How to make your own seed tape

How to make your own seed tape

In this installment of Alice Whitehead’s gardening with children series we learn how to make your own seed tape.  Read on…

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Alice Whitehead is a third generation allotmenteer that likes to grow, eat and get muddy – then write about it! With two urban allotment plots, an award-winning school garden club and an enthusiastic nine year old son to help. In this new blog series Alice shows us how to get children outdoors and into the garden this summer.

Part 3 – How to make a seed tape

by Alice Whitehead

Sowing seeds can be tricky for little fingers – and thinning seedlings can be a chore – so make seed tapes with pre-spaced seeds that can be unfurled at the allotment or garden, or onto seed trays, to make the task more fun. . . 

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What you will need:

  • Paper towel or newspaper
  • Saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • 1 tbsp warm water
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • Bowl or squeezy bottle
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Paintbrush
  • Pen
  • Watering can

Here’s how to do it:

  1. There’s still time to sow seeds of winter lettuces, carrot, pak choi, spinach and spring onion this month, but the seeds can be fiddly, especially for small children. While broad bean and pea seeds are big enough to space individually, smaller seeds are easy to oversow, leaving you with overcrowded crops that don’t develop as well. Homemade seed tapes allow children to set out a row in the garden or on their allotment plot, with spacings already set, and they’re a great way to store excess seed for next year if you don’t use them all up.
  2. Cut your paper towel or newspaper into strips, as wide and as long as you want your row. Check the seed packet for measurements.
  3. In a pan, mix together a little water and flour and warm until the flour dissolves and forms a thick paste, rather like wallpaper paste (this task is for adults only). Pout into a bowl, or better still a squeezy bottle with a nozzle.
  4. Read the seed packet and work out how far apart the seeds need to be spaced. Using a ruler, mark the spacings on your newspaper strip and with a paintbrush dab your paste onto those marks and place one seed on each sticky spot.
  5. Set aside to dry completely, and roll up and store somewhere cool and dark for later use (they’ll last for several months). You can use more strips for different seeds – just make sure you label them!
  6. If you want to plant immediately, you can plant the entire biodegradable tape. Unfurl over pre-watered soil and cover with soil at the depth indicated on the seed packet.
  7. You could even experiment with seeds discs, circles of seed paper, which you can place in pots instead.

 

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*This blog was originally shared on Alice Whitehead’s own website, Wonderland Freelance.
You can view the original post here.
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