During the Winter when there is nothing else to do; make your own seed tape. Saves seed and time plainting. Tear newspaper into strips. It tears into strips easily when torn the right direction. Mix flour and water into a thin paste. With a toothpick get some paste and pick up the seed, place on newspaper strip at proper spacing. Can even paste the strips together to make as long as you need. Let dry and roll up til planting season. The paste does not affect the germination of the seeds. It only holds the seed in place for planting. This really works well for small seeds such as carrots and lettuce.
Luke 1:37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.
With lettuce, I don't worry about sowing it to thickly. Once it gets a few leaves, I start thinning it and using the baby leaves in salad. After several thinnings, the plants are usually spaced the right distance apart and I have had several baby lettuce salads.
For plants that don't like their roots disturbed, like squash, cucumbers and melons, you can use peat pots or make your own newspaper pots then plant the small plant pot and all.
Fitness Minutes: (15) Posts: 140 3/7/13 1:11 P
As expensive as seeds are these days, I work on something fairly pragmatic and measurable. Seed spacing is usually specified on the packets. Some things I find better to start ahead of time and transplant, and that saves seed. For instance, I start all my cucumbers, squash and melons in seed trays, then transplant when they have two to four true leaves, taking care to disturb the roots as little as possible.
For beans and peas, I usually space them 2" apart and thin to 4 if needed, but since germination can be sporadic on first plantings, often it works itself out.
For small seeded things, such as radishes or beets or carrots, I find my push seeder spaces things well, reducing the need to thin. For baby lettuces and spinach and chard, I like to plant them in a broader row, 4" or so, and sprinkle them in so that they grow up fairly evenly, again, eliminating the step of thinning, which is time consuming and ends up with a lot of wasted seed.
Also, pelleted seeds makes it a lot easier to control how you plant. I do all my carrots and head lettuces that way. Carrots are direct seeded, and the lettuces are started in flats and transplanted. Same with cabbage family -- broccoli, kale, collards, cabbage, etc.
“The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living on a small piece of land...” - Abraham Lincoln
"Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them--every day begin the task anew." - St. Francis de Sales
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Fitness Minutes: (20,259) Posts: 2,856 3/7/13 1:11 P
This is so true. I also have to take into consideration how much of my produce will be eaten by the deer, raccoons, rabbits, and birds, and increase accordingly so we have enough for ourselves. I planted 3 dozen tomato plants one year and didn't fence it in at the garden plots we rent from the park district. The deer ate EVERY tomato off the plants! I think we fenced off the area after discovering that, but needless to say, we didn't get many tomatoes that year!
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