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