A Seed Tape How-To



"Mama, can we plant carrots?" the Kid asked, as I was digging through my seed bucket to finally get some planting done in our garden.

On the one hand, how do you say no to carrots?  On the other, I hate planting them.

The source of my dislike is not the vegetable itself, but rather the teeny-tiny seeds.  By the time my hands get a little dirty or wet, trying to separate carrot seeds to plant them evenly is almost impossible.  Every year, without fail, I end up with a massive carrot clump where all of the seeds fell in one place and all of the carrot stems have grown and twisted together.

But again, how do you say no to carrots?

So I decided to finally do something I should have tried years ago, and I made some seed tape.  I cut newspaper strips about an inch wide, and mixed a paste of flour and water.  A tablespoon of flour, mixed with just enough water to make it paste-like, was enough to do what felt like miles of tape.

Then--inside, with clean, dry hands--I carefully spaced dots of the paste on the newspaper and dabbed one tiny seed in the center of each dot.  It was a little more time consuming than broadcasting a handful of seeds to the wind and wishing them luck, but the result should be that, come June, we'll have beautiful, even rows of carrots.

Since I've never done this before I can't speak from experience, but reportedly seed tape made this way will store well, too.  Since even a single package of carrot seeds is too much for the space I have, I went ahead and made extra tape to use in the fall.  (You can wrap it into neat little rolls for storage.)  I'll try to remember to report back on how it all works!