Seed tapes are useful for growing vegetables such as carrots in rows. While pre-sown mats are cut to shape to grow flowers in your border. Small pre-seeded mats are also available for you to conveniently start herbs in pots and containers.
Advantages Of Pre-Sown Mats
Seeds are easy for you to handle and simple for children,
Your seeds won't wash away down sloping surfaces,
The mats are natural and biodegradable,
Mats can be cut to any size or shape,
Pre-seeded mats can save you buying several packets of seed for mixing,
Flowers are spaced out correctly to reduce the need for thinning,
Seed mats contain attractive flowers and themed flower gardens,
Seed tapes are good for spacing out plants and growing in rows.
Themed Flower Gardens
Perhaps the most exciting benefit to come from flower seed mats is the themed flower gardens that are available. These included flower seed mixes for:
Several kinds of coated seeds are available. There are clay balls that break open when moist and as seeds germinate. They can be used to create small patches of wild flowers. Also, there are individually coated seeds for easy station sowing.
Coated seeds are highly visible and especially easy to handle. They also add bird protection. Some seed coats include seaweed extracts with natural hormones that strengthen seedlings against fungal attack and promote growth.
These are ideal for sowing long rows of carrots and other vegetables. You might find two kinds of seed tapes. One has seeds evenly distributed along its length, the other has the seeds in patches that are regularly spaced out. Both methods probably involve some thinning. But they both save you the care and attention needed to sow small seeds evenly and without spilling heaps.
Therefore seed tapes are useful with small light seeds that need to be sown thinly - e.g. carrots, parsnip and lettuce... Seed tapes enable you to sow long rows quickly and are especially useful to gardeners with unsteady hands.
Draw out the row and re-work to fine crumbs if necessary,
Firm the row gently and evenly,
Lay down the seed tape or mat and label,
Water the seed tape or mat,
Draw back the fine soil and very gently firm.
Remember that most plants need a minimum temperature for their seeds to germinate. You can pre-warm the soil with a layer of black polythene - black polythene blocks weeds before flowers germinate. You may then decide to cover the sown area with clear polythene - all this to warm and get earlier flowers.
For Indoors Pot Herbs, Containers, Hanging Baskets
Smaller pre-seeded mats are available for growing undercover in pots and containers. When you have unsteady hands these seed mats are a big improvement over using seed applicators which are themselves fiddly.