A few weeks ago I posted about my DIY Seed Tapes, but I wasn’t actually sure how they would grow. It isn’t quite time for me to plant carrots, which were the tapes I made previously, but I was curious to see if they worked as well as I had hoped. So I decided to do a quick experiment, and I whipped up some radish tapes. Now radish seeds are significantly larger than carrot, so therefore not as much of a pain in the ass to seed, but you still have to deal with the straight rows, the washing away of seeds, and the hunched over the bed issues. Because they grow very quickly, they make the perfect subject for my experiment. I’m happy to report that the tapes are a success!
I made one tape of Pink Beauty from Baker Creek, and one tape of Cherry Belle from Botanical Interest.
To plant the tape, I simply scraped aside a layer of soil to the depth I wanted (1/2″), and laid down the tape. Then, I pushed the soil back over until the paper was covered.
Between the two varieties, I had about the same germination rate. Between the tapes and the direct seeded, I had about the same germination rate, with a slight gain in the tapes. This could be because some of my direct seed was too deep, a rolly-polly munched it down, or a numerous other reasons. But if you look closely, you can see that the tape seeded row has a significant advantage: the row is perfectly straight. This doesn’t really matter much in the grand scheme of things, but I like my root crops to be in straight rows. Even though I direct seeded straight, seeds inevitably move with watering.
Now that I know this is a viable solution, I’ll be making many more! It will be the perfect gardening project to undertake during this forecasted 10-days of rain.