home-made seed tape

Des Moines, IA(Zone 5a)

Have you ever made your own home made seed tape with news paper? If so ---- did it work well and do you have any suggestions/instructions?

As February draws closer I'm thinking maybe some of my annuals I can do with home made seed tape and save some much needed space in my home so it wont turn into a kitchen full of cups-O-dirt! I bought a small 'indoor' greenhouse for my seed starting efforts this February but I dont want it to be over-crowded either.

Also --- have any of you ever used the small plastic bathroom drink cup's for seed germanation?

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

momof2d, I've used those small bathroom cups for soaking my larger seeds in a hydrogen proxide solution. but not for planting. If you preforated the bottoms enough, I don't see why they wouldn't work, though.

San Diego, CA(Zone 10a)

I have used the bathroom cups and paper ice cream containers for larger plants(thanks to Brugie's hint.) Both worked just fine.

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Now if someone would just make a square cup...

Des Moines, IA(Zone 5a)

Darius - why do you soak the seeds in hydrogen proxide? And whats the deal about needing square cups ---- what is the difference?

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Square cups can be made by folding newspaper. I saw instructions for it somewhere; will try to find it again. I make the newpaper pots using a 12-oz. jelly jar to wrap around. A pint jar for large seeds or rooted cuttings. I also make quickie pots with toilet paper cardboard rolls. Cut the length of the roll, then cut in half for two pots and close the cut side with a small piece of masking tape. Set the pots in a shallow container and fill with moist starter mix. When the seedlings are ready to set in the ground the cardboard can be easily discarded without disturbing the roots.

A friend makes seed tapes with paper towels. He pulls off enough towels to measure the length of the garden beds. Then he cuts five strips down the length of the toweling. He uses a flour and water paste to get the seeds to stick. When dry the strips are rolled up and a label made with masking tape holds the end until planting time.

Des Moines, IA(Zone 5a)

Yuska thanks for the info, I'll definetly try the newspaper or paper towell tape method and the home made cups too. I think somethng ate my Cleome seed that I planted last year, I only had 1 measley Cleome palnt last summer, its my favorite annual plant, maybe if I do the tape method I'll have some Cleome to brag about.

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

momof2d, do a search of hydrogen peroxide, lots of threads here about it, why, and how to use it.

Laughingly I said square cups only because they would fit together better in a tray!

Des Moines, IA(Zone 5a)

oh......lol! your'e talking to a novice here Darius, now I get it! LOL! I'll check the threads on the peroxide, thanks Darius.

Baker City, OR(Zone 5b)

I used some whole toilet paper tubes last spring for starting corn which has a deep root to the bottom of the tube by the time the 2nd pair of leaves appear. I planted them tube and all and they did very well. This was to give me a head start on the first corn of the season. When I rototilled the garden this fall there was no sign of the tubes. I'm also saving ice cream cartons, they just looked right for planting and I have a dozen or so saved already. My neighbor is also saving them for me. Using paper instead of plastic means you can plant the whole thing and there is no risk of disturbing roots.

Des Moines, IA(Zone 5a)

LOL! We certainly have enough TP rolls throught the year (TMI?) That also sounds like a great idea, and they would fit much better in a tray than the little plastic cups --- great advice, I'm gonna start saving them. We dont buy much ice cream, when we do its usually a big huge bucket.

I saw on another thread that the big Liter pop containers make an excelent cover for protecting your seedlings once planted and I believe someone said that it allows you to set the seedling out a little earlier. I've always used our coffee cans.

Fort Wayne, IN(Zone 5a)

You might want to do the math before using the plastic cups especially if they are new. I find it is just as much money as gardening pots or flats, especially for the larger ones if you have to buy them. The newspaper cups can be very useful, but be sure to wrap several layers. They come apart if too few. When you put them in the ground, rip the sides and be sure to bury the edges or they will wick up all the moisture from the roots. Making your own seed tape always seemed a great way to waste time for me but some people like it. A faster way is to dip a cotton cord or twine in a cornstarch paste or syrup and then rub your seed onto it. I hang it up to dry so the seed doesn't stick to what it might be laying on. The 'glue' acts as food and heat as it breaks down. Jessamine

Des Moines, IA(Zone 5a)

Hi Jessamine, thanks for the tips! The twine idea sounds pretty easy.

Vincentown, NJ(Zone 6b)

I just know this is going to be a dumb question, but here goes. If it's already time to sow seeds, is it still necessary to dry the newly created seed tapes. Couldn't you just walk them out to the plot of prepared soil and anchor them down?

I've always been intrigued with the idea of seed tapes, but resent the cost, so have never tried them. Now I'm considering making my own after reading the posts on this forum. Everyone seems to mention "letting them dry out." Is that a necessary step, regardless of the outside temp?

Feeling dumb, but I guess we all have moments like this....

Baker City, OR(Zone 5b)

Here are some cute little toilet paper tube pots I made. Flatten tube, cut in half, then cut a 1/2 inch slit on each fold and two more between the first 2. Round up the tube, and fold the flaps like you would to reclose the top of a cardboard box. I made the slits a little too deep so my pots are a bit crooked. They hold themselves together and even have a drain!

Thumbnail by MaryE
Okeechobee, FL(Zone 10a)

Thanks Mary.
great idea, no tape necessary.

Elgin, IL

I like to use paper towel and wrapping paper rolls, they give the roots a little more room and they break down completely. My best idea was 'recycling' plastic milk jugs. Way back then, recycling only applied to aluminum cans, centers didn't care about plastic. I punched a bunch of holes in the sides and bottoms of the jugs and buried them around my tomato and rose gardens with just the top openings above ground. They lasted for years! When it was time to water or feed,I filled them with the hose as well as top-watering. Everything got a really deep watering so their root systems were amazing. My roses were really happy, but my tomatos were huge and buried me in produce. These days I don't have the energy or ambition to dig all those holes!

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

That's a good idea for watering! I have used 2 liter soda bottles in a similar fashion... cut off the bottom, punch a few holes near the top, invert and bury the neck down, up to almost the bottom of the bottle.

Elgin, IL

I like your idea better, Darius, sounds like they'd be easier to fill- I'm all about 'easy' !

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