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Homemade Seed Tape {How to Make Seed Tape}

This tutorial for homemade seed tape is an awesome DIY money-saving gardening hack. This seed mat project is so easy that even anyone can plant tiny seeds like carrots, lettuce, herbs, or spinach.

Rolls of homemade seed tape secured by paper clips sitting on a wooden table

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A garden is nothing more than the belief in tomorrow. But a combination of lack of patience when planting small seeds, and an inability to appropriately thin plants makes for crowded and unproductive garden beds.

That ends today my friends because today we’re taking control and making homemade seed tape or even seed mats for square foot gardening. For those about the sow – we salute you!

What is Seed Tape?

Seed tape is a tool that gardeners can use for making sure that seeds are planted appropriately. It prevents waste from overly-zealous sowing.

The seeds are already pre-spaced out, and easy to plant. Seed tape will never result in someone yelling “I give up” after 10 seconds minutes of trying to sow itty bitty little carrot seeds. It also keeps you from having to thin them later in the season.

They are perfect for accessibility issues too! If physical restraints keep you from spending a lot of time in the garden, you can prep your tape ahead of time in your own home. Come planting time, you’ll be done in a flash.

Supply list for Homemade Seed Tape

  1. 2.5 tsp all-purpose flour
  2. 1 tsp water
  3. Scissors
  4. Toilet paper
  5. Marker
  6. Ball-point pen
  7. Chopstick
  8. Seeds! I mainly use Territorial or Baker Creek Seedstoilet paper, scissors, seeds, a jar, measuring tape, and pen sitting on a wooden surface

How to Make Homemade Seed Tape – Step by Step

Measure your garden boxes or planting area to figure out how long you need the tape to be. Place a measuring tape on a flat surface, and unroll your toilet paper to the appropriate length. I recommend doing a bunch of these at once so you have a ready pile of paper to work with.

a roll of toilet paper and a measuring tape on a wooden table
Fold the toilet paper down the middle the long way. If you were ever in my mom’s second-grade class at some point, you’d know this as folding it “hot dog” style. 🙂

toilet paper laid out on a wooden table

Grab your seed packet and look at the “thin to” information to find the appropriate placement for your seeds. When you plant them at a distance that doesn’t require thinning, later on, you get to save yourself an annoying step. Unfold the toilet paper, and working on one side of the line, use a marker to make dots based on the spacing information.

a boy marking lines on toilet paper for homemade seed tape

Mix flour and water into a paste. It shouldn’t be runny, but you also don’t want it to be so thick that it won’t come off the chopstick easily. Dip your chopstick in the paste and dab some of it on the dots on the toilet paper. It is easiest to do the whole roll at once.

a chop stick with paste on it marking spots on toilet paper for seed tape

Carefully place one seed on each paste dot. If grabbing small seeds is challenging, dip a toothpick into the paste and then use the tip to grab the seed.

a hand placing a seed in a dot of paste on toilet paper

Fold the toilet paper in half over the seeds, pressing lightly over each seed to “seal” the toilet paper sandwich. Using the ballpoint pen, label one end of the toilet paper with the name of the seed, and what kind of plant it will be. 

a piece of completed homemade seed tape on a table

Sitting back to pout after securing the seeds is entirely optional but highly recommended.

Lay the seed tape where it will be undisturbed for a few hours to completely dry. Once dry, roll up and secure using paper clips or clothespins.

rolls of homemade seed tape with colorful paperclips and writing

How Do You Plant Seed Tape?

When it is time to plant, simply check the seed package for appropriate planting depth, dig a trench, place the unrolled seed tape in there, and cover with soil. If you’re planting things such as carrots that barely need to be covered with soil, lay the tape on top of the planting area and simply sprinkle loose soil on top.

Water just as you would normal in-ground seeds. Laugh while the crows that were watching you plant are unable to dig up the seeds the second you turn your back. Haha, we’re twice as smart as you are birds!

Pro tips:

  • You can use non-toxic school glue if you have any on hand.
  • Need seed mats for the square foot gardening method? Use napkins or paper towels.
  • This works best for teeny tiny seeds like herbs, greens, and carrots. For heavier seeds (beans, peas, watermelon, etc.,) it is best to just plant them directly into the ground.

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5 from 2 votes
Homemade Seed Tape {How to Make Seed Tape}
Prep Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr
 

This tutorial for homemade seed tape is an awesome DIY money-saving gardening hack.

Course: DIY
Calories: 1 kcal
Ingredients
  • 2.5 tsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp water
  • 1 pair scissors
  • 1 roll toilet paper
  • 1 marker
  • 1 ball-point pen
  • 1 chopstick, or other fine pointed object
  • seeds
Instructions
  1. Measure your garden boxes or planting area to figure out how long you need the tape to be. Place a measuring tape on a flat surface, and unroll your toilet paper to the appropriate length.

  2. Fold the toilet paper down the middle the long way.

  3. Look at the "thin to" information on your seed packet to find the appropriate placement for your seeds.

  4. Unfold the toilet paper, and working on one side of the line, use a marker to make dots based on your spacing.

  5. Mix flour and water into a paste. It shouldn't be runny, but you also don't want it so thick it won't come off the chopstick easily.

  6. Carefully place one seed on each paste dot.

  7. Fold the toilet paper over the seeds, pressing lightly over each seed to "seal" the toilet paper sandwich.

  8. Label one end of the toilet paper with the name of the plant, and what kind of plant it is.

  9. Lay it where it will be undisturbed for a few hours to completely dry. Once dry, roll up and secure using paper clips or clothespins.

Recipe Notes

You can use non-toxic school glue if you have any on hand.

 

This works best for teeny tiny seeds like herbs, greens, and carrots. For heavier seeds (beans, peas, watermelon, etc.,) it is best to just plant them directly into the ground.

Nutrition Facts
Homemade Seed Tape {How to Make Seed Tape}
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

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9 comments on “Homemade Seed Tape {How to Make Seed Tape}”

  1. How cool is that. Thanks for the tutorial. Makes me consider getting back in to gardening.

  2. This home made seed tape idea is brilliant! Some years I can find carrots seed tape and other times I can’t. I’ll be doing this for sure for carrots and greens. Thank you!

  3. Tip on carrots. When they are germinating they can’t dry out. I place a 2×4 over my carrots for 7 days after planting. Traps the moisture.

  4. Great idea! I too am excited to plant a garden this year. 🙂 I need to go get materials to build about 10 raised beds for our new house!

    • 10 beds?? Awesome! How deep are you making them? I see little shallow ones all the time, and while I’m sure they work with some things, I like the versatility that our deep beds give me.

  5. B R I L L I A N T ! !!!!!!!!!

  6. Sarah! You are a genius! I was mesmerized, reading about the homemade seed tape! I am passing this method on to everyone I know! Love, love, love it!