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Thread: carrots

  1. #1

    carrots

    Has anyone had problems getting carrots to germinate? I planted 3 times and have about 8 or 10 carrots. This happened last year, too.

    Three other gardeners that I am friends with have been having the same problem and have also replanted several times with no luck.

    My seeds are fresh and I had some seed tape from Territorial that didn't germinate. All of my other seeds from Territorial have germinated 100%.

    Is there something wrong with the carrot seed supply?

  2. #2
    Carrot seeds are finicky, and like to be kept moist before they will germinate. Temps need to be below 80*. Some folks have found that propping a board just over the surface of the soil, shading the seeds just until they germinate, helps keep in the moisture, and keep the temps down.

  3. #3
    Thanks, Lynx.

    I live in an area that has a cool spring and this summer has had very few days over 80 degrees. I cover the rows with remay to stop the birds and squirrels. When I planted the carrots the days were still very cool and there has been so much rain that I haven't needed to water.

    We are all experienced gardeners and I have grown beautiful carrots in the past, but they haven't germinated for these two years.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    N. Minnesota
    Posts
    9,928
    They can be a problem. I always buy extra seed and just keep replanting if they don't come up.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Eastern KY
    Posts
    387
    I've been working on this for a while now. (KY and WV) Germination is slow, and weed pressure will usually prevent decent crops. So to deal with that I've tried a couple things. (Last week I harvested 45 # from a 30"x20' row) !!

    Spinner is correct. Trying to germinate when you have HOT and long summer days is difficult so spring and fall plantings are advised.
    Prepping the soil... must be deep and finely tilled. I use a precision seeder, Earthway, About $90. I've tried pelleted seeds with some success, but they take a little longer and MUST stay damp. (Watering 1-2 times daily) I also cover my row with BLACK plastic for about 2 weeks prior to planting, then use a weed burner to scorch the weeds that have germinated. THEN I plant 5-12 (yes 12) rows in a 30" wide bed. My garden rows are actually 75 feet long. I then cover the beds with the plastic again for 8-10 days. After about a week from planting, I remove the cover temporarily and burn the weeds again. (The carrots take about 14-21 days to come up.) Then I put the plastic back on. This helps with keeping the moisture on them during germination. I still top water at least daily, and move to drip once everything is up. You just don't want to let them dry out, or scorch in the heat once they start to emerge, so timing with the plastic is critical. It does work. It's tricky and labor intensive though. Everyone loves carrots and it's a sure sell if you do markets. I can get $2 a pound all day long, and with careful planning, pull up 4-500# a week, harvesting a bed per week. I'm still working up to that, but so far, so good.
    Everyone has a photographic memory, some just don't have film...

  6. #6
    The previous two years I have had problems getting my carrots to germinate however this year they were prolific. However i have had problems getting the herb rosemary to germinate. I also use fresh heirloom seeds.

  7. #7
    For carrots, I sprinkle the seeds on top of well worked, moist soil with a sugar shaker (I use that for all fine/tiny seeds in wide rows). I then cover them lightly with some "moisture control" potting mix... the kind which is basically peat with fine crystals which hold water. Water thoroughly and keep moist as much as possible (not wet) until they sprout.

    I don't grow carrots (or beets) in single rows at all... these days, I plant them in raised beds which are 3 1/2 feet by 7 feet, divided in the middle into a square. But when I planted them in the regular garden, I marked out a row about 24" wide, and spread the seeds lightly and evenly in the row. Once they get about 3" high, I do one major weeding, and that's all that's required. They fill in the entire space, and shade out any potential weed seeds sprouting.

    A tip on how to tell which carrots are the largest/most ready to pull... look for the darkest green, coarsest foliage. That will be the biggest carrots. We pull them as they get ready through the late summer, which automatically thins the bed to give them room for the last ones to size up for winter storage.

    Summerthyme

  8. #8
    cool weather only - DIY seed tapes - cover lightly with moist sand - keep moist with a bottle sprinkler/sprayer .....
    Illini Warrior

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    16,023
    Quote Originally Posted by summerthyme View Post
    For carrots, I sprinkle the seeds on top of well worked, moist soil with a sugar shaker (I use that for all fine/tiny seeds in wide rows). I then cover them lightly with some "moisture control" potting mix... the kind which is basically peat with fine crystals which hold water. Water thoroughly and keep moist as much as possible (not wet) until they sprout.

    I don't grow carrots (or beets) in single rows at all... these days, I plant them in raised beds which are 3 1/2 feet by 7 feet, divided in the middle into a square. But when I planted them in the regular garden, I marked out a row about 24" wide, and spread the seeds lightly and evenly in the row. Once they get about 3" high, I do one major weeding, and that's all that's required. They fill in the entire space, and shade out any potential weed seeds sprouting.

    A tip on how to tell which carrots are the largest/most ready to pull... look for the darkest green, coarsest foliage. That will be the biggest carrots. We pull them as they get ready through the late summer, which automatically thins the bed to give them room for the last ones to size up for winter storage.

    Summerthyme
    I always companion plant carrots with onions, the onions repel carrot fly and the carrots repel onion fly,

    As mentioned on a few threads i dont use pesticides
    Si vis pacem para bellum.

  10. #10
    I have problems here with it being too hot to germinate. This year I had planted several times and nothing seemed to be coming up. I have some birds come through on their migrations from local mountains, and they LOVE to eat small seedling plants. So I built some 3' x 3' x 8" high chicken wire bird cages to keep them off my seedlings and put one over the carrot area and by golley, the carrots came up! Those birds had been eating them to the ground as fast as they could come up. I didn't re-seed before I placed the cage either.

  11. #11
    I wondered about birds. I had a remay type tunnel over the rows, but I guess the birds could have gotten under the tunnel. I don't know, it seems odd that the gardeners that I know had the same problem.

    I gave up after 3 plantings.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Sierras
    Posts
    2,626
    I sure hope I don't get banned from TB2K for this but here is a photo of a carrot I grew this summer. We got a good laugh over this one. Warning - X rated carrot ahead
    Attached Images

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Central Iowa
    Posts
    36,751
    Quote Originally Posted by spinner View Post
    Has anyone had problems getting carrots to germinate? I planted 3 times and have about 8 or 10 carrots. This happened last year, too.

    Three other gardeners that I am friends with have been having the same problem and have also replanted several times with no luck.

    My seeds are fresh and I had some seed tape from Territorial that didn't germinate. All of my other seeds from Territorial have germinated 100%.

    Is there something wrong with the carrot seed supply?
    I gave up on carrots years ago, apparently it's an acquired super power to get them to germinate.
    People are quick to confuse and despise confidence as arrogance but that is common amongst those who have never accomplished anything in their lives and who have always played it safe not willing to risk failure.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Central Iowa
    Posts
    36,751
    Quote Originally Posted by CarolynA View Post
    I sure hope I don't get banned from TB2K for this but here is a photo of a carrot I grew this summer. We got a good laugh over this one. Warning - X rated carrot ahead
    You should post this in the Garden Humor Thread.
    People are quick to confuse and despise confidence as arrogance but that is common amongst those who have never accomplished anything in their lives and who have always played it safe not willing to risk failure.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Central Iowa
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    36,751
    Quote Originally Posted by Marthanoir View Post
    I always companion plant carrots with onions, the onions repel carrot fly and the carrots repel onion fly,

    As mentioned on a few threads i dont use pesticides
    Good to know. Now I"m wondering about parsnips.
    People are quick to confuse and despise confidence as arrogance but that is common amongst those who have never accomplished anything in their lives and who have always played it safe not willing to risk failure.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Central Iowa
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    36,751
    Quote Originally Posted by CELLO View Post
    I have problems here with it being too hot to germinate. This year I had planted several times and nothing seemed to be coming up. I have some birds come through on their migrations from local mountains, and they LOVE to eat small seedling plants. So I built some 3' x 3' x 8" high chicken wire bird cages to keep them off my seedlings and put one over the carrot area and by golley, the carrots came up! Those birds had been eating them to the ground as fast as they could come up. I didn't re-seed before I placed the cage either.
    Interesting about the birds, the love to pull my onions up which pizzes me off to no end. Will make some cages for them next year.
    People are quick to confuse and despise confidence as arrogance but that is common amongst those who have never accomplished anything in their lives and who have always played it safe not willing to risk failure.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    3,903
    Quote Originally Posted by packyderms_wife View Post
    I gave up on carrots years ago, apparently it's an acquired super power to get them to germinate.
    This is the first year I have grown them. I didn't do anything special, except dig up the soil good, and didn't even thin them out. I planted them in two small raised beds that I made, that are probably only 6 inches high at most. My only problem is keeping the soil wet enough. I used a small yard card under my porch roof to catch water to use in the front yard, and that worked out pretty good. I just planted more seeds today, in hopes of getting a fall crop.
    When I'm done growing this year, I'm adding some sandy bagged soil and some compost to the beds. I was pleasantly surprised how well they did, and hope for a repeat next year. I used Livingston Lady Finger seeds, but have no idea where I got them. The carrots are about 6 inches long and an inch around. Some more, some less. Lol
    I could make it cheaper!!!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Looking Up
    Posts
    8,180
    I have grown them for years but the last two have been extremely difficult. Last year about 50% of normal due to poor germination. This year it looked like we lost the whole crop due to bad germination. They finally came along and looks like about 75% crop. A crop of 75% will take us over to next year using the root cellar. They come out of the cellar just like you pulled them. Fresh and crisp.
    "They wanted to be left alone to face challenges head-on, and to prosper from their own hard work and ingenuity...harsh country tends to produce strong people."-John Erickson

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    The Last Frontier
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    1,591
    Carrots are one of the very few vegetables that I can direct-sow seed into the ground and get a great return. I've planted regular seeds and the carrot seed tape and both do well here. I do live in a short/cool summer climate so I plant my outdoors garden in my 22 raised beds where most things grow well (still no success with beans or onions though!). I do have good soil depth in the beds; after turning the soil I place the seeds and very lightly cover with soil, keeping it moist for germination. I thin and - and on a whim found that I can manage to replant some of the thinnings too. I just wish I could manage a root cellar, but I can keep them in my cool garage for a few months. The worst was the year the moose got in the fence because a meter reader left the gate open. Disaster!
    All that is gold does not glitter....

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