Now I know that these are not completely new ideas as seedtape has been available for a while now, but they seem to be on sale in great quantities with much wider varieties. I remember seeing these for vegetable seeds such as carrots or lettuces where the seeds are really tiny and require lots of thinning, but I fail to see why anyone would want to use them for all of their vegetables.
- Are we that pushed for time in our daily lives that we can’t sprinkle a few seeds in the ground for ourselves?
- Does everything nowadays have to be done for us and we pay over the odds for the privilege?
I don’t think that they are good value for money, unless you buy them from the discounted stores, but even then you don’t get as many seeds in a pack as you would if you were to buy them loose.
The basic principle of these items are that you place the tape or mats on top of your soil, cover with a little soil and water. The seeds are supposed to be spaced correctly to remove the need for thinning to allow space between the plants. I can see the benefit of using these for flowering hanging baskets, as I have done in the past due to the fiddly seeds and the selection of plants within the mats, but I really don’t see the need for using them with many allotment grown veg.
A steady hand when sowing seeds can help to alleviate the need for thinning on a later basis. If my plants are spaced too closely together after germination, I simply remove them and transplant them elsewhere without any detrimental effect to the plant. Most gardening books think that transplanting certain vegetables after germination is wrong, especially when referring to root vegetables, In some ways I agree, but as long as the transplanting is not left too late then the plants doesn’t really suffer and should perform just as well as the ones that haven’t been moved.
I for one, hate the thought of discarding perfectly useable plants that are spaced too closely. In my opinion, if the plant has taken it’s time to germinate and grow, who am I to say that it doesn’t deserve to grow into a healthy specimen! Transplants can easily be moved and grown elsewhere rather than being thrown away. As long as you are gentle when handling and move the plant with minimum root disturbance, then the plant should be fine. Most vegetables, if transplanted early, do quite well. After all, if you were going to throw the transplant away anyway, what do you have to lose by seeing if it performs just as well in a new location!