Make Seed Tape with Your Child
Marie Stolte, Master Gardener
Growing your own vegetables has many benefits. It is a source of delicious food, of course. But it is also a source of wonder for adults and children alike. You can share the wonder with the child in your life by planting vegetable seeds. In this article, learn how to create and plant nice, straight rows of perfectly spaced garden vegetables by using seed tape. A perfect gardening activity for you and your child or grandchild.
It’s easy to plant nice, straight rows of perfectly spaced garden vegetables when you use seed tape. You can buy seed tape, but it’s much more fun to make your own, using seeds for vegetables your child enjoys eating, plus a few household items you probably have on hand.
You will need:
Single-ply toilet paper (you can separate the paper layers if it is two-ply)
2 tablespoons of white flour
1 tablespoon of water
1.Choose seeds that have time to mature in Minnesota. Minnesota has a shorter growing season than many states, so select varieties of seeds that will mature more quickly. To find out how long the growing season is where you live, consult the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ Final Spring/First Fall Freeze & Frost Date Propabilities. Then, compare that timing with the “Days to Harvest” on seed packets or online—the average number of days from planting until it’s time to harvest, according to Oregon State University.
2. Prepare the toilet paper. Roll out the toilet paper, tearing it off in two or three-foot lengths. If the toilet paper is two-ply, separate the layers. Fold the paper in half along its length, creasing the folded edge, then open, creating a furrow.
3. Measure and mark the toilet paper. Refer to the seed packet to find the spacing distance between seeds. If the distance between seeds should be 2”, use a ruler to measure and mark in the furrow every 2” from one end of the toilet paper strip to the other.
4. Make homemade edible glue, and use it to affix a seed at each mark on the paper. Mix the 2 tablespoons of white flour with 1 tablespoon of water to make glue. Dip a toothpick in the glue, pick up one seed, and place it on each mark on the toilet paper strip.
5. Seal and roll. When seeds have been placed on all the marks on the paper, place more glue dots along one long edge of the toilet paper. Fold the paper on the crease, covering the seeds; press along the long edge. Allow the glue to dry for at least two hours. Then, roll up each strip of toilet paper. Store in a cool, dry spot until planting time.
After the last frost date in your area, roll out the tape in your garden bed, cover with soil to the planting depth on the seed packet, and water. Then, watch the magic begin.
Photo Credit: Marie Stolte (1,2,3) & www.thegardeningme.com (4)