Saturday, February 23, 2013

Making our own

As you all know, last year was our first year with carrots. While we had an okay yield, part of that was due to them being too close together since Pooka kinda just through the seeds at the pot. Our radishes had a similar issue.
Radishes                                        Colored Carrots
I knew there had to be other ways and I had read about people using seed tape. But when I went looking for Pooka's colored carrots, they didn't come on seed tape (and the orange ones were so much more expensive). So that was out and I was seeing me and Pooka trying to use a measuring tape to plant the carrots.

A bit ago, I was reading another blog and they did a post on making Seed Mats. The lady there had been doing this for years and I knew I could adapt her napkin method into seed tape. This method would work for radishes too, but I don't see us growing those this year.

The supplies
Remember when I said I had family here a week ago, well thats when I made the seed tape. I sat at the kitchen table and measured and glued away while chatting. However, all that family togetherness seems to made me forget to get in process pictures. Oops. What you will need is super cheap toliet paper ($1 a roll here), elmer's school glue (which having kids you tend to have), a tape measure and carrot seeds (the 2 packages cost me $2.50 since I bought them when they were 40% off).

I made them in about 4 squares of toliet paper lengths since I wasn't entirely sure how big a planter I am using yet. This gives me some flexiblity. My carrot seeds need about 3" between each other, so I was able to do a row at the top and the bottom of the paper.

I put my first dot of glue down and put about 2-3 seeds on it. Then using my tape measure (since I am not great with spacial relations), I went 3" and put another dot of glue, then another, then another. And the same with the bottom row. Place 2-3 seeds on each dot and move to the next one. You may end up having to thin once they start sprouting, but this way you have a better shot at at least 1 sprouting per spot.

a good morning's work
In about an hour of just chatting with family and what not, I was able to make 4 lengths of colored carrot and 4 of orange carrot. I will probably need more, but this at least gives me a starting point to work from.

I had the plastic on the table from the night before (it saves clean up when we have guests), but I would recommend putting something down to protect your work surface. A couple of times the toliet paper tried to glue itself to the table, but with a gentle tug it usually popped free and I didn't rip anything. I then folded them up and put them in ziplock bags to hold them until planting time.

Awaiting warmer weather

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