Monday, March 28, 2011

Save your back and a few seeds along the way

It's been a busy few weeks here.  Plans for the Farmer's Market are coming along quite nicely and I'm feeling like it's going to be pretty great.

In between phone calls and helping Hubby with his computer business and being a mom and.... , I've been making seed tapes.  You can find tutorials for how to do them everywhere these days.  What it comes down to is some kind of flimsy, easily broken down paper, glue of some kind and seeds.  I prefer tp, elmers and just about any tiny seed.

You see, I'm not the most patient gardener in the world and I have a bad back.  Given the choice of carefully planting seeds or scattering them everywhere, I'll invariably choose the scatter method.  The problem is that it wastes a ridiculous number of seeds. Then they have to be thinned and I'm not a big fan of thinning either.  It makes me sad to pull out a perfectly good seedling, plus it means I have to get down and pull them.  Seed tapes solve all those problems.  You can buy them pre made, but I'm also cheap and I like to have a lot of variety.

I'm doing beets today.  There will be 3 different varieties this Spring.  Chiogga, Cylindra and Detroit Dark Red are my choices this year.  The carrots have already been done, there are 3 varieties of those as well.  You can't find that at the seed store.  Seed tapes are good for lettuce, parsnips and really any small seed that gets planted in quantity.  I thought about cabbage and broccoli, but that just seemed a bit much.

When they dry, just roll them up and store them away until planting time.

It's been unseasonably cold this March, so nothing much has been happening in the garden.  I'm really hoping that it warms up a bit soon, there are far too many seedlings in the basement.  The cabbage, broccoli, chard, kale and asian greens are all ready to go out.  Since I have no desire to pot them up, I'm hoping it will warm up instead.

9 comments:

Michaela Dunn Leeper said...

What a great way to fill the cold early part of the year. That's when we're most impatient about spring. We've a couple/few cold months under our belts, and are ready to garden. This satisfies some of that need. Notice I said some, lol.

Cathy said...

This would be a good way for me to spend my time before I am able to start planting. I am itching to get started. Thanks for the great idea

Megan said...

Definitely a great way to use some of that "ungardenable" time! I haven't tried this yet, but I DEFINITELY hate to thin seedlings...

Leigh said...

I've read about seed tapes but never actually made any. After reading your post though, I'm thinking it would be a really good idea to try some. Especially on these mild days when I'm itching to get in to a still too muddy garden!

Robin said...

I'm going to make seed tapes (mats) this year for my carrots. I feel your pain with regard to the plants in the basement. It looks like the weather may finally stabilize later this week!!

The Mom said...

Kayla, you have more time than most of us! Get those boys making some tapes.

Cathy, it makes the waiting a little less painful.

Megan, this should solve your thinning problem!

Leigh, they really worked out well for me last fall for carrots. Those darn seeds are so small.

Leigh, I really wish the weather would get better. The carrots are the worst.

Daphne said...

Today is warm enough that some of my seedlings are outside. I just wish it would stay this warm during the day. I really need to plant out some of my seedlings. Then I can start the warm weather ones.

I've tried tapes and find the effort of making them isn't any better than sowing appropriately. I tend to make closely spaced rows so I don't use too much seed. That way in one direction the spacing is correct. the other might have to be thinned a bit.

marriedtothefarm said...

Wow, that's pretty genius!! Even if it takes as long as planting properly I'd rather do it at the kitchen table then crawling around in the garden. Plus I have more time now than I will when it is warm. Thanks for the awesome idea!

kitsapFG said...

Everytime I see this process I am always struck with how efficient it is. I need to give a section of carrots a whirl using this method and join the crowd of converts.