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.

Nasturtium

Genus:

  • Tropaeolum majus

LIFECYCLE:

  • Nasturtiums are annual

Height:

  • 12 inches for a bush, 72 inches for vines

Spread:

  • 18 inches for bush

Description:

  • Distinctive, blue-green circular leaves are held up on fleshy stems. These annuals come in a variety of types ranging from compact bushes to long-spreading vines. They make an eye-catching addition to any garden. In addition, they have large attractive blooms that range in color from palest yellows, pinks, and apricots to deep, rich yellows, oranges, and burgundy. The vining types are great in hanging planters, window boxes, or for use on trellises and fences.

Ease of care:

  • Easy

How to grow:

  • Plant in full sun to partial shade in average to poor, moist soil.

Propagation:

  • By seed in late spring. They’re large and can be planted individually where the plants are going to grow

Pests:

  • Aphids love nasturtiums, so be on the lookout for them.

Uses:

  • Fresh leaves and flowers-salads
  • Fresh flowers-floral arrangements
  • Unripe seeds and flower buds-pickled for salads

Preservation:

  • Pickle unripe seeds in vinegar and use them in salads.

How to freeze chives

Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)
Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)

How to harvest chives

  • Harvest chives by cutting them just above the ground.
  • For fresh chive tender chives, if the chives have been growing a long time, you might want to make crop first cutting and give them two weeks or so to allow the chives to grow back again fresh.

Clean the Chives

  • Clean out the brown and dried pieces
  • Wash thoroughly, but gently, and pat dry

Prep the Chives

  • Even the up on a cutting board With your sharpest knife
  • Mince them into 1/16″ to 1/8″ pieces

Freeze the Chives

  • Put them loosely in a pint jar with a secure lid. Use of a wide mouth canning/freezing jar is recommended.
  • Store them in the freezer.

Use the Chives

  • When you are ready to use them, spoon out the desired amount without thawing them.
  • Frozen chives are best used in cooking.

Related References

Hibiscus Tea (Agua De Jamaica)

Hibiscus Tea (Agua De Jamaica)
Hibiscus Tea (Agua De Jamaica)

I know this tea from the Mexican with cooking tradition and it is a favorite summertime drink around our home.  The flowers used for Hibiscus tea are easily obtained online or in your local grocery, at least in the Southwest. In the Mexican tradition, it is known as Agua or Water, but it is actually a tea made from the flowers of the Hibiscus plant. While usually drank chilled and/or on ice, it makes a perfectly fine hot beverage, as well.

Hibiscus scarlet colored tea is a flavorful and versatile drink, which can be used in a multitude of ways, including:

  • To add flavor and color to a berry or fruit smoothie, or simply, to thin a smoothie a bit.
  • Frozen to make Popsicles
  • To make colorful ice cubes for your summertime drinks
  • Added to Jell-O for more depth of flavor and or color
  • Added to beery jellies, jams, and other recipes to more depth of flavor and or color. This is especially true of strawberry recipes.

Also Known as:

  • Agua De Jamaica
  • Jamaica Water

Hibiscus tea is very simple, though many recipes make it more complicated than it needs to be.  Basically,  you need the hibiscus flower and water.  A sweeter is strictly optional.  Actually,  to provide maximum flexibility, I recommend you don’t sweeten the tea until the time of consumption.   This allows each individual to sweeten the tea according to their personal tastes and/or needs.  Also, It makes a perfectly fine unsweetened drink, which is my favorite way to drink Hibiscus ice tea.   Also, if you skip the sweeter, it not only keeps it very low calorie,  but it is the most flexible way to allow you in incorporate the tea into other recipes, which may have already been sweetened and/ or don’t need the additional sweeten.

Recipe

Ingredients

Ingredient1 Quart Measure12 Quart MeasureNotes
Hibiscus Flower½ cup1 cup 
Water1 quart2 quartsI use 2 cups for boiling and the remainder cold
Sugar/Sweetener6 tablespoons¾ cupStrictly optional
    

Directions

  • Rinse the flowers quickly to remove dust and debris
  • place flowers in saucepan with 2 cups of water and
  • Bring water with flowers to a boil.
  • Reduce to a slow simmer for ten minutes
  • Permit to cool
  • Strain through a fine wire strainer to remove flowers into a pitcher
  • Add cool water and/or ice according to pitcher size
  • Server Chilled

Related References

Edible Flowers

Edible Flower Mixed Greens Fresh Salad
Edible Flower Mixed Greens Fresh Salad

Flowers are something most people don’t consider edible, even though the have likely been eating and or drinking them most of their life without much consideration.

Taking advantage of edible flowers and allow the multi-use their plants as food sources.  May flowering plants also have edible leaves, stems, berries and/or fruit. Given some care not to hinder your berry or fruit production, edible flowers and allow your family to begin eating from more of your garden earlier that would otherwise be possible.

Here is a quick list of edible flowers:

Edible Flowers

NameLongevity
Anise hyssopTender Perennial
ApplePerennial
Bee BalmPerennial
BorageAnnual
CalendulaAnnual
ChamomilePerennial
DandelionPerennial
Daylily Perennial
DianthusPerennial
Elder (Elderberry) flowerPerennial
English DaisyPerennial
FennelPerennial
HibiscusPerennial
HoneysucklePerennial
JasminePerennial
Johnny-Jump-UpAnnual
LavenderPerennial
LemonPerennial
LilacPerennial
LindenPerennial
Malabar SpinachAnnual
MintPerennial
New Zealand SpinachAnnual
PansyPerennial
Pineapple GuavaTender Perennial
Pineapple sageTender Perennial
PumpkinAnnual
Red CloverBiennial
RosePerennial
Scented GeraniumTender Perennial
Signet MarigoldAnnual
Squash (summer & winter)Annual
SunflowerAnnual
Sweet WoodruffPerennial
Tuberous BegoniaPerennial
TulipPerennial
Turkscap Perennial
VioletPerennial

Related Topics

Perennial – DAYLILY (Hemerocallis)

Daylily
Daylily

Originally, from China where the Chinese hybridized the early cultivars to create the most edible variety.  The common or orange daylily was introduced into the United States in the late 19th century. It is a very popular plant favored by homeowners and landscape designers for its showy flowers, hardiness, and ability to spread. There are now over 40,000 registered cultivars, many of which likely are or have the potential to become invasive and should be watched.

Hardiness

  • Hardy perennial

Edibleness

  • All of a daylily is edible raw or cooked.

·       Flowers

  • Flowers eaten in salads, picked, breaded, and fried. Dried they are used to flavor soups.

·       Leaves

  • Leaves can be used in salads

·       Bulbs

  • Bulbs are cooked as a vegetable

Flavor

  • Flavor profile varies from sweet and floral to vegetable or slightly metallic, depending on the variety. Always harvest the plumpest buds, just before they open.

How to use

  • In Asian cuisine, salads, desserts, deep-fried, or sauteed with garlic and asparagus.

Growing tip

  • Best in full sun or light shade in fairly moist, well-drained soil amended with organic matter.

Related Topics

Perennial – Mexican Oregano (Poliomintha longiflora)

Mexican Oregano (Poliomintha longiflora)
Mexican Oregano (Poliomintha longiflora)

Mexican Oregano is a culinary herb and native to North America,  even though in central Texas you are more likely to see it in landscaping that in the vegetable or herb garden.   Mexican Oregano has a very different flavor than Mediterranean oregano. Mexican Oregano stronger and more bitter, this more robust flavor makes a good companion for the spicier and stronger flavored seasons used in Mexican cooking. peppers, cumin).

Common Name

  • Rosemary Mint

Origin

  • Mexico and the southwest United States

Hardiness

  • Perennial
  • Evergreen
  • Drought tolerant
  • USDA hardiness zones: 9-10

Height

  • 2 – 4  feet

Spacing/Spread

  • 3 – 6 feet

Flower Color

  • Tubular lavender flowers, about,  1 inch long

Season

  • Blooms Spring until frost

Repels

  • Deer Resistant

Attracts

  • Butterflies
  • Bees

Requirements

  • Full to Partial Sun
  • Well-drained soil

Propagation

  • Easy to grow from root cuttings
  • Like Rosemary, the branches can be rooted and, pruned and transplanted.  Basically, scrap the bottom of a branch, cover with soil,  weight/pin it to the ground, and keep moist (don’t over water) it roots.  Then, prune the branch from the parent plane, gently dig it up (if you didn’t root it in a transplant pot), plant in new location water regularly, until the transplant has set in for the first season.

Use

Culinary Use

  • Frequently used as a replacement for oregano, although not botanically related. It is sweeter and less bitter than oregano. Used to flavor marinades, meats, tomato dishes, bean dishes, eggs, soups, and stews.

Medicinal Use

  • Used as a tea for respiratory infections, gastrointestinal tract disorders, nervous system complaints, and a palliative for sore throats. The plant was said to contain oils that had bacterial fighting properties.

Landscape Use

  • In central Texas, popular in landscaping as a middle tier perennial.  I usual plant them in groups of three to five plans, about 18 inches to two feet apart.