Square Foot Garden Seed Tape1
Seeds come in many shapes and sizes. The tiniest seeds – such as radishes, carrots and onions – can be difficult to sow with precision. One way to address this problem is to use seed tape. Fortunately seed tape is easy to make, store and use, both in traditional row gardens and Square Foot Gardening raised beds. Seed tape helps you conserve seeds, minimizes (or eliminates) the need to thin plants later in the season, and makes a great winter-time project to give you a jump start on spring. Also gardeners with back issues will find this method of sowing seeds much less painful than bending over a garden bed. Plus if you’re a neat freak, it will give you control over having a beautifully, perfectly spaced garden. Won’t the neighbors be jealous?
Here’s how it works.
Seed Tape for Square Foot Gardens
The Square Foot Gardening method is an intensive planting method that maximizes garden space. The method delineates how many plants of a certain size can be successfully grown in a single square foot of space. For example, you can easily grow 16 radishes within just one square foot of space.
To make seed tape that works well in a Square Foot Garden use a piece of paper towel because it is roughly the size of 1 square foot.
To begin, print and assemble the appropriate dibble template from our website. Here’s a guide to which template you should use:
16 Seed Dibble Template
Radishes, Carrots, Scallions, Onions (although I personally prefer 9 onions per SQF)
9 Seed Dibble Template
Spinach, Turnips, Beets, Chives, Leeks (small varieties)
4 Seed Dibble Template
Arugula, Basil (small varieties), Greens, Leeks (large varieties), Lettuce, Marjoram, Quinoa, Rutabaga, Chard, Thyme
Next place your paper towel over the template. It’s difficult to see in this picture but the towel is thin enough that you can see the template dots through it.
Create a garden-safe paste by mixing equal parts flour and water.
Use a paint brush to apply a dab of paste over each dot on the template. Be generous – this dab will hold your seed and will also work to glue two sheets of paper towel together.
Place a seed onto the paste. If you’re concerned about whether or not a seed will germinate, you can add two seeds and thin them later.
After adding all of your seeds, place a second paper towel over the first and firmly press down. The paste will seal the sheets together.
Use a permanent (non-toxic) marker to write down the type of seeds you used.
Lay the seed tape flat in a plastic freezer bag. Before sealing, remove as much air as possible. Label the bag with the date and contents. Store your seeds in a cool, dark place. I store mine in a freezer, but the refrigerator or a cool space in your basement would work well also.
Seed Tape for Row Gardens
If you have a traditional row garden you can still make use of seed tapes. Use the same methods described above to make your seed tape with strips of toilet paper. You can create the tape to whatever length you like. Before placing your paste and seeds, fold the toilet paper in half lengthwise. Place your seeds below the center crease line and then fold the paper over to secure your seeds.