Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sowing Seed Tapes and Garden Update

So many types of carrots.

Have you ever used a seedtape? I remember trying them many (many!) years ago when I was a teenager and a budding gardener.. I had extended our existing veggie patch and wanted to use the new 10 x 10 foot extension for a cutting garden - zinnias, cosomos, marigolds, California poppies and so on. I picked up a 'cutting garden' packet of seeds from the garden center and inside were a bunch of seed tapes.. I hadn't ever seen such a thing, but eagerly planted them in a pattern so that the tall plants were at the back and the shorter ones in the front - I was soooo clever, eh? :) 

Nantes carrot seed tape from Burpee. 
Yet, very little happened..  a few clumps of California poppies germinated, but that was pretty much the extent of my first cutting garden. Since then, I've avoided seed tapes with my nose high in the air. Then, last autumn, I was given a few packets of carrot seed tapes from one of the larger seed companies. I really wasn't sure I'd bother with them again, but my neighbour did have excellent success with a sweet alyssum seed tape a few years ago, so I thought I'd give it a go.

Ready to bury!
So, when I was planting more carrot seed this past weekend - in the rain and within a cloud of blackflies - I also planted the carrot seed tape. Many gardeners love seed tapes and some even make their own with toilet paper.. Although, I haven't used them in years, I do see their use - especially when planting a crop like carrots, which need to be spaced carefully or later thinned. I'll keep you posted on the seed tape progress and how it compares to the direct seeded carrots. 

Anyway, I also thought I'd include a few other shots of some of the vegetables that we're currently eating - the last of the mache before it goes to seed, giant red mustard, winter density lettuce, and several types of endive that overwintered. I left several kale plants from the winter crop in hopes that they would provide an early spring flush of fresh leaves.  The cold frames have been wide open for weeks and the claytonia that is left has gone to flower - very pretty and yummy!

I must head up to the garden now as the sun has unexpectedly come out!! Happy Gardening!!

A bed that was covered with a  mini hoop tunnel for winter.

Endive - a spring treat!

Another type of endive - great for baby leaf salads.

Giant Red Mustard from last autumn - growing like crazy!

The wintered over kale has resprouted. 

Mizuna went to seed - peeking through the row cover.

Claytonia in the cold frame - next to the chervil - so much chervil!


  1. Pelleted carrot seed and a piece of steel mesh like the kind used for cement work to make a pattern in the dirt, makes for beautiful evenly spaced carrots that are a breeze to plant. Oh they cost a little extra(4 bucks a thousand) but you save in the end.

  2. My brother made carrot seed tape from TP and flower and water. They loved it so much they went overboard with different seeds. I may do it as a project with the kids this fall. Hope you get good germination from it!

  3. Those seed tapes do work well for carrots. I tried them last year and it really pays off when you don't have to thin later. This year I have pelleted carrot seed so I am going to try grid planting right in the ground.

  4. Great idea Pete with the steel mesh.. I've heard of it before, but didn't know anyone who has tried it!!

    Thanks Dan.. I like pelleted carrot seed too, but I find it hard to find the varieties I want in pellet form! :)

  5. I didn't get the idea from anyone,I just happened to have a grate (wire grid) from a fire pit, saw it and my brain kicked is the stuff of gardening!


Please feel free to leave comments. I welcome your tips, questions, thoughts and ideas (and suggestions for new veggies to grow!)