Pikes Peak Urban Gardens
"Creating Places Where People Meet to Grow"
Pikes Peak Urban Gardens is a
proud program of the Pikes Peak Community Foundation
Our mission is to:"cultivate, educate, and serve the community throughurban garden projects in the Pikes Peak region".
Many vegetable seeds are quite small. It is difficult to plant just one seed per hole. Making seed tapes ensures correct spacing of seeds, even for the tiniest of hands!
Correctly spaced seeds will grow into bigger, healthier plants.
The Science: Flowering plants produce seeds. These seeds are dormant (in a state of sleep) until they are planted. Inside the seed is a reserve of food for the newly emerging plant. This stored food provides nutrients until the seedling grows green leaves. These green leaves with the help of the sun and nutrients in the soil, will then produce the food necessary for the plant to grow.
Below is typical life cycle of a flowering plant (in this example it is a tree but the process is the same).
Flowering plants are divided into two different classes. One is called a monocotyledon or monocot for short. As it first sprouts you will see only one seed leaf emerge from the ground. The other is called a dicotyledon or dicot. As it first sprouts you willsee two seed leaves emerge from the ground. Look at the pictures below to see if you spot the monocot and the dicot.
STEP ONE: Buy a packet of seeds. Radish, carrots, lettuce or spinach work great for seed tapes
STEP TWO: Cut one or more strips of newspaper as shown. One inch wide is a good width.
STEP THREE: On the back of your seed packet it will list the correct seed spacing. On this packet it states to plant seeds 1 inch apart.
STEP FOUR: Using your ruler now with your marker pen, mark off one inch spaces on your strip of newspaper. Note: this distance could change with different types of seeds so read the back of each packet.
STEP FIVE: Put a tablespoon of wheat flour in a small dish and add about a small amount of water and stir. Don't add too much. You want it to form a thick paste (like glue).
STEP SIX: With your toothpick put a dab of the thick wheat paste on each of the dots
STEP SEVEN: Now carefully place one seed on each dab of wheat flour.
STEP EIGHT: Be sure to write the exact name of the vegetable seed on the strip of newspaper. Let dry and wait until the weather warms up to plant outside.
Children placing seed tape in a pre-moistened trench. They will then gently cover the seed tape with about 1/2 inch of soil. Each day they will check and water gently if needed. Radish, lettuce and spinach will sprout or germinate in about a week. Carrots could take 14 to 21 days. The warmer the weather the quicker they will germinate. Be sure to visit your garden each day and water if needed.