Easy Gardening – Garden Seed Tapes

What are Seed Tapes?

Seed tapes are products designed with seeds perfectly attached between narrow strips of biodegradable tissue layers, which are ready for planting in both the garden and house. They are ideal for sowing in containers, large empty garden plots, as well as fill-ins in tighter areas.

The seeds are applied at the correct distance along the tapes to reduce overcrowding of newly germinated seedlings. The tapes can consist of a single variety, custom mixtures, and multiple species of seeds. You can find products with flower, vegetable, and herb seeds embedded into them.

What are the Advantages of Seed Tapes?

  • Provide an easy and efficient way to plant tiny seeds quickly.
  • Seeds are planted at the same depth allowing for a more uniform germination rate.
  • Seed tapes enable you to space plants evenly and eliminate seed wastage. This helps avoid overcrowding that may call for thinning of young seedlings, which is a tedious and time-consuming task.
  • Less thinning also means less disturbance to the root of plants left in your garden. Otherwise, you risk delaying or inhibiting the growth and even performance of the plants.
  • Prevents birds from eating the fresh seeds that you sow.
  • Makes the sowed seeds less susceptible to wash away in a downpour and ruining the evenly spaced rows.
  • Almost all the seed tape products are biodegradable and considered to be environmental-friendly.
  • Very convenient for senior gardeners, particularly those suffering from arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or other mobility complications.

What are the types of Seed tapes?

Seed tapes

Seed tapes are one of the most common types, which are ideal for growing most vegetable seed varieties, salads, as well as flower seeds. They are usually available in different lengths, especially between one to six meters. However, it is possible to have the garden vegetable seed tapes produced in specific lengths to suit your unique gardening needs. Also, the seed tapes can come as a single track containing one variety of seeds or multiple tracks with different seed varieties.

Seed discs

Seed discs are designed in different sizes. You’ll find smaller and larger seed discs. With smaller seed discs, the diameter often ranges from 8cm to 12 cm, a size that easily fits most typical flowerpots. They are perfectly suited for sowing herbs indoor, such as in the kitchen or windowsills.

The larger discs, on the other hand, range from 14cm to 46cm in diameter. You can use them for sowing seeds in outdoor pots, as well as hanging containers or baskets.

Seed mats

If you want to sow seeds in big planters, garden borders or window boxes, then seeds mats are a great option. With seed mats, you can easily produce a great color display of stunning bedding plants. Well, good examples of such plants include marigolds and pansies.

The size of seed mats vary. Often than not, you’ll find mats available in the size of a small business card and up to 100cm in length.

Seed carpets

Seeds carpets are suitable for planting salads, mixed vegetables, and wildflower fusions in large borders or other large garden areas. They are simply ready-made “mini-gardens” or “allotments,” which are usually one meter or larger in length.

How to Use Seed Tapes

It’s an incredibly easy process. First off, you’ll need to prepare the soil for planting, just like you would with any new seedbed. Once you have a weed-free garden bed, it’s often recommended to follow the guidelines on the package of the seed tapes, discs, carpets, or mats.

In most cases though, you’ll be required to place the seed tapes in a straight line on the soil using the proper rowing space. After that, gently cover it with the top layer soil and then water the area. However, you should avoid prolonged watering after sowing.

If the soil has not been moistened by Mother Nature, consider watering it several hours before sowing. But don’t make the garden bed sopping wet.

Where to buy Seed tapes

You can find the different types of seed tapes we’ve discussed above at most local garden centers or nurseries, DIY stores, and grocery stores. Alternatively, you can just buy from reputable online garden retailers.

Winter Squash – Waltham Butternut

Young Waltham Butternut Squash
Young Waltham Butternut Squash

A popular winter storage squash of excellent quality. A prolific, easy to grow, delicious butternut with improved fruit uniformity and increased yields. Interior is thick rich sweet yellow-orange flesh with a nutty flavor.  A 1970 All-America Selection (AAS) seed-industry award winner. Grows well in the southern U.S.A.

Classification

  • Winter Squash

Days To Maturity

  • 80-110

Fruit Size

  • average 8” to 12″ long and 3” to 5” inches in width

Weight

  • 3-5 pounds

Skin Color

  • smooth light-Buff/Tan

Habit

  • Vines grow to 6 feet, producing 4-5 squash per plant.

Seed Planting Depth

  • 1 inch

Seeds Per group

  • 6-8

Seed Spacing Within A Group

  • 3 inches

Spacing Between Hills

  • 4-6 feet

Day To Germination

  • 10-14 days

Thin To (Plants Per Hill)

  • 2-3 plants

Heirloom

  • No

Year Introduced

  • 1970

Species

  • Cucurbita

Genus

  • Moschata

 Resistance

  • Excellent resistance to vine borers.

Usage

  • Edible – Excellent food qualities

Storage

  • Good Keeper

Space Saver

  • Pick young and small to use as summer squash

Related References

Growing Winter Squash and Pumpkins Vertically

Winter Squash Grown Vertically
Winter Squash Grown Vertically

Growing winter squash and pumpkins vertically can save garden space and help to fight pests.  To grow squash vertically, here a few simple tips to follow:

  • Choosing the correct seed is the best place to begin. To grow squash Vertically choose squash that has a vining habit (sometimes called trailing) and produce small fruit; two pounds or less is recommended. Growing squash that can grow to a hundred pounds or more would be hard to accommodate when building the structure to be climbed and would break from the vines before mature.
  • Site and climbing structure should be properly prepared. The climbing structure should be strong enough to withstand strong winds and the weight of the squash as they reach maturity.
  • The soil needs to be well worked and mounded to allow soil based watering methods, such as trench or soaker hose and provides adequate drainage.
  • The grooming method needs to be adapted to encourage the growth of several small fruits. Many gardeners recommend removing fruit and leaving only one or two on each vine; thus, encouraging a few large fruits.  When growing vertically we want to encourage the growth of numerous small fruit, which will be less likely to tear the vines down or fall off the vine.
  • As squash grow larger and providing additional support for the fruit may be desirable to prevent the fruit from tearing themselves from the vine before mature or falling to earth and breaking or being bruised.
  • With some early maturing varieties picking of fruit may be necessary as the fruit becomes fully mature to reduce weight in the vine and to encourage the vine to produce more fruit. Care should be taken to ensure the fruit is fully mature.

Winter Squash – Pleine de Naples

 Pleine de Naples (C. Moschata)
Pleine de Naples (C. Moschata)
DescriptionThis dark green squash (turns tan during storage) has bright orange flesh with excellent eating qualities.  Also, known as Violin, Beduin, or Carpet Bag.
GenusMoschata
GroupNeck
HeirloomYes
Year Introduced (U.S.)1863
ResistanceExcellent resistance to vine borers.
ClassificationSquash
Days To Maturity110-120
Fruit ShapeOblong-Butternut
Fruit SizeMedium to Large
Weight15 – 60 Pounds
Skin ColorDark Molted Green
HabitVining: Large – 12 to 15 feet
Seed Depth½ – 1”
Seeds Per group6-8
Seed Spacing4 -6
Space Between Hills3-4’
Day To Germination7 -14
Thin To (Plants Per hill)3
UsageEdible – Excellent food qualities. May be picked young and eaten as summer squash.
StorageVery Good Keeper
Space SaverCompanion Planting or Compact row strategy. This squash is too large to grow vertically.

Growing Watermelons Vertically

Growing small to medium vining watermelons vertically on a lattice, trellis, or wire fence can save a significant amount of garden space. Growing watermelons vertically also helps with air circulation and increases exposure to sunlight, thus improving the overall plant health. An eight to ten-foot-tall lattice is usually sufficient. I find that reinforced wire latticeworks best if the watermelon plants are spaced similarly to a row. A lower lattice will work fine if enough horizontal space is provided for the vines to run. I must admit that I have used a link fence around my yard as just such a lattice more than once with excellent results. A word of caution, though, if the fruit of your watermelons become too large, you may need to support with a sling. The sling helps hold the additional weight of larger fruit. If you choose a wood lattice or trellis, you may need to gently tie the watermelons vines to the uprights to support them. Once watermelons reach the top of a trellis and begin to run flat, there should be no more need to tie off the vines.

Growing Watermelons vertically can save garden space and help to fight pests., Here are a few simple rules follow to grow watermelons vertically:

  • Choosing the correct seed is the best place to begin. To grow watermelons vertically, choose watermelons, which have a vining habit (sometimes called trailing) and produce small fruit; five pounds (e.g., Golden Midget {Seed Saver Exchange], Snack Pack Hybrid {Burpee}) or less are recommended. Growing large watermelons would be hard to accommodate when building the structure to be climbed and would break from the vines before mature.
  • Site and climbing structure should be properly prepared. The climbing structure should be strong enough to withstand strong winds and the weight of the watermelons as they reach maturity.
  • The soil needs to be well worked and mounded to allow for deep soil watering methods, such as basin, trench, soaker hose, or drip irrigation and provides adequate drainage.
  • The grooming method needs to be adapted to encourage the growth of many small fruits. Many gardeners recommend removing fruit and leaving only one or two on each vine; thus, encouraging a few large fruits. When growing vertically, we want to encourage the growth of numerous small fruit, which will be less likely to damage the vines down or fall off the vine. Pruning the tip of the vines from time to time as it will force the vines to branch and provide more opportunity to grow more fruit and keep the size of each fruit, on average smaller.
  • As watermelons grow larger and providing additional support for the fruit may be necessary to prevent the fruit from ripping themselves from the vine before mature or falling to earth and breaking or being bruised. Providing additional support can be done by providing a sling made of cheesecloth or a piece of old nylon stocking attached to the trellis.

Related References