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October 17, 2008
I found an idea for homemade seed mats. By reading all of that, it makes sense to make seed mats. Especially carrots……………..I have a very hard time planting carrots with those tiny little seeds bending over and trying not to get 50 seeds in one area. And radishes………it would save quite a bit of thinning. I never quite understood the idea of planting so many, then just thinning them out. A waste of seed I would think.
What do you think?
November 6, 2009
Great idea. Ive seen commercialy produced mats that you roll out,but those home made ones are so easy and simple to make. I shall try that.
I do not have a garden as such that |I can grow stuff in,but I do have a flat roof.This year I used five large plastic flower troughs.4ft. by 8in. by 8in. which I grew carrots, tomatoes and salads in. Very sucessfull.No problem with slugs and snails Just remember to water well as it gets very warm,and dries out quickly.
December 28, 2008
I made eleven seed mats yesterday.
I may have used the wrong kind of paper towel, since it is Bounty and they are a little on the thick side. Do you think that will be a problem? I just used what I had on hand.
While watching it snow just a little and drinking hot orange spice tea, I made mats for 3 kinds of radishes, carrots in two different spacings to allow some to mature, and 2 kinds of lettuce, Cos and Salad Bowl.
That was so much more fun than sitting on the icy ground and trying to handle seeds with gloves on and not remembering where the last one was placed, anyway. Seed mats are a great idea.
Next, mats would be nice for zinnias and marigold to give some color here and there in the garden.
I found out that just dipping the tip of a toothpick in the glue on the mat and then picking up one seed worked best of all. The tweezers just made me crazy since glue got on them anyway and they then tended to pick up several seeds at a time.
Yes, this is way in advance of any planting. I am taking these to Master Gardeners tomorrow to see if anyone has any suggestions about ways to do it better.
October 17, 2008
I've never made them, just found the idea! It's on the agenda once I get all my seeds out and start seedlings inside….then I'll do the mats for the plants I don't start inside. If Master Gardeners have any ideas for doing it better, please share?
I always have spacing issues when doing those little seeds (I'll have clumps, then none), so I thought this idea might help with that (and the gloved fingers don't help either! LOL!)
Cindyp, I am planning to start some seeds inside next week. Our last frost date is 3/19 in zone 7. I can plant out by May 1, usually.
I have never started a block of zinnias inside, but that is what I plan to start, the new Starlight Rose Zahara zins. It is still two weeks too early for peppers and tomatoes.
In each sfg box, there will be zinnias and maybe more than one kind. It is really hard to kill a zin.
I guess this seed mat thing will be another horticultural experiment! Oh, MG group was quite lively, but no one had done seed mats… and, I got accused of being anal retentive since my seed placement was so precise!!
I think several of them may try it also.
Thanks for the response.
May 5, 2010
Oh! what a brilliant idea … my garden has usually been based on transplants because of the whole pickin' and thinnin' process that grinds my back. I'm heading to fixing mats for carrots, lettuces and baby spinach as soon as I track some flimsy napkins … my paper towels appear to be heavy thickness. What a gem… and I've barely scratched the surface of the forum!
The seed mats did work just great. But next year, I will use some very thin paper towels that I stole from a fast food place, or maybe tissues. Bounty is just too thick.
The Cos lettuce was really cute in its nine little heads in a square foot. The tomatoes from seeds came up slowly. The peppers are now the same size as the started peppers I bought when I thought the seeds were just never going to grow. They just needed some sun. The okra plants are two feet tall.
The main problem was the goofy weather, and, the change to raised beds. It delayed getting things in early enough since there was so much prep work to do.
If you have not tried the seed mat thing, please think about it. The radishes especially came out just fine, as the lettuce. Seedless watermelons are all over the place, only six plants, but each one has lots of little green marbles, and one is larger than a baseball. Cucumbers are climbing the cattle panel trellis, and the goards must be from another planet, they have just taken over vertically. I have to figure out when to cut the goards off the vines. They are the ornamentals, of course, not something you could eat.
The best part of all is that the mulch over heavy cardboard between the raised beds has resulted in NO WEEDS. I have pullled a few blades of grass and a few tiny weeds from inside the raised beds, but that is all. When the electric cooperative had a tree service take down trees that might hit a wire in the wintertime, we let them put 6 or 7 chewed up trees on our property, and that pile is the mulch we used. Sears gave me the heavy cardboard, and I do mean heavy. It was almost strong enough to build with. I got 10 sheets of 4x6 just for the asking.
August 30, 2010
I tried this last year and had limited success. I thought maybe it was that I made the mats ahead of time, which caused the seed to get a little wet from the glue and then it dried out before I planted it. Some things, like turnips and radishes, germinate practically overnight. Has anyone experienced any trouble with getting something that germinates quickly to come up out in the garden? Maybe my paper towel was too thick.
I'll try again, glad to see it has worked for some, because it certainly would stretch out that expensive seed, and did I mention I just hate to thin?
Thanks for posting it. --Ilene
July 1, 2010
I tried this last year with radishes, carrots and beets. I cut them into strips for long rows. The paper towels must have been too thick, though. It was a complete no-go with the carrots, and the radishes came out kind of disc-shaped. As far as the beets go, germination was only around 50%. Still it's a great idea, and I'll give it another shot this fall with thinner paper. I've read some people use toilet paper.
December 27, 2008
What a fantastic idea! Thanks so much, Cindy!!
You could probably use a roll of tp too. I like the flour water paste idea better than commercial glue. I'm going to do that this winter. It will make planting so much faster in the spring.
I am definitely going to do the tobacco that way. Those seeds are so tiny! Even though I start them in trays indoors, I can still use the seed mats for that.
I am going to have so much fun doing that this winter!
February 22, 2010
I saw the homemade seed mat post and I had to check it out. I liked the idea that you don't have to thin the plants and waste perfectly viable seedlings and the fact that the plants grow up all nice and neatly arranged in rows. How cool is that? Thanks CindyP for a great idea. That will give me something to do this winter when I get the itch to plan my garden.
September 23, 2010
January 21, 2011
December 15, 2010
February 19, 2011
November 11, 2010
January 21, 2011
February 22, 2010
I used cheap (thin) toilet paper only because the stores were out of napkins. Napkins would be easier 'cause they could make a whole square. I used white glue and glued them down right before I planted them.
I thought about white glue but was afraid they might not sprout. Did you have any trouble with that?
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