How To Make Homemade Seed Tape For Easier Garden Planting

by Texas Homesteader ~ 

I make Homemade Seed Tape quickly and easily using only a packet of seeds and common household items. Easy, fast and cheap! And it really speeds up garden planting too. Perfect seed spacing with no waste.

Make your own simple seed tape for the vegetable garden. #TexasHomesteader

Planting Garden Vegetable Seeds

Some gardeners plant seeds directly in the garden. Others like to get a head-start by planting them in pots and growing them until the last danger of frost has passed before transplanting those seedlings to their garden.

I usually start my heirloom seeds for my vegetable garden in late January using my Indoor Greenhouse. That way actual seedlings are ready for me to place in the garden as soon as the average date for the last killing frost passes. Here in hardiness zone 8b, that’s around Easter each year.

A clear plastic tote is used as my indoor greenhouse for starting vegetable seeds each year. #TexasHomesteader

Planting Seeds On A Windy Spring Day

But when planting seeds in the garden in NE Texas, those early spring days are mighty windy.

Hopkins Homestead Store galvanized steel raised beds coupon code. #TexasHomesteader

It sure makes planting difficult to try to take a handful of seed packets out to the garden, attempt to sprinkle a few tiny seeds in my hand and using proper spacing place them in the ground without my seeds, packets and supplies blowing around. So frustrating!

So I made homemade seed tape to make it easy to plant.

What Is Seed Tape?

Seed tape is just a strip of thin paper with seeds properly spaced and stuck onto that paper. The premise is that you simply roll the tape out over the soil and sprinkle more soil on top of the seed tape. Proper spacing is already taken care of and planting seeds is done in record time!

Benefits of Seed Tape

There are many benefits of using homemade seed tape.

  • Homemade is cheaper than purchased seed tape.
  • It’s simple to make using items already in your home.
  • Make only as much seed tape as you actually need. No having to store excess tape from year to year.
  • Seeds are spaced exactly as the seed packet recommends. No more spilling tiny seeds into a long line and then pulling out extra seedlings as they emerge. Fewer wasted seeds and simplified maintenance and thinning too.
  • Seed tape can be made in advance so actual garden planting goes fast. Even on windy days!

How To Make Homemade Seed Tape ‘Glue’

Before you begin you’ll need a way to affix seeds to your homemade seed tape. I make a natural ‘glue’ of sorts. It couldn’t be easier and it uses only flour and water.

Into a small stainless condiment cup I start with a tablespoon of flour and add about 1-1/2 teaspoons of water and stir. I’ll add more water or flour as needed to get a consistency similar to glue.

You want it just thick enough to not drip freely from the applicator. 

Glue made from flour and water. #TexasHomesteader

Now armed with my garden vegetable seed packets and my homemade seed tape glue, I’m ready to make those seed tapes!

What To Use For Homemade Seed Tape

You’ll need some thin paper for homemade seed tape. I’ve used thin leftover napkins from those takeout places, and I’ve used strips of toilet paper too. Making homemade seed tape really couldn’t be easier. Here’s what I do:

First I decide how much seed tape I’ll need for each type of seed I’m planting. I planned on planting two 3-ft rows of carrots on either side of my Garden Trough Raised Bed.

So I measured a 3-ft length of bathroom tissue to make my carrot seed tapes. Then I cut that strip of bathroom tissue in half lengthwise to make two thinner strips. 

Homemade Seed Tape - toilet paper, scissors, ruler, highlighter #TexasHomesteader

Now I’m left with two 3-ft long strips about two inches wide. I’m ready to turn each strip into a carrot-planting seed tape.

Placing Seeds On Seed Tape

First I checked the seed packet recommendation for planting space. For my carrots it was recommend to leave 2 to 3 inches between seeds planted. So I used a yellow highlighter and a ruler to make properly-spaced marks on my seed tape. 

Using my homemade glue l dabbed a light drop of ‘glue’ on the marked areas. You don’t want to go too heavily here. Just use enough glue to anchor the seed in place.

Then I placed a tiny carrot seed on each of those spaces.

Homemade seed tape using bathroom tissue, homemade glue and seeds. Plant the garden fast. #TexasHomesteader

After adding the seeds I fold the seed tape in half, thereby enveloping the seed in paper. I also write the veggie type right on the seed tape.

Sometimes I place a drop of homemade glue on the edges of that folded seed tape to keep everything tidy. Then I set it aside to dry so that the glue that soaks through the tissue doesn’t stick the seed tapes together. You can plant your seed tape immediately. Or you can allow it to dry completely and tuck it away for planting in the following days. 

Planting Garden Seed Tape In Minutes

To plant my garden seed tapes I bring along a handful of small rocks to help with the windy conditions. I anchor one end of the seed tape with a rock and then stretch the tape along the length I’m wanting to plant. Another rock is placed in the middle and the final rock at the end of my seed tape.

Then I take a few handfuls of soil and lightly cover the seed tape to the depth mentioned on my seed packet (you can write this on your seed tape too for ease in planting). I remove the rocks and pat the dirt gently but firmly to make sure the seed tape is covered and in good contact with the soil. 

Before I cover everything I’ll place a stick marker where the seed was planted. This helps me know exactly where the seed will be popping up, assuring I don’t accidentally pull it as a weed.

It also helps me know where to direct the water when the plant is growing. (especially helpful with vining plants like pumpkin, cantaloupe or watermelon.)

Now I’ll add a fine sprinkling of spent hay from the hay rings. This helps assure those tiny seeds don’t accidentally get dislodged if a hard rain comes in the next few days. Plus it preserves moisture both now & in the future.

Using sticks to mark the location of planted seeds in the vegetable garden. #TexasHomesteader

Finally a gentle sprinkle of water from the watering can to get things started. I’ll make sure the planted bed stays lightly moist to get those seeds going strong!

Notes About Seed Tape

There are a few things to remember when making your own seed tape.

  1. First, lighter-weight toilet paper works better than the heavy stuff. Because we have a septic system we already use a lightweight septic-safe bathroom tissue – Angel Soft brand. I’ve read that those heavier bathroom tissues make it harder for your little seedling to emerge. 
  2. When using flour-glue to place your seeds, only use as much as you need to actually affix the seed. Especially if you’ll be waiting to plant your seed tape, you don’t want excess moisture here – just enough to keep your seed in place. It doesn’t take much.
  3. Be sure not to stack freshly-made seed tapes on top of each other. That homemade glue will almost certainly have soaked through some places. Stacking freshly-made tapes could cause them to be glued together in spots. 

My Seed Tape Needs Each Year

Some vegetables are better direct-seeded into the garden. For instance, carrots don’t transplant well and must be planted directly in the garden instead.

Easy Homemade Seed Tape for planting seeds in the garden. Perfect spacing, no seed loss. #TexasHomesteader

So even when I plant my indoor greenhouse, I make seed tapes for those veggies that are better direct seeded such as carrots and lettuces.

The biggest beauty of this homemade seed tape – I can make them in the cold of winter, on rainy days or even after dark when that ‘spare moment’ hits.

They’ll be ready when I need them. Garden convenience in its best form, gotta love it. #WorkSmarterNotHarder


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