Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Make Your Own Seed Strips and Save Time Planting
Here’s a great gardening time saver tip. One of the most tedious tasks of gardening for me is planting seeds in the spring – I’m all for just throwing them out there and seeing what comes up. I tried that one year at the back of the garden and it didn’t work. I couldn’t figure out what was ‘plants’ and what was weeds.
To save time planting seeds take advantage of the winter months when you can’t be out in the garden. Make seed strips… It’s really easy to do, costs next to nothing, and is much nicer than the back breaking task of bending over planting seeds.
All you do is cut newspaper into one inch wide strips. Next mix up a concoction of water and flour (you can add a little water soluble fertilizer if you’d like). The mixture should be about the consistency of pancake mix.
Now the fun starts. You can do this at the kitchen table or on a counter but be forewarned you won’t be using the table for at least a few hours. Great excuse to go out to dinner! Place the newspaper strip on a flat surface and using a ruler or yardstick place your seeds on the paper at the proper spacing. I like to do one strip at a time and slide it back when finished making room for the next strip.
With the seeds in place you’re now going to glue the seeds to the newspaper. Yes you read that right. Using your flour mixture put a small drop on each seed. An eye dropper works great but you can let it drip off a spoon if you don’t have a dropper. Cover the seeds but you don’t want to use any more ‘glue’ than needed.
Once your seeds are glued to the paper leave them alone and let the glue dry. Suggest you go out to eat or watch a couple movies – DO NOT set and watch the glue dry. When the strips are completely dry you can roll them up and place them in plastic bags until spring.
Then, when you’re ready to plant just take your bags to the garden, roll out the seed strips, cover with soil as needed, and wait for them to grow. As the newspaper gets wet it will rot and can be worked into the soil at the end of the garden season.
Special Note: Make sure the strips are completely dry before putting in plastic – I didn’t one year and they got all moldy.