Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Seed Taping - how I did it

First things first, I'm going to appologize for my crappy picture placing. Still haven't figured out how people get them so nice on here!

This is a fun project. As I was doing it I was thinking of the original linked post I shared with you with that cute little girl helping out with it. Then I was thinking (because our community garden plots are close to a senior living complex here) that this would be a great project for seniors at a retirement home or something (if you can put together a puzzle, you can probably do this). I'm really not crazy about planting seeds in the garden. Your fingers get dirty, then you try to reach in those little packets, sometimes they spill. Sometimes its windy, and then its so hard to get the spacing right and get them where you want them in the trench, esp. the little guys, like carrots. (And of course, I always forget to thin them!). So seed taping is practical and convenient and I plan to never do my seeding "in the trenches" again! I'm even going to do my corn this way, lol
So here is what I did:


First, I got these things out:
  • -yardstick
  • -plate
  • -2 paintbrushes (I used a waterbrush for one, the other one is for the "glue")
  • -roll of single-ply, textured TP (but this is preference)
  • -small rubber band or hair band
  • -pen
  • -small bowl (custard dish or empty yogurt/pudding cup?)
  • -2 T of flour
  • -glass of water
  • -seeds
  • - (optional) Medicine dropper or clean condiment/travel bottle with pointed tip or even a pastry bag?
Then I sat comfortably at my chair and scooted another chair back up to me (to hang the finished tapes to dry on)

I wrapped my rubber band around the roll of TP (needs to be snug) like this.

Then the rubber band tore the paper down the middle as I unwound one side, pulling it gently towards the rubber band.
Rather than moving the rubber band I left it and had this narrow pile of streamers when I was done. Haven't thought of a use for it.... Maybe you could TP your bonsai tree? Teach your pet hamster to be domesticated? Who knows.

Since my garden is 12 feet wide I made my strips 3 feet long (made sense with the yardstick, lol)

Mix a roux of flour and water to a mustard-like consistency

Carrots: Every 2 inches I placed a small dot of flour/water mixture about a 1/3rd from the top edge of the torn TP (for closer-spaced seeds, it was easier just to run a bead of the glue).

Then I used my waterbrush (or use a wet paintbrush tip or even a chopstick or something) and dabbed a seed off my plate, and stuck it on the glob of gew. I got good at getting 3 or so seeds on the brush and rotating the brush so only one would stick to each blob, saving me some time)
Then I folded over the TP and smushed each blob into the top layer. I labeled the strip and then took my water brush and ran it along the top open edge of the strip to seal it a little better.

Next!


For larger seeds, like peas and corn: after I placed them on the "glue" dots, I dotted the tops of the seeds with more of the glue mixture before folding. From my experience, I'd recommend doubling up the paper on those as well.

Since I'm doing a modified square-foot method of gardening, I've allocated about 1 foot all along the front of my raised bed for carrots and will place about 3-4 rows of these strips in it and cover them. Depending on the plant, you may want to adjust the spacing of your seeds a little bigger to accommodate a alternating grid of seeds in your space.

Plant at the regular recommended depth.

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This worked really well for me. It may not be a huge time saver as much as a convenience. The day of planting, I bound like strips together with those skinny strips left over and placed the bundles in a shoebox. It was windy the day I planted and all I had to worry about were the long strips, not individual carrot seeds blowing everywhere but where I wanted them. I didn't have to worry about spacing, loosing seeds, or anything. Just had to worry how deep to plant the strip. IN FACT I found another bonus of this method - I had "planted" some seeds in the wrong spot. With the regular method, you'd be stuck with them there, but since I hadn't watered my garden yet, I could gently pull up the strip and put it in another place! Yep, I'm doing this every year for now on!

3 comments:

  1. Great article!

    Your photo placement looks good to me, If you want a lot more control over how your photos look, you should check out "Windows Live Writer", it's a free download, so that you can publish blog post without the need for the Blogger interface.

    I use it for my blogs & will never go back to the old way, have a look at my blog, every post I made on my blog was created with "Windows Live Writer", it's so easy to use, & Free.

    1) http://soswitcher.blogspot.com (my blog)

    2) http://windowslivewriter.spaces.live.com (download)

    PS. Also have a look at all the Free Plugins for "Windows Live Writer" (I wrote 3 of them :) ), http://gallery.live.com/default.aspx?pl=8

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the info Switcher. I did finally get them to look alright after re-editing about 10 times. the "preview" pane does NO good in the blogger editor! Now if I can just figure out how to modify this template to make the columns wider!

    In the future I'll have to check out your editor link - I have another project post in the works (how I organize box tops for education,etc) that I haven't posted just because of all the pictures.

    ReplyDelete
  3. glad the seed tape making info is coming in handy for you! :) Cat

    ReplyDelete

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