Make your own seed tape

Seed tape is long strips of biodegradable paper embedded with seeds spaced at the right interval for them to grow. Because the seeds are evenly spaced, seeds are not wasted and you probably won’t have to thin out excess plants once they start growing. You can buy seed tape, but it can be expensive. It’s easy to make your own.

Seed tape is best for seeds that you sow directly into the garden in spring, especially tiny seeds like carrot, dill, basil, lemon balm, lettuce, scallion (green onion), spinach and kale. Some good flower seeds to try are poppy, marigold, aster and zinnia. You can make seed tape for medium-sized seeds like cucumber, radish and beets. Avoid really large seeds like beans, nasturtium, peas and corn, which tend to poke through and fall out of the seed tape. Besides, large seeds are easy to handle anyway when sowing directly into the garden. 

Materials needed: 

  • Assorted packages of seeds
  • Toilet paper in lengths of about 1 metre
  • Scissors
  • White flour
  • Water
  • Ruler or yardstick
  • Small paintbrush or cotton swabs
  • Marker


  1. Make the glue by stirring together equal parts of water and flour (about 2 T each). Mix well until it is smooth - not too runny and not too thick.
  2. Cut the lengths of toilet paper in half lengthwise using scissors. It’s easier to cut without tearing if you stack several lengths of toilet paper on top of each other first.
  3. Take a strip of toilet paper and fold in half lengthwise. The crease marks the centre of the tape and makes it easier to fold over again after you finish gluing seeds onto the strip. 
  4. Unfold the toilet paper and smooth it flat. Read the information on the back of the seed package for the correct spacing of your seeds. If you are not sure, spacing the seeds about 1 - 3 cm apart is a good rule of thumb. Use the ruler to measure and mark spots to one side of the centre crease on the toilet paper with a marker.
  5. Place a small dab of glue on each mark with a paintbrush or cotton swab. Next, pick up two or three seeds and drop them onto the glue. Once you have finished the entire strip, fold it back along the crease you made earlier. Allow the seed tape to dry completely and write the name of the seed on the seed tape.
  6. Once your seed tape is dry, you can use it right away, or roll it up and set it aside until you are ready to plant.

Planting instructions:

  • Seeds can be planted in spring after the snow has melted, the weather is warm and there is no longer any risk of frost.
  • Use a rake to smooth the surface of the soil so that it’s nice and flat. 
  • Unroll the seed tape and lay it down on top of the soil. Sprinkle soil on top to cover the seed tape at the planting depth suggested on the seed package, usually about .5 cm for fine seeds and 1 cm for larger seeds.
  • Water the soil to moisten the area. Check daily and keep evenly moist until seeds germinate.

Note: The number of days needed for your seeds to germinate (sprout) depends on the type of seed, the temperature and the amount of moisture in the soil. This information is usually on the seed package.