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Seed Tape – Next Best Thing to Sliced Bread

By Mary Marcotte, Colorado Master Gardener Boulder County

Every once in a while, an idea comes along that makes life so much easier, you wonder how you ever got along without it. Such is the beauty of seed tape.

A seed tape is an inch-wide paper ribbon embedded with seeds evenly spaced along the length, according to the recommendations for that variety.  All you need to do is create a furrow in the planting bed, unfold the tape, lay it out, and cover it with soil.

I discovered seed tape for the first time early last spring and was delighted by the results. The tapes are typically 3-5’ long. They are offered by a number of seed companies and can be found at local plant nurseries.

Benefits of Seed Tape

Besides reducing the need to thin the seedlings, this method offers other benefits. You are less likely to get a stiff back from time spent crouching over to drop seeds one-by-one along a row. Besides being easier on the body and the eyes (where did I just put that seed?), there is no waste of seed when a gust of wind surprises you or too many seeds get inadvertently dropped. Seed tapes are especially useful when sowing very small seeds like carrots or lettuce. The tape keeps the seeds in place in the soil until germination.

DIY Seed Tape

You can also make your own seed tape or even a seed disk or square—a great DIY project for the middle of winter! On-line sites suggest using toilet paper or paper towel and a glue made of equal parts flour and water.

Download a helpful table for correct seed spacing, proper planting depth, and days to germination of vegetable seeds from CSU Extension.




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