6

When planting seeds, you're supposed to put each seed with a certain amount of space in-between each seed. I have trouble with this a lot, because my hands are so big, and the seeds are so small, there usually ends up being clumps of seeds if I do it by hand.

If I planted the seeds one by one, it would take all week to plant my garden, and some seeds like carrots and radishes are so small that I can't pick them up one at a time.

Is there a way I can plant seeds without using my hands, so that they're all evenly spaced?

10

Roll out some toilet paper, and put a drop of flour paste (1) to the correct spacing of the crop you're trying to plant. Do this entirely on one side (imagine it divided into quarters the long way, place these drops between the first crease from the edge, 1/4 of the way in. It doesn't have to be rocket science).

Then, get the seed in your hand, and drop two seeds (or one if you're an optimist) on each drop. Fold the paper over the long way, so that the seeds are sandwiched. Wait until this has dried before planting.

The nice thing about this is that it gives you a little something to do the winter before, and it will be all ready in spring. It actually doesn't take long.

(1) Flour paste recipe:

  • Add 1 part flour to 2 parts water in appropriately sized container.

  • Mix well.

  • Use as soon as possible.

Don't add salt. This will harm the plants as they emerge.

Once you've made your seed tapes, and they're thoroughly dry, store them in airtight plastic containers, with packets of desiccant, to keep the humidity down, and prevent mold. Keep them in cool to room temperature conditions, in a consistent environment. Try to use them within a year.

3

For small gardens, don't worry about it: over-seed and just thin the rows after the sprouts come up. You almost certainly are buying more seeds than you have room to plant anyway, and storing extras for next year will result in fewer of them sprouting (which means you'll want to overseed anyway!)

You can reduce mistakes (dropping half your seeds in one spot) for smaller seeds by cutting just the corner out of an ordinary mailing envelope, putting your seeds inside it, and giving it a small shake to dispense a few seeds before moving along.

For larger gardens, invest in a garden seeder with plates for the various seed-sizes you intend to plant.

2

Get a shaker - salt/pepper/red pepper flakes/cheese... Size the holes to the size of your seeds. Mix seeds in bag with something like sand and fill shaker. Walk along row shaking mixture out. As long as your seeds aren't too big or weird shaped and you've mixed them well with sand or other carrier, it should come out relatively evenly.

Obviously works best with smaller round seeds - not so good for long rod shaped seeds. Works decently for "dust" type seeds too, just use dry sand - wet and it will clump. Also nicely shows where you sprinkled.

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