Starting Seeds

It’s March and time to get going on some seeds.  I have wanted to try making my own seed tape and after I saw the prices of factory made seed tape, I was convinced I had to do it! Plus, I had some old seeds from previous years and I wanted to use them up.  Seeds can last many years as long as you store them in a cool, dry and dark location - don't throw them away.  The only drawback is that perhaps not all will germinate, so the solution is to plant more than you need and then thin as necessary.

Seed tape recipe:

Toilet paper or paper towels (the cheap ones!)


non-toxic glue or flour and water paste


Lay out the toilet paper and then cut it in half lengthwise.  Spread glue down the center of the strip.  Use a wet toothpick to help handle the seeds.  They are so small, they can be very difficult to pick up, but a wet toothpick works like a magnet.  TP is marked off in 4 inch segments so it is very easy to get your seed spacing correct.

Fold the toilet paper in half to cover the seed and let the glue dry.  Be sure to label the seed strips since so many seeds look similar.  I also add the planting depth to my label.  Now, you can go outside in even very windy weather and quickly get your planting finished.

If you are a square foot gardener, then glue your seeds to the paper towels.  First, separate the two ply towels into one ply, then place a dot of glue appropriately spaced for whatever you are planting.

Making seed tape from toilet paper

Making seed tape from toilet paper

Making paper towel seed tape

Making paper towel seed tape

Lay out the toilet paper strips, cover them with compost or soil and water well.

I planted arugula, romaine lettuce, beets, kale and cilantro. 

Dial seed sower, excellent for the smallest of seeds!

Dial seed sower, excellent for the smallest of seeds!


The above photo is a small seed sower that is a great help with those tiny seeds. You just tap the sower and one or two seeds will dispense. There is also a dial on the clear plastic top that you turn to allow for different sizes of seeds. A simple invention that saves a lot of time and hassle!
What seeds have you planted this year? Do you use seed tape?

Posted By


I love gardening and when it comes to vegetables, organic gardening is important to me. I am an Advanced Master Gardener with the University of Idaho, and my favorite garden activity is pruning. When I'm not cutting down plants, you can find me shooting photos on my Canon DSLR or out smashing overheads on the tennis courts.


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Show Comments


  1. Donna Henderson

    I love this, I am going to do this with Melanie and Devin if he wants to join in. I know she will love it. Will it work with any kind of seeds? I have some squash seeds saved and onions to experiment with. In So California can we plant them any time now? Thanks, Donna

    • Most any kind of seeds will work, it is especially beneficial when you are dealing with the tiny seeds that get stuck in your palm or blow away with the wind! It might be too late in So Cal to plant squash seeds. But why not try? As for the onions, they need cooler weather so I don’t think you will have much luck with them germinating in your part of the country. Make the seed tape now, then in January make a note to plant the onion seed tape.

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