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Seed tape, have you ever tried making your own? — The Grow Network Community
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Seed tape, have you ever tried making your own?

OhiohillsLouiseOhiohillsLouise Posts: 121 ✭✭✭
edited November 2020 in DIY Tutorials

I am trying to make my own seed tape with toilet paper. I watched some YouTube videos. Some use flour paste to hold the seeds down, I am gluten free so I don’t keep flour around, I wonder if corn starch or potato starch would work? I need to experiment with that.

I am trying without the paste but the seeds roll around unless I wet the paper but when I wet the paper it falls apart too easy. So I made a strip of wax paper the same length as the tp so now I can wet the tp and roll up the (tp, seed, wax paper) wet seed tape, put a clip on it and put it in a baggy until it germinates and then put it out. My trial run shows it works but still need to be careful not to rip the tp when unrolling.

Sharing your thoughts and experiences is greatly appreciated!


  • JensJens Posts: 475 ✭✭✭

    @Louise potato starch should work. Milk or curd should work too as the casein is a really good glue.

  • Helen South AustraliaHelen South Australia Posts: 42 ✭✭✭

    I hadn't even thought of making my own seed tape - thank you for the idea! I'm going to give it a try.

  • Ruth Ann ReyesRuth Ann Reyes Managing Director TGN Shy of the Chi - Zone 5bPosts: 348 admin

    Let us know how this turns out! Post some pics!

  • ParadoxParadox Posts: 145 ✭✭✭

    the flour paste is just to give the seed something to stick to. Corn starch or any GF flour should also work--just obviously something inexpensive.

  • FoodgardenguyFoodgardenguy CanadaPosts: 106 ✭✭✭

    @OhiohillsLouise. This is a neat idea. How wide did you make the wax paper? When you roll it out on the ground, do you leave the wax paper in the ground?

  • LyrelAuriniLyrelAurini Posts: 1

    IF not waxed paper, what about strips of parchment paper? or even Newspaper (non-shiny)?

  • royalaroyala Posts: 1 ✭✭✭

    I tried my 1st seed tape this spring...for carrots and radishes. I took cheap single-ply TP rolled out to my raised box length, cut the TP lengthwise so I had 2 strips. I measured the correct spacing on the TP with marker, and tweezed the seeds 'lightly' into a dot of Elmers glue on a piece of paper and then placed it on the marker dots on the strips of TP. They dried, I rolled them up, and the next day I planted them in the raised box as directed.

    My radishes took right off, and about 50% of my carrots came up slowly. Not sure what happened with them! I will try flour paste next season to test.

  • dipat2005dipat2005 Posts: 303 ✭✭✭

    I love all of these comments about how you make your seed tape. I have been making seed tape for many years. I first used crepe paper and Elmer's glue. I still use glue but now I am using paper toweling. This year I used two of the squares together and they measured 11"x 14".orI didn't even think about using a paste or something else to make them stick. Once it got warm outside the seeds started to grow. I am grateful I chose a more out of the way place to grow my small garden. Seed tape works great and I am interested in finding out more ways to stick the seeds onto the paper.

  • 1" cotton cloth strips and pine sap. I would let sap just about dry then place seeds then roll them up. Then use popsicle sticks cut in half. wet them down place into zip bags and in the dark. and you can watch growth as roots grow out bottom. This was used years ago. and worked great 4 rolls in each bag.

  • MaxMax Posts: 1 ✭✭✭

    Using toilet paper I have successfully made seed tape. My adhesive to hold the seed to the paper is Elmer's School Glue. The School Glue is water soluble and easily breaks down once watered. But it will stick to your work surface so either move t a little every 5 minutes or hang it so there is no surface contact. Do NOT use Elmer's Glue All.

  • ScottScott Posts: 1 ✭✭✭

    I have been thinking about this for years. I use newsprint, cut in 2" strips, pre crease into thirds, paint a mix of watered down elmers glue and some sort of flour down the middle, put on the seeds, fold over left side and then right side and roll up. Works good. Love gardening and finding creative ways to do it less expensive. Enjoy,.

  • jyttedjytted Posts: 1

    This year I tried rice paper to start some seeds on. I wet one round placed seeds on and then wet another sheet and placed it on top. I did get some air bubbles. I should have used a pin to break them. I was concerned with whether or not the seeds would be able to break through the rice paper. They had no problem. However when I planted them outside some nocturnal animal found the rice paper very interesting and dug it up. Some of the seedlings did survive but it discouraged me from experimenting with it further this year. I'll try again next year.

  • GroundedGrounded Posts: 154 ✭✭✭

    DIY seed tape deserves some extended thought and experimentation. I have never tried this but am wondering whether something like honey or syrup would work, or due to the fact that they really don't dry, would they be too hard to work with? I have some areas where germination rates were less than great. I guess it's as good a time as any to try something new.

  • ieducate2008ieducate2008 Posts: 40 ✭✭✭

    I'm not sure honey or syrup is a good idea. It may attract unwanted insects that may either eat or destroy your seeds. Also, I'm not sure you would want an ant hill in your garden due to easy access to sweets!

  • kbmbillups1kbmbillups1 Posts: 440 ✭✭✭✭

    I bought lettuce seeds in seed tape and have put some down to start some new lettuce plants. Whatever the tape is made of the seedings have a hard time popping through it even though I mist it to keep it wet. I have helped a lot of them through the tape.

    I'm going to try to make my own next time. Toilet paper sounds much easier for the plants to pop through but I wonder if there are any chemicals on the toilet paper that might affect the plants in some way.

  • MartiinCentral OregonMartiinCentral Oregon Posts: 27 ✭✭✭


  • MartiinCentral OregonMartiinCentral Oregon Posts: 27 ✭✭✭

    Royala, carrots are hard to sprout....the lack of germination might not have had anything to do with the the tapes. Weather, temperature and moisture all effect carrot seed germination.

  • FoodgardenguyFoodgardenguy CanadaPosts: 106 ✭✭✭

    For carrots, it takes up to 14 days for them to sprout.

    You can increase the chances of success by putting a board over them or cover them lightly with straw to keep the moisture from escaping and the temperature more constant. When they sprout you can remove the coverings, but on hot days, you still have to be careful that the hot temperatures do not wipe them out. Once their roots go deeper, you can leave the coverings off.

    Using a board is more effective in keeping them cool on hot days.

  • smik123smik123 Southeastern, AlabamaPosts: 58 ✭✭✭

    Fantastic suggestions as I have struggled with this. Thanks everyone.

  • Merry MooseMerry Moose Posts: 1 ✭✭✭

    Making seed tape is a good idea! I will try it next year. I use water thickened with cornstarch, cooled of course. It works great planting small seeds straight in the ground so I hope it works for seed tape too.

  • dipat2005dipat2005 Posts: 303 ✭✭✭

    @kbmbillups1 Thanks for reminding me I got some lettuce seed tape several years ago and I am seeing if the seeds will germinate.

  • polishcarppolishcarp Posts: 1

    I never even heard of seed tape until this article but in reading everyone's ideas I had one of my own. How about using Rice paper lke the kind used in making fresh spring rolls? It softens easily and hardens when dried and fairly durable.

    Just an idea

  • charr80charr80 Posts: 15

    It's an interesting idea. I'm doing a chemical free garden. I wouldn't want any glues or chemicals from the paper products in my garden though.

  • norabelehcimnorabelehcim Posts: 50 ✭✭✭

    Biodegradable paper, or recycled shred of clean (non chemically treated) paper, work well, as does toilet paper, as noted above. For a sturdier strip (in areas where early sewing because of unpredictable, especially infrequent rains, or for modified "dust farming") is needed, stronger strips composed of paper slurry, compost (peat, flaked dried leaf material, coconut coir) could.be used--spread in long strips, placing seeds along at desired spacing when half-dried, and covering with a thin layer of the same mixture, (or waxed/ toilet/ biodegradable paper if growing environment is not overly "hostile" due to climate, bird, rodent, insect or.other predators.)

    If wild-spacing farm styles are desired, seed pellets of.similar mixture (with water soluble mud or clay in extreme environments) work well too.

  • mmarriottmmarriott Posts: 9 ✭✭✭

    So cool! I had never heard of seed tape before this discussion. Definitely something I will try in future. Thanks for all the great tips.

  • karenkaren Posts: 80 ✭✭

    i have seen lots of info online for seed tapes. check them out. i bought organic tapes once but found them to be a nuisance. Draw a line in the dirt to desired depth. space seeds, cover, water. It works!

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