Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Seed tape update

I have been a bit to busy working in my garden to be posting. Spring and early summer is always my busiest time in the garden with weeding, pruning, planting new plants and getting things started. It should slow down somewhat soon, although I have a few projects I like to accomplish this year. I will tell about my garden projects in another post. Hopefully soon.

So I tried out the seed tape I bought online. I glued some seeds on with a cornstarch paste making sure I used a enough of the paste so they would stick to it. You are supposed to be able to just roll the whole thing up once the glue dries and then plant the seed tape when you want to plant it.
Well, let me tell you so far I am not impressed with the product, maybe I am doing something wrong but one should think you would get at least some vegetables out of the deal.
I started with carrot seeds, three different varieties, fresh seeds purchased this spring. I planted them right away after the glue was dry. I added some light dirt thinly on top of the seed tape and watered it. It would not stay moist, dried out faster then I could wet it. My whole vegetable garden is on automatic watering with drip irrigation, I even added some micro sprayers, thinking it needed more water then I was giving it. It still dried out to fast. I had my timer go off twice a day, total watering time was one hour but it didn't help. Nothing sprouted.
Then I set my timer to go off 4 times a day for 15 minutes at each cycle. Still nothing sprouted, it was a bit moister then before but still after about 1 1/2 months I only got a few carrot plants with my efforts.
We did have quite some hot days in May, but it wasn't that hot when I first put down the tape, they should have been sprouting.
Late May I tried the same with some Bulb Fennel seeds. Usually Fennel sprouts for me quite easy. I read something online that maybe the corn in the cornstarch might be responsible. So this time I used Elmers glue. I wanted to plant them next day, but then I didn't have time so I rolled the tape up and put it in my seed box to plant it out next chance I get.
By the time I put the seed tape in the garden, some of the seeds had fallen off. I somewhat suspected that would happen. I planted them at the proper depth for Fennel, kept it moist and even covered it with some lightweight garden fleece to keep the moisture in.
After 3 weeks I got about 6 Fennel seedlings that is from 48-56 planted seeds.
This time because the tape was a bit deeper in the ground it looked like it kept moist enough for the seeds to sprout. I don't understand why those seeds won't sprout. All my other vegetables started the old fashioned way have sprouted and are growing.
I even tried to grow Radishes with the tape, not one single seedling I got out of that, while the control group sprouted fine, grew and has been consumed already.
I used seed tape, which had seeds sandwiched between years ago, it was real thin tissue like paper which almost dissolved shortly after planting. Those seeds sprouted very quickly and easily.
Now I am thinking, could it be that the Chlorine in the paper is keeping the seeds from sprouting? The seed tape is made with white bleached paper, or could it be the printing ink?
Or is the problem that it is made with just thin paper instead of tissue paper?

This product if I would rate it from 1 to 10, I would give it a 1-. I won't use it again and I suggest to everyone to not bother ordering this product. Something should have been sprouting, at least the Radish should have.

I could could kick myself, because I first trusted this product so much that unfortunately I did not seed any carrots the conventional way and so now I am without the early carrots.

Oh well.


Queenbuv3 said...

Wow, all that work and no plants. So sorry the seed tape isn't working. Hope you still have time to try planting again with more success : )

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