Intro: Make Your Own Seed Tape
Seed tape is easy to make. YOU get to choose the varieties you plant when you make your own tapes. It's way cheaper than the commercial tapes. And best..... You get to handle tiny seeds indoors where it's warm and out of the wind.
Also..... if you accidentally pick up the wrong end of the packet, the seeds don't vanish into damp soil. This can be a BIG plus. I dumped them twice in the kitchen while making this ible.
This is a little different than DebH57's excellent Make Your Own Seed Tapes of 2009 - which I found after making this ible.
I've had problems in the past using paper napkins. That paper was too strong, and the roots became trapped. Hence the single ply TP. I'm also working with super tiny seeds that I want to keep as dry as possible before planting them outside. Glue-sticks are non-toxic, (but probably not organic) and introduce less moisture to the process.
Step 1: What You Need
Glue-stick - non-toxic, please
TP of the thinnest one-ply possible (ends of rolls are best - easiest to cut with scissors)
Scissors to cut the rolls in half
A yardstick or measurements on paper
Step 2: Figure Out Your Spacing
I had an old roll of adding machine tape in the house, so I marked off inches on that. I could have used a standard 8.5x11 sheet. The glue dries so fast that it would be hard to do more than 10 inches at once. You could probably work directly on a washable yardstick.
Step 3: Flatten and Cut Your TP Roll
This is pretty obvious. If you went out and bought a new roll of single ply TP, unroll about 5 feet and re-roll it so you can cut it in half.
Step 4: Position Your 'tape to Be'
Lay your half width TP over your spacing pattern. Half should be on the pattern, half should be off it. Work on a hard surface. I'm showing everything on a towel because I needed a non-white background to photograph this.
Step 5: Gently Make Glue Areas - a Few at a Time - at the Spacing You Need
I'm using inch spacing for these claytonia seeds. I make a short line of the glue at 5 to 8 places. IMPORTANT---Glue only as many spaces as you can fill with seed and cover before the glue dries!. (My glue-stick isn't pink. The pink dots were photoshopped in to demonstrate)
Step 6: Put Your Seeds on the Glue Areas
As fast as you can, put down your seeds. You don't have long before the glue dries.
Step 7: Fold Over and Press Down Over Each Seed
This seals the seeds in place. Lift the tape after pressing them all down, so it doesn't stick to your yardstick or paper pattern. This is the only point where it may stick. Glue-stick dries really fast, so you aren't going to have a goopy tape to deal with. It will be dry to the touch within about a minute.
Step 8: Tear the TP So It Again Lies Flat for Making Glue Spots.
Only tear half way across the TP. Once the next seed is glued down, this 'top layer' tear won't be a problem.
Step 9: Repeat As Needed.
I suggest writing the kind of seed on both ends of each tape and then rolling them around the (now empty) TP tubes.