May 01

How to Make Seed Tapes

There's this odd tendency for seeds to just accumulate in my house.
Really, I don't know how it happens.

So when faced with 16 packets of carrot seeds, it was time to do something about it.

seed hoarding


Seed tapes.
Easy to do, can be frozen and kept until planting time.

how to make seed tapes

easy enough for kids to do

To make a seed tape, you will need seeds (no problem there!), non-toxic glue, and some form of biodegradable fabric or paper- the faster is gives, the faster your seeds will sprout; so I use bathroom tissue.

Place a spot of glue the distance you want to space your seeds.
Remember, if you are going by what the seed packet says, look for the 'thin' to distance if there is one.
For example, carrot seed packets advise to "Thin to 2-3 inches apart" so that's how far apart to put the glue.

homemade seed tapes

just fold over

Fold in half and you are done.
You can keep these in the freezer until planting time.

how to make seed tapes

ta da!

Plant the tape at the same depth you would have planted the seed.
In this case, not too deep. Cover with soil and water.

how to use seed tapes

planting is easy

Of course if you water if frequently, it will sprout sooner, and any residual paper will decompose.
Plant your tapes the same distance apart you would have planted the seeds.
Since I plant in raised beds, this is the same distance as is suggested between seeds.

You can store unused tapes in the freezer- I know I can stagger my carrot plantings throughout the season, so now I have some tapes ready to go.

how to use seed tapes

planting is easy

This works wonderfully for any small seeds...and I have tons of them.
Do you 'accumulate' seeds as well?

I've heard that moderation in all things is the best way.

seed limit sign

consider this limit ex'seed'ed

If only I could practice that.

Thank you for sharing this post.
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    • Avatar of gj
    • Margo on May 1, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Can you recommend a seed company? I recently tried to order heirloom seed from what I thought would be a reputable company and lost both my money and my seed. I ordered the seed April 4th. The post office claims the package wasn’t addressed correctly and sent the package to holding facility. The tracking number shows the package in City of Industry, CA. The seed company also tracked the package and knows where it is. They will not refund my money nor will they resend the order. Their only effort for resolving the problem was to offer to give me 50% off on a reorder of the seed, so instead of paying $100 now I only have to pay $50. I laughed. I don’t have the $100 and I don’t have the seed, and they think I will stupidly pay them an additional $50 for more seed I don’t have! I have been upset and frustated. Looked at many websites before selecting. Company was “Sustainable Seed Company” up in Covello California.

    However, I still need seed and was hoping someone can recommend a good company from which to buy seed.

    • Avatar of gj
    • gj on May 1, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Well that really stinks! I have had great service from Johnny’s Seeds, Seed Saver’s Exchange, and Baker’s Creek- I also belong to Mike the Gardener’s Seeds of the Month Club (

    I have never before heard of a company that had such lousy customer service as you describe, I’ll remember that name.

  1. Loved the seed tape idea for those extras…which seem to creep into my house too. If I ever find out what it is that causes this and a remedy I will certainly let you know. (wink) I was thinking those extras made up in tapes would also make nice gifts or plant/seed swap items.

    Margo’s experience really does suck and I agree…very bad customer service. I wouldn’t give them a dime more of my money if that happened to me. Just sad companies can’t do better.

  2. Love the seed tape idea GJ … def. makes spacing a bit easier, and when you do it yourself, a bit easier.

    • Avatar of gj
    • gj on May 4, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    I hate thinning seeds Mike- so I make these as needed or when it snows over the winter. Needless to say, I didn’t get any done this past winter- but I’m not complaining!

    • Avatar of gj
    • Margo on May 4, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    thank you for the recommendations gj. I will look them up on the net and look for some seed. Then I can start making my seed tapes :). Thank you again!

    • Avatar of gj
    • Karen Interlandi on May 8, 2012 at 6:45 am

    Totally going to make these for my carrot seeds. I don’t like thinning out my carrots as I feel a bit guilty, like all the little guys made the effort to sprout, so they all deserve to live… yeah, I know, I’m a slightly crazy veggie grower!
    P.S. I hide my seed collection away from hubby so he has NO idea how many I have collected. We should start a support group.

    • Avatar of gj
    • gj on May 8, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    I feel the same way Karen. And actually, we do have a support group on Facebook called Gardenaholics Anonymous. Here’s the link if you’d like to join us:

    • Avatar of gj
    • Rebecca on June 4, 2012 at 11:45 am

    This. Is. Brilliant. I had been trying to figure out what to do with all of my extra seeds, as well, and this is something easy enough that my preschool daughter can do it with me! Thanks to you, she’s going to be so happy!

    • Avatar of gj
    • Erich on April 26, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    Looking for a reputable mail order seed company? I recommend Johnny Seeds of Winslow, Maine. I ordered for the first time this year and was really impressed with the short delivery time and the germination rate of the seeds i purchased.

    • Avatar of gj
    • gj on April 27, 2013 at 6:40 am

    Johnny’s is one of my favorite seed companies, I have been buying from them for years. They have wonderful customer service as well. They once refunded my money for a plant that they felt didn’t perform as well as they wanted, without my even asking. They were right, though I did get a modest harvest. I was impressed and stayed with them ever since.

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