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Commercial seed tape.

Many gardeners find seed tape very practical. It’s thin biodegradable paper tape on which vegetable or flower seeds have been glued, already at the recommended spacing for the future development of the plant.

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Sowing commercial seed tape.

At sowing time, simply a trace a furrow at the desired depth (it will vary depending on the crop), place the tape in the furrow, cover it with soil and water. The seedlings will pop up just where you want them to.

The problem, though, is that seed tapes costs a lot more than loose seed. But not if you make your own seed tape.

How It’s Done

Make your seed tape in advance, perhaps on a rainy day. If you have kids at home, make it a family project.

You’ll need a length of toilet paper as long as the rows in your garden.

Cut it into 1 to 2 inch (2.5 to 5 cm) strips. With a pencil and a ruler, mark the future location of the seeds (3 inches/7.5 cm for beets, 2 inches/5 cm for carrots, etc.) on the paper. You’ll find the recommended spacing for each variety on its seed packet.

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Making your own seed tape.

Now mix together a spoonful of flour and an equal quantity of water to make biodegradable glue. With a coffee stirrer or a cotton swab, apply a drop of glue to each pencil mark and place a seed on it. Now just fold the toilet paper in half and let dry.

You now have home-made seed tape you can use in your vegetable or flower garden.

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

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