Introduction: How to Make Paper Seed Tape

Lots of vegetables have very tiny seeds. You can buy a variety of contraptions to help control how many seeds you put down in the soil, but the easiest planting I have done was with lettuce paper seed tape last year. I bought it from a commercial seed vendor online and it made planting those tiny seeds a cakewalk. I had a small length of it left over this year, but only a fraction of what I want to plant in total, and it occurred to me that making seed tape would be pretty much the easiest thing in the world and it would help the planting go more smoothly. Here is how I did it.

Step 1: What You'll Need

Toilet paper - thinner is better; I used Scott
Seeds
Spritzer filled with water
Counter space

Step 2: Cut Strips

Cut toilet paper lengthwise and fold halves lengthwise.

Step 3: Add Seeds to Strips

Open each half back up a bit. Add seeds, spacing them out as recommended in planting instructions. In my case, I copied the spacing from the commercial seed tape I had left over. Then fold the top half back down carefully.

Step 4: Spritz and Spritz Some More

Spritz water over the strips. Begin very gently, with a fine mist, until the top of each strip is somewhat wetted and weighed down. Then saturate the strips thoroughly. With your fingers, pat them down so that top and bottom are totally stuck together with the water.

Step 5: Wait...

Wait until the strips are fairly dry. As the strips get mostly dry you might see places where they aren't stuck together completely, so re-wet those places and press them down so they stay stuck. 

Step 6: Plant!

Plant! Draw a spade or a stick in a line in the dirt to create a trough, lay the tape down along the bottom of the trough, and cover with dirt. You'll need to check the planting instructions for how deep your seeds should be planted. Mine are lettuce seeds, so I put about a cm of soil on top. 

Comments

author
CuriousWeasel made it!(author)2013-04-19

Fantastic ! That's brilliant :o)
I've always had issues with sowing too many fiddly seeds close together directly into the ground, but this saves all the hassle. I'm definitely going to o this, Thanks :o)

author
wsround made it!(author)2013-04-17

This is a great idea.

I was wondering it sounds like you just use water to keep the sheets of toilet paper together. Have you thought of using a mixture of water and corn starch in a spray bottle to hold it together better?

author
kewpiedoll99 made it!(author)2013-04-17

I had not. Water seems to hold it together just fine, but I did make sure to press down on the length of the tape to make sure. I think using Scott tissue, which is super thin (good for septic systems!), makes it work. I haven't tried it with others.

author
verence made it!(author)2013-04-17

Clever use of cheap toilet paper.. :-)

Does the water trigger the germination of the seeds, so you have to use the bands immediately or can they be stored for, say, some weeks?

author
kewpiedoll99 made it!(author)2013-04-17

oooh, i don't know. i will have to do an experiment. will post with results.

author
kewpiedoll99 made it!(author)2013-04-17

I had not. Water seems to hold it together just fine, but I did make sure to press down on the length of the tape to make sure. I think using Scott tissue, which is super thin (good for septic systems!), makes it work. I haven't tried it with others.

In fact I wrote this up and posted it before wondering if other Instructables exist for this same concept. They do, but they use different techniques. There are always lots of ways to do things. I discovered DebH57 uses cornstarch to make a glue. Meanwhile, mole1 uses a glue stick. I mention them here as a little shout out.

About This Instructable

10,028views

113favorites

License:

More by kewpiedoll99:How to Make Paper Seed TapeHow to Dye Yarn: HandpaintingMaking Dill Pickles
Add instructable to: