Sunday, January 27, 2013

Making Seed Mats


This is a repost from Jan 2012...


One chore that I dread in the garden is thinning the greens. I plant lots of greens every year including lettuce, mustard, beets and spinach. I have come up with a way to have my greens properly spaced without getting on my hands and knees and doing all that thinning every year. . After all I'm not getting any younger you know! I simply make homemade seed mats. You will need the above supplies. Marker, ruler, thin paper napkins, water soluble glue and seeds. 









The whole thing is pretty simple really. You unfold your thin napkins. I'll give you a tip that the single ply ones that are cheap work best. Measure out and mark napkin with your markers where you want your seeds placed. The back of most seed packets have the information  on proper spacing for that plant. Make sure and put newspaper under your work because the marker will go through the thin napkin. Dab a small amount of glue. And place seeds in glue spot. For my lettuce I put two seeds and because this seed I bought last year after planting season reduced for 10 cents a packet and am unsure of the germination ratio.  I figured for 10 cents I could always plant it for the chickens !


Then mark your napkin with the seeds you have attached. This is lettuce seeds. 


These are Beet seed mats completed. You can see the dot I made with the marker and then attached a beet seed to each dot with glue.  these can be closer together because I like to pick my beets when they are small before they get large and woody. 


Then I place the completed sheets on the coffee table on some old newspaper to dry for a few minutes.


Then hang them on my make shift clothes line of crochet thread tied on the phone and attached to a shelf on the opposite wall. This is why you let your glue dry for a little so it won't run when you hang it up. 


The next day I will fold these gently being careful to not knock the seeds off and place in a shoe box awaiting being placed in the garden. I can do a few of these each night on my TV  tray until I have enough to plant out. Once the weather stabilizes I will place them on my row and cover with a light covering of seed starter or potting soil ran through a sieve. Enough to completely cover the paper. Then mist with garden hose and wait for your seeds to come up. The thin napkins will disintegrate and the seeds will sprout. Perfectly spaced rows and no thinning.


Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter


34 comments:

  1. Thats a wonderful Idea! And you can do it on a rainy day watching TV.

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  2. I say there is nothing better than making planting seeds so much easier, especially on the back:-) Usually, I'm on my hands and knees with a handful of seeds with my back, and knees in pain. This is an idea that I must encompass in my seed planting.

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  3. What a wonderful idea!!! ...and one of the wv's was glooued!

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  4. A great idea. Using this for my garden this year.

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  5. ok I am liking this idea a lot! I am so trying this! Thanks!

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  6. Brilliant! Will this also work for carrots?

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    Replies
    1. Will work for any small seeds including carrots. If you don't want the rows this wide simply use cheap 1 ply toilet paper instead.

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  7. Thank you for the reminder, haven't gardened in awhile.
    T

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  8. I love that you are sharing all this with us, CQ. Thank you! :-)

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  9. This is such a great idea!! Thanks for posting it! I can't wait to try this out myself!!
    Anonymous Homesteader
    http://anonymoushomesteader.wordpress.com

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  10. This is a brilliant idea. I do not like thinning seeds. I damage most of the tender stems that I pull, wasting them. I am going to try this with seeds that I direct sow. I really appreciate this great idea. Thank you!!!

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  11. Thanks for sharing this! Blessings from Bama!

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  12. Love this! Adding it to my ever growing to do list.

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  13. You're a genius, Momma Hooch! We'll have to try that!

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  14. Do you only do this for lettuce and beets? Are there other species that I should be readying in this way? This sounds like a neat idea that we are going to try this year.

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    Replies
    1. I do Lettuce, Beets, Mustard and Carrots this way : )

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    2. Is it difficult to mulch around them to keep the weeds down until they are big enough to defend themselves? Or how do you deal with that issue?

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    3. That is why I like to use potting soil or seed starter over the napkins to avoid weed seeds then I just wait until they get large enough to mulch around. I space things a little farther apart than most but I have plenty of room in 3 gardens to do that.

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  15. I am trying this for my garden this year. After about 3 napkins, I got tired of marking them first & then putting on the glue. I made a template for each of the seed spacings I needed... black dots on white paper. Put that paper under a piece of glass from a picture frame & didn't need to mark each napkin with all of the dots individually! I can't wait to plant & see what happens.

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  16. Please post this on Pinterest. This is so clever! Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. It was already on one of my boards on Pinterest but I did repost : )

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  17. What a great idea. I'm going to make a couple of these today. I'm new to the blog and really enjoy so thanks for reposting this info.

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  18. Hi CQ! This is sort of off topic but would you mind sharing where you get your green beans seeds (I'm sure they are probably just ones you've saved)? I want to can green beans this year and am wanting to grow my own. Thanks in advance!! Love your site!

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    Replies
    1. I use "Jade" Green beans and have used them for years. They are available at most seed companies just do a search online.

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  19. CQ, I could relate to that comment about aging! I must admit I'm loving getting older; so much freedom from the expectations of others. But, getting older would be pointless without getting wiser. You amp up my "wiser" every single time you post. This great idea will allow me to engage the help of my stronger, more eager (not so careful) male family members.

    I also think the napkin will do double duty to discourage weeds from germinating in that lovely loose soil. And there is something a little heartless about uprooting all those seedlings when they're just sprouting...I don't like it. I think I'll try the toilet paper for carrots. I might just measure and mark the paper using a bright marker, glue the seeds directly onto the newspaper, and skip the napkin altogether. Think that might work?

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    Replies
    1. I think that small seeds would have a hard time getting through newspaper as opposed to a very thin napkin. I could be wrong and if it works with newspaper please share your results.

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  20. You amaze us once again!! Thank you so much for all you share...priceless.

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  21. I just found you through a pin on Pinterest and wanted to say I really enjoyed this post and am sharing it EVERYWHERE. I like your idea of using napkins over using toilet paper which I tried once and found it a little difficult because of it is not as sturdy and can make a mess quickly if a person isn't careful...it does work just not as easily as what your napkins do. I would vote for cutting the napkins to a narrower width over using TP any day. Thanks again for sharing your idea with us.

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  22. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  23. Just wanted to let you know that I did review your instructions, which are PERFECT!

    I'm getting started tonight with the beets, carrots, and maybe turnips??

    I had forgotten about this way to plant seeds. Thanks for the reminder!

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  24. Great idea! I want to do this so it is easier on my knees and back! I too am not getting any younger! Thanks for the info!

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