• What are Seed Tapes and How Can I Use Them?
 
What are Seed Tapes and How Can I Use Them?

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NGB's Garden Articles offers tips, techniques, and information for home gardeners growing annual flowers and vegetables. Any or all of this information may be reprinted, with credit given to National Garden Bureau.

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What are Seed Tapes and How Can I Use Them?

They are a pre-sown product of single or multiple species of seeds that are already spaced between tissue layers at the correct distance for growing.

What are Seed Tapes and How Can I Use Them?

They are a pre-sown product of single or multiple species of seeds that are already spaced between tissue layers at the correct distance for growing. As well as the simple, linear tape, there is a wide range of other shapes and sizes, such as discs, mats and carpets. Many flower, vegetable or herb seeds can be purchased already incorporated into these products.


Advantages include:

  1. Even seed spacing prevents oversowing, especially with crops like lettuce, greens, carrots, wildflowers, etc. This also eliminates the need for thinning the young seedlings.
  2. The lightweight tape prevents birds from eating freshly sown seeds
  3. The tape, when covered with additional soil, won’t wash away in a sudden spring downpour, ruining evenly spaced and sown rows.
  4. Almost all seed tapes are biodegradable to protect wildlife and have no damaging impact on garden ecosystems.
  5. For gardeners experiencing arthritis or other mobility issues, a seed tape is a quick and easy way to sow tiny seeds.

Types:
Seed tapes:Come in various lengths, single track or multiple tracks, both available with the option of one seed variety or a multiple of seeds - suitable for salad, mixed vegetable and flower collections.

Seed discs: Small discs, from 8-12cm diameter are for standard flowerpots – perfect for the indoor herb garden. Larger discs, from 14-30cm diameter are often used for sowing container gardens.

Seed mats: Ideal for sowing seeds in window boxes, bedding borders and big planters. Sizes vary from as small as a business card up to 3’ in length.

Seed carpets: Usually for larger areas where a ready-made ‘mini garden’ is desired. These are great for wildflower fusions, mixed vegetables and salads.

Where to use these products
Seed tapes and pre-sown associated products are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, whether you are looking for a small window box or have a larger corner of the garden to fill – there is a size and shape product for everyone.

Suitable for children’s gardens
These eco-friendly tapes, discs, mats and carpets are ideal for children of all ages and abilities. They are a quick, easy and fun way to sow and grow your vegetables, herbs or flowers in a variety of environments and conditions. Children learn first-hand how simple, fun and satisfying it is to grow vegetables and herbs from seed. As we all know, children that grow vegetables and herbs are also more likely to eat them.

There is no need to worry about even spacing, handling, thinning or waste – these easy to use seed products are the ultimate work saver for all gardeners.

How-To
Prepare soil as for any planting. Place seed tapes, discs or mats on the soil and cover with the recommended top layer of soil. The products are well-suited for large empty garden plots as well as fill-ins in tighter locations. They are also ideal for container plantings.

Where to buy them
Explore your local garden center, nursery, or one of the many online garden retailers such as NGB members Burpee, Gardener’s Supply, Jung Seed, Park Seed, Territorial Seed, Botanical Interests and other members listed here.

NGB would like to thank Seed Developments for the content of this article.