Friday, May 18, 2012

How Make Your Own Seed Tapes

We’ve all been there, on our hands and knees with a packet full of carrot or radish seeds. Why are there so many of them and why are they so gosh darn small? This is usually about the time when annoyance and frustration sets in.

How can you make sowing a row or two of tiny seeds go smoother and a lot faster, not to mention less stressful on your back? My solution is to use seed tapes that I make myself. They’re easy to make and are a great project for a rainy day or sleepless night.

Making your own seed tapes not only saves money but time spent thinning plants once they’ve germinated.

Seed Tape Supplies

  • Newspaper – Pre cut into inch wide strips
  • 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
  • 1 - 2 Tablespoons Cold Water
  • Toothpick – Your fingertip will work just fine


  1. Mix cornstarch into cold water, stir gently until it creates a glue-like paste
  2. Dab a small amount of paste onto strips following spacing instructions on back of seed packet
  3. Place one seed per dab
  4. Allow to try overnight
  5. Roll strips and place in plastic bags or air tight containers
  6. Label each bag/container with name of seeds

Additional Tips

  • Pour a small amount of seeds into a container at a time to work with. If you use your finger to dab on the paste, this helps keep the seeds dry.
  • Using newspaper for the strips helps prevent weeds where the strips are laid.
  • When allowing your strips to dry, make sure to place them in an area where your pets or small children can't get a hold of them. (I made some strips this week and when I woke up the next morning my cat was having a field day with them)
  • Use an empty squirt bottle (ketchup/mustard) to apply paste
  • Though paste looks and feels watery, it dries like paste
When you make your own seed tapes you’ll find that you save lots of time and back-breaking work in the garden. If stored properly, in a dry, cool place, seed tapes can be made over the winter and stored for later use.

How do you save time and money in the garden?


  1. Explain how to plant the tapes to which the seed are glued, please.

    1. You should plant the seed tapes according to the instructions on the back of the seed packet including depth and spacing. Happy planting!

  2. Should the seed tape be planted seed side up...or down?