going to lay the seed tape into the furrow. There's one tape there, and another tape here. Then, it just gets covered up, as easy as that. As the plants sprout, the paper towels will degrade. I'm going to label that; these were Nelson carrots and put my label in. It's also important to have the carrots planted in the full sun. Carrots like full sun and poor soil. Once they're planted, they need to be watered and for carrots to sprout, they need to be kept wet the entire germination period which can be up to two weeks. so, that's one of the tough things with carrots; make sure the, the seeds stay wet as they're germinating. So, I've showed you how to grow seed from seed tape. I'm Kathy Martin, Author of the blog, Skippy's Vegetable Garden, a journal of my sustainable garden. Enjoy your sustainable garden and grow some healthy vegetables.

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