When direct seeding your garden, you’ll quickly learn that some seeds are easier to plant than others due to their size and shape. For especially small seeds like carrots and lettuce, getting the right spacing, row alignment, and depth is important especially if planting a large area.

To take some of the guess work out of direct seeding and save yourself some time out in the fields, try making your own seed tape. All you need is some toilet paper, flour and/or corn starch, and water. Prepare this in advance in the late winter or early spring in the comfort and warmth of your home. You’ll be thankful when you’re outside and the weather is still cold and wet you can get your early season planting done quickly and simply.

Here’s how to create your own seed tape:

  1. Create a sticky paste using flour and/or corn starch and water. You can also use some food coloring if you want to make it easier to identify where you have placed the seeds. The paste should be a thick consistency, easily coating the back of a spoon.
  2. Lay out your toilet paper in a line on your counter or other flat surface
  3. Check the spacing requirements for each seed. Using a ruler or other measuring device, dab some sticky paste on the toilet paper a place 1-2 seeds in each dab before covering with another sheet of toilet paper. Press down firmly to ensure good cohesion between each layer.
  4. Mark down the seed variety and planting depth on the paper and store in a cool, dry, dark location. Plant the same year the tape is prepared.

Seed tape is just one method for quickly and easily planting several rows of your crop. Another option is to purchase a seeder (available from most seed companies or specialty gardening centers) if you are planting larger areas or longer rows.

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