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How to Make Seed Tape

Save time and seeds by sowing seeds right where you want them. Easily biodegradable paper, a little glue and tweezers are all you need.

Spike Gillespie

You and your kids will enjoy doing this project together. Creating seed tape — or seed mats — enables you to plant seeds right where you want them, so you waste fewer seeds and don't have to spend a lot of time thinning out young plants later. It's an especially handy way of planting tiny seeds that are hard to sow one at a time. Plus, it's also good for seeding an "arrangement" in a container garden.

Materials Needed:

  • toilet paper (paper towels and napkins also work)
  • ruler
  • marker
  • all-purpose glue
  • tweezers (optional)
  • seeds
  • toilet-paper or paper-towel tube

Get the Tape Ready for Seeding

Measure out a length of toilet paper (Image 1). If the planting row will be narrow and straight, cut the toilet paper in half lengthwise (Image 2).

Mark Seed Spacing

Consult the packet of seeds to find out how far apart the seeds should be planted. Using a marker, put a mark at each spot on the towel where a seed will go.

Add Glue

Dab a bit of water-soluble glue on each mark.

Add Seed to Glue

Pour the seeds out onto a plate, and spread them around a little (Image 1). Using tweezers, pick up a seed and place it on one of the drops of glue (Image 2). Continue placing seeds on all the glue drops.

Storage Tips

Once all the seeds are placed and the glue has dried, you can roll the seed tape onto a toilet paper roll (Image 1) and store in a cool, dry place till you're ready to plant (Image 2). Or, if the garden or containers are ready, you can plant immediately.

Planting Tips

To plant, lay the seed tape on the soil surface, weighting it here and there to keep the wind from moving it. Cover with garden soil or compost to the depth recommended on the seed packet – for fine seeds, that can be as little as 1/4 inch of soil (Image 1). Firm the soil to make sure there's good soil-seed contact (Image 2). Water with a fine nozzle to avoid washing the soil away and keep moist (Image 3).

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