DIY Seed Tape – Can You Make Your Own Seed Tape

White Seed Tape
seed tape
(Image credit: anamariategzes)

Seeds can be big as an egg, like avocado pits, or they can be very, very small, like lettuce. While it’s easy to get the hefty seeds spaced appropriately in the garden, smaller seeds don’t sow as easily. That’s where seed tape comes in handy. Seed tape makes it simple to space tiny seeds where you need them, and the great news is that you can make your own seed tape. For a seed-tape how to, read on.

Making Seed Tape

You like elbow room, don’t you? Well, plants also like to have plenty of space to grow. If you sow them too close, it can be hard to space them out later. And if they grow in tight, none of them will thrive. Proper spacing is not a big deal with big seeds, like sunflower seeds. That doesn’t mean that everyone takes the time to get it right, but if you want to, you can. But with tiny seeds like lettuce or carrot seeds, getting proper spacing is harder. And DIY seed tape is one solution that can help. Seed tape is essentially a narrow strip of paper to which you attach seeds. You space them correctly on the tape then, using the seed tape, you get them planted with adequate room between them, not too much, not too little. You can buy almost every conceivable garden aid commercially. But why spend the money in this case when it’s a snap to make your own seed tape? DIY seed tape is the work of a few minutes for adult gardeners, but can also be an exciting garden project for kids.

How to Make Seed Tape

If you want to make your own seed tape, gather supplies first. For the tape itself, use narrow strips of newspaper, paper towel or toilet tissue, some 2 inches (5 cm.) wide. You’ll need strips as long as your intended rows. For making seed tape, you’ll also need glue, a small paint brush, a ruler or yardstick and a pen or marker. Make your own seed tape glue if you like by mixing water and flour into a paste. Here’s the nitty gritty for the seed tape how to. Determine from the seed packaging how far apart you want to space the seed. Then start making seed tape by putting dots along the paper strip at that exact spacing. If, for example, the seed spacing is 2 inches (5 cm.), make a dot every 2 inches (5 cm.) along the length of the paper. Next, dip the tip of the brush into the glue, pick up a seed or two, and glue it onto one of the marked dots. To prepare the seed tape for planting, fold it in half lengthwise, then roll it up and mark it until planting time. Dig a shallow trench to the depth recommended for planting these seeds, unroll the seed tape in the trench, cover it, add some water, and you are on your way.

Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.