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Planting Summerthyme, carrot help please!
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Mid-west
    Posts
    173

    Summerthyme, carrot help please!

    Summerthyme, a LONG time ago you posted instructions on starting carrot seeds with paper towels. I'm looking for that post and am just not finding it. We're dusting off the greenhouse a bit early, since all predictions are pointing to a chilly, wet summer in our neck of the woods.

    Limner (using Hubby's computer )
    Luke 22:36 KJV Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

  2. #2
    Hi, Limner!

    It's simple... just spritz a paper towel with water to thoroughly dampen it. Sprinkle the seeds lightly (how thick drpends on whether you're going to pick the sprouted seeds off the towels and plant them individually, or plant the paper towels as dort of a giant seed tape... you'll want to space them an inch or do apart if the latter) on the damp towel.

    Lay another towel over the seeds, and spray it with water to thoroughly moisten it. If you're wanting a "seed tape" to make a wide row of carrots, you can make it several towels long.

    Roll up *loosely* and stash inside an OPEN plastic bag... this helps the seeds remain moist, but allows plenty of oxygen and prevents mold growth. Place in a warm (not hot... carrots refuse to sprout at soil temps above 85 degrees) spot.

    IF you are just using this to presprout seeds you will then plant individually (this can be a great way to use old seed with lower germination percentage, as you only plant the seeds that show life), check daily after 3 days or so, and transplant as soon as you see tiny rootlets starting to show. If you wait too long, they'll grow into the paper towel and will be damaged when you try to remove them.

    If you're going to unroll the paper towels like a giant seed tape, you can let them go a bit longer, but be careful the roots don't start growing through more than one layer of towel.

    Unroll the "seed sandwich" over a well prepared growing bed, and sprinkle a thin layer of soil over it. Keep well watered until the tiny plants get established...

    Summerthyme

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Mid-west
    Posts
    173
    THANK YOU very much! I have never had much luck with carrots, but I remembered Hunny saying she had had great success with your method. We're setting up large heavy totes in the greenhouse this time. Researching soil additives, etc. Are Parsnips very like growing carrots? I'm kinda wanting to try them, but our soil is so clay heavy that they seemed impossible.
    Luke 22:36 KJV Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

  4. #4
    Dunno about parsnips.

    But... totes? Are you doing Earthbox clones? If not... stop! I'll see if i can find the plans for how to make a "clone" of those expensive Earthboxes they advertise... and they work wonderfully. They take half the soil a full tote would, are self watering and keep the plants from suffering from "wet feet".

    BRB... gotta look for a link...

    Summerthyme

  5. #5
    I haven't found the exact link to the one I used (and its been 8 years... the ones we made are still holding up really well in the greenhouse. I suspect the UV would have broken them down if they were outdoors, though).

    Here's one... http://thehotpepper.com/topic/40135-cheap-diy-earthbox/

    Here is a PDF which seems to have several options
    http://www.postoilsolutions.org/docu...=1553255962588

    Or, you can just Google "Earthbox clone plans"...

    The one i used called for "pond baskets" (perforated plastic baskets used for planting water plants) but I used Dollar store plastic colanders. But it's been so long, i can't remember how they went together! I need to empty them this year and refresh the soil, so I'll get a refresher course in building them...

    Summerthyme

  6. #6
    Thanks! Off to look! We're using sturdy plastic totes from Rural King, and filling them with dirt (after drilling drainage holes). But I'm sure open to ideas.
    Last edited by Limner; 03-22-2019 at 02:17 PM. Reason: Spelling

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by twohats View Post
    THANK YOU very much! I have never had much luck with carrots, but I remembered Hunny saying she had had great success with your method. We're setting up large heavy totes in the greenhouse this time. Researching soil additives, etc. Are Parsnips very like growing carrots? I'm kinda wanting to try them, but our soil is so clay heavy that they seemed impossible.




    that's going to give you problems with all the below ground bearing crops - loose as a goose soil is what you need - almost to the point of being unpackable into a ball - plenty of gritty sand mixed in - some gardeners are big into vermiculite ....
    Last edited by Illini Warrior; 03-24-2019 at 08:49 AM.
    Illini Warrior

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Mid-west
    Posts
    173
    Quote Originally Posted by Illini Warrior View Post
    [/COLOR]


    that's going to give you problems with all the below ground bearing crops - loose as a goose soil is what you need - almost to the point of being unpackable into a ball - plenty of gritty sand mixed in - some gardeners are big into vermiculite ....
    YUP. BTDT. That's why we're going with the boxes this year.
    Luke 22:36 KJV Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

  9. #9
    I also have heavy soil. I built raised beds with hauled in compost. Now carrots work great, one of my favorite crops.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Illini Warrior View Post
    [/COLOR]


    that's going to give you problems with all the below ground bearing crops - loose as a goose soil is what you need - almost to the point of being unpackable into a ball - plenty of gritty sand mixed in - some gardeners are big into vermiculite ....
    danvers half long or danvers 126 will do well in heavy soil.Might be a pain to harvest.This is a highly productive variety even in good soil.They taste good as well.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    37,986
    Carrots like lose soil wereas heavy clay soils or soils with rock and shale will not work well with some root crop's like carrots.
    Importing sand to till in or making rased beds with lots of sand and adding amendments to it you will have better luck.

  12. #12
    another carrot pain to get around is seeding - if you don't have a planter, you're bound to plant thick in places and need to hand thin out the extras ...

    I went to wintertime prepared seed rolls for the tiny seed crops - I use cash register roll paper - some people use TP - run a glue stick down the center and you can seed space eazy with a hand dispenser >>> lay the roll down in the garden row and add a layer of sand ....
    Illini Warrior

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