If you are planting vegetables to mix into your flower beds Carrots are a must. They have lovely ferny tops and can be harvested over a long period of time. Two challenges is keeping the seeds moist until they are growing and planting them spaced far apart to give them room. Carrot seeds are small and an average carrot needs an inch at least to grow to its best size. Dill and Parsley are better bought already started. Dill goes well by seed but you only need one dill plant. Carrots, radishes, any of the other root vegetables are made for a homemade Seed Strip. Here’s how.
Seed tape you can make
Mixing some of your vegetables in with your flowers is one easy way to save water and space.
If you are planting vegetables to mix into your flower beds Carrots are a must. They have lovely ferny tops and can be harvested over a long period of time. The challenge is keeping the seeds moist until they are growing and how to sprinkle the seeds in so you have enough spacing to give them room to grow. Carrot seeds are small and an average carrot needs an inch or more to grow to its best size.
A homemade Seed tape is the answer.
So simple and a great project for kids.
You will need: A roll of Toilet paper. A biodegradable glue made from 2 T flour to 1 T water thick enough to stick on the end of a toothpick
Some toothpicks or a tiny paint brush.
Carrot and radish seeds. A marking pen of some kind.
Roll out a length of toilet paper and fold it in half lengthwise to crease it. Unfold it and lay it flat
Spread your seeds out on a piece of paper. Dip the end of the toothpick into the glue mix and pick up one seed. Place the seed on the toilet paper somewhere along the crease. Right next to the crease if you want a straight row. In the flower bed you probably want groups so it looks like your other blooming plants. Look at your garden space and visualize how the carrots will be. Place the seeds in groups about 1 to 2 inches apart. Don’t worry about being exact. Put the radish seeds in between the carrot seeds. Radishes will grow and be eaten long before the carrots. Think of these small groups of seeds as dinner plate spots. For long edgings keep the carrot seeds in a casual row. Put some dots of glue along one edge of the toilet paper Fold it over and press down on the glue dots to easily hold the paper together. Let it dry. You can store these strips for weeks as long as they stay dry. When you are ready to plant place the pieces of seed strips where ever you want some carrots. Usually towards the front of the bed for easy pulling. Cover with about ¼ inch of good soil. Water in gently but thoroughly. You want to keep your soil moist so check every day or so. Put out nonpoisonous Snail and Slug bait as soon as you plant. If you have lots of birds a few old branches laid over the spaces until the plants are well up will keep the birds away.
As soon as you plant and water the toilet paper will dissolve and disappear, the seeds will come up and your flower garden will have both vegetables and flowers.
This strip method works very well with any kind of seeds but especially the root vegetables that are not easily available as already growing plants.
If you have heavy soil and have not amended it into a fluffy good composted soil then be sure to pick short carrots to plant. As usual plant what you like to eat, eat what you plant and enjoy the exercise that gardening brings.