Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Seed tapes

I'm thinking about what seeds to order for the Spring. One innovation is to have seeds stuck to a tape, spaced out at the distance they would normally be thinned to. This seems like a good idea. They cost more, but the convenience could be worth it. Thinning is destructive and a bit hit and miss. In the past I have sown as many seeds as possible in pots and pricked them out as small plants, partly to avoid thinning, but I'm still not sure this is always the best way.

One issue with the tape system is that type of vegetables and particularly the varieties available are very limited. White Lisbon spring onions are available which I like, but other vegetables are not what I would choose.

So maybe one option is to try making my own tapes, even just for fun. If I use some lengths of lining paper that I already have I could cut out a double-width tape, add seeds at suitable points, fold over the tape to enclose them and glue the tape sides together. If I use simple flour and water paste that should not affect the seeds, but the water may trigger germination so I can only do that when I want to plant the seeds. I could also try to twist the paper to hold the seeds in place. A small test seems to be in order and if I do use any of my own tapes I think I'll not have to rely on them alone.

Beetroot, carrots, parsnips and spring onions seem good candidates to try.

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