September 7, 2008: Maybe I Need to Get a Life?

8/23/2008 EXPERIMENT: Made seed tapes out of strips of newspaper. Placed dots of glue on one strip, at 4" intervals and dots of cornstarch/water mixture on the other. Placed a lettuce seed on each daub and planted them in bed #3, Elmers Glue to the north, cornstarch to the south. 8/29 3 plants from Elmer's glue and 1 plant from cornstarch. UPDATE: 9/7 only 3 of 6 germinated with Elmer's Glue and only 2 of 6 with cornstarch. Experiment is a bust, I will not make my own seed tapes.

"EXPERIMENT: Mixed 1/2 cup water with 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch, brought it to a boil, removed from heat and cooled. Stirred in quite a few carrot seeds (so it looked like I'd peppered the mixture) and poured it into a clean, empty squeeze bottle (Hershey's chocolate syrup). Made six shallow furrows in two square feet of the east (center) bed #3, 3 furrows per square. Shook up the mixture and squirted it as evenly as possible into the furrows. Covered very lightly with compost. 8/31 it looks as though germination is very successful with this method. Next time use a squeeze bottle with a smaller opening, but definitely the way to seed a row. UPDATE 9/7: Still feel this is the easiest, but it will still need a lot of thinning unless I can perfect it (use clear bottle so I can see how many seeds are floating in the mixture; use smaller opening).

8/23/2008 EXPERIMENT: Placed glue dots at 2" intervals, staggered rows, on one side of 1 ply of tissue (Puffs Plus), put a single carrot seed on each dot, folded the unglued side over the seeds. Messy, hard to pick up seeds with tweezers, glue seeps through tissue, labor intensive. Planted the half-square (abt. 4"x9")in the herb garden. 8/29 Forgot to note WHERE I planted it, may have set the sweet potato potted plant over it. 9/1 it looks as though a few carrots are germinating next to the potted plant, so this is probably where I planted it. UPDATE: 9/7 These plants have germinated, probably 90%! Perfectly spaced, will need no thinning. The labor it took might just be worth it!

So what do you think? Easy squirt bottle with later thinning to be done, or labor intensive seed placement on tissue, with no wasted seed or thinning?


  1. I feel your pain. Even my 4 year old refuses to help me plant carrot seeds anymore. It was good while it lasted. Tiny fingers can pick up tiny seeds all day long, but kids get bored easily. Hehe. Now I just sprinlke the packet over the square and thin later. I've heard jello mixed with seeds works well, as does mixing it with finely sifted compost. Never tried either. Good luck with yours!

    And does this mean you're not going to Arizona? There's no way these will mature before you head out!

  2. I don’t know Granny, if you would stay in one place long enough, you could put up a little hobby greenhouse. You could then start all your seeds at a nice warm comfortable bench while looking outside at all the snow.


  3. sinfonian, my garden is sadly lacking in carrots this year. That is probably the one vegetable I would chose if I could only have one. I have no hopes at all that these will mature, so I'll just pull them all the day we leave and give my rabbit a feast of carrot tops. Next year I WILL have carrots!

  4. John, you sound like my next door neighbor! She has a greenhouse she doesn't use, and she's always trying to get me to stay here for the winter. Maybe someday soon. I've actually approached Mr. H about selling our AZ property this year. In a way I'd like to, but on the other hand I've done a lot of renovation on it, and I have so many friends there that I would miss. And I'd probably get tired of gardening if I did it year-round.

  5. Well, at first I liked the squirt bottle. Maybe I still do... hmmmm... if we can do it without having to thin, then that gets my vote for sure. For perfect spacing and not having to thin, boy, the tissue paper seems it wins hands down. Thanks for sharinng the experiment with us!


  6. Angela, unless I have hours to spare with nothing better to do, I think I'd have to opt for the squirt bottle. My first try was less than successful when it came to getting too many seeds in there, but now I'm experienced! I think I can do better.