Author Topic: seed tapes  (Read 851 times)

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seed tapes
« on: April 22, 2021, 15:20:46 »
Apologies if this has been debated before, but what are your experiences with seed tape? I'm finding it increasingly hard to see what I'm doing when sowing in open ground. I've just sown three rows of carrots and it wasn't much fun at all. I seem to remember some people make their own - not really an option for me. So for next year (get me for optimism!) do seed tapes germinate well? Are they easy to use? My soil is rather stony and cracks badly when it's dry (like now!). Problems, problems, but I couldn't do without my home grown carrots.

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seed tapes
« on: April 22, 2021, 15:20:46 »

Obelixx

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Re: seed tapes
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2021, 16:00:13 »
Beechgrove trialled seed tapes for carrots a few years ago and found germination to be patchy.

Have you tried sowing carrots in big tubs or planters of lovely soft compost?  The extra height should keep the carrot fly off and you'll be able to see what you're doing better as well as watering as needed and the soft bed should mean good, straight carrots.   My plot is far too dry so I'm trying some short, fat carrots in window boxes up on a table for extra height to keep off chooks and any carrot flies.
Obxx - Vendée France

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Re: seed tapes
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2021, 20:30:00 »
Yes, I've grown in cut-off oil drums before, I found the watering tricky, besides which I grow an awful lot of carrots! And seeing the seeds would be just as difficult. Are pelleted seeds still a thing, I wonder?

Obelixx

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Obxx - Vendée France

Obelixx

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Obxx - Vendée France

Beersmith

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Re: seed tapes
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2021, 21:06:04 »
I used to make my own tapes, but cannot remember why I stopped.  I didn't find they germinated any better or worse than conventionally sown.  They are a real pain to sow in breezy weather, but very easy on a calm day.

Carrot seed are quite tiny but I have always found a conventional seed sower - those circular shaped ones with a small spout and a selection of different sized holes - works well. The tricky bit is not going too deep.

I have well drained soil that is fairly light and dries quickly. Germinating small seeds like parsnips and carrots can be a challenge in a dry spring.  Like this year.  Don't water and they simply sit in the dust, but water and the soil surface can form a dry cap.

Now you have mentioned it I might test pelleted seed if available. For carrots the second big problem (once germinated) is thinning, as being too crowded makes for restricted growth. Neatly spaced pelleted seed might save thinning and avoid attracting the dreaded carrot fly.

On reflection it sounds an excellent idea!  Off to scan the internet. Hmmm.  I wonder if they are expensive?
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ACE

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Re: seed tapes
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2021, 21:42:52 »
I usually mix most of my seeds with dry compost, or sharp sand even chicken manure pellets. Easy to see how far you are in the seed drill. It also makes the row a bit more spaced so not so much thinning needed later.

Plot22

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Re: seed tapes
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2021, 07:16:35 »
I have just sown 6 rows of carrots. I am 72 years old and not as agile as I used to be plus I get the shakes in my hands. I nearly gave up after the 1st row of Sugarsnak seeds but persevered with 2 more rows of the same using my seeder. The last 3 rows I set pelleted Mercurio and  they were a doddle. The seeds are of a different colour and are easy to see and place just where you want them. I would  use pelleted Sugarsnak but up to yet they are not available in the UK. I find germination of pelleted seeds excellent and there is far less thinning in fact if I get it right there is often no thinning. I would give pelleted seeds a go another year if I were you. I can remember my late dad trying seed tapes years ago but he gave them up as germination was very poor. As a footnote I also use pelleted Gladiator parsnip seeds with the same good results.

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Re: seed tapes
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2021, 15:16:04 »
I think I'll try pelleted next year, thanks for all the advice. It'll be interesting to see how accurately I managed this year when they germinate!