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Sentimental Homesteading

Make your own carrot tape!

Do It Yourself Carrot tape

If you've ever planted carrot seed you know that getting the spacing right is important.  Having to go back and thin out carrot seedlings can be a time-consuming, back breaking ordeal.  Getting those little itty-bitty seeds spaced right in the garden (usually 3 inches apart) is near impossible.  We've tried a number of seeders..gadgets that supposedly are going to magically dispense seeds at exactly the right distance apart.  We've yet to find one that works for carrot seed.
Enter seed tape.  Seed tape is a light-weight tissue paper with carrot seed embedded in it at the proper spacing.  You simply bury the tape at the recommended depth (1/4 inch), water and watch your seedlings grow.  It really does work!
The downside is that organic carrot seed tape has gotten quite expensive.  We grow 2 full beds of carrots each season, and try to get two crops.  It would cost us in the neighbourhood of $80 to do this with pre-made tape.  

So we make our own, and you can too.  It's simple as can be, and a great activity for those snowy winter days when you're itching to be gardening.

Here's how:
You'll need:
1)  Toilet paper ('s as easy as that)
2)  Glue..we mix up a flour and water paste.  About the consistency of a thick            pancake batter.
3)  Paintbrush
4)  Organic carrot seed of your preference. We only grow Scarlet Nantes, but it's       a personal choice.

Step 1:
Measure out and tear off what you need for one row of carrots.  Our beds are 8 foot long, so we tear off about 7 1/2 feet of toilet tissue.
Step 2:
Apply a dot of glue where you want your seeds.  We put 2 dots per square, about  inch in from the perforation.  This allow us to pick every other carrot as a baby carrot and leave the others at a perfect spacing.

Step 3:
Apply seeds. We put 2 on each dot of glue.  this always seems to result in one plant.  Go figure.  My theory is that carrot seeds are cannibalistic, but Mrs. Sentimental doesn't see it that way.

Step 4:
Apply a bead of glue right at edge of the paper to seal it.

Step 5:
Fold over and press down to seal.

Step 6: 
Hang to dry.

Step 7:
Once dry, store in an airtight container.

Instead of spending $80 for pre-made seed tape, we figure we spend about $6 on organic seed plus the cost of 2 rolls of toilet tissue.
Give it a try.  Sure, it might take a few hours, but any gardening activity on a cold, snowy day is a great way to pass time.

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