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soil
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i suck at planting carrots, so when i want to grow carrots i just toss some seed out in winter. come spring they grow and in a few months i have nice big carrots that if i tried to plant would for some reason be puny as hell.
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digitS'
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These all seem to be such good ideas for better success. Even the one for sowing the winter before - that might work here where we have sub-zero winters, I'm not sure.

I'm going to do more than say these are "such good ideas" and add a few things that have worked for me. (Unlike the keeping track of what is going on under the board trick :roll: .)

First, the easy one: buy pelleted seed. A number of companies offer it, Johnny's, Harris, are 2. That clay coating really helps keep moisture against the seeds during the days it takes for them to germinate.

A little more difficult is somewhat like making seed tapes, which you can do, also. I just have quite a few feet of carrots I'm trying to sow - besides, the paper tapes kept blowing away before I could get soil on them :oops: !

Anyway, Fluid Seeding, or a variation on that. Fluid seeding is used in the west with alfalfa seed - another tiny seed sown shallow and subject to drying out. In the garden, I've used cornstarch gel as my "fluid" and just sown the seed in the gel.

One tablespoon cornstarch to each cup of water is brought to a boil on the stove. Allow it to cool a little, pour it in a suitable container (I fill a zip-lock quart bag at a time) and head out into the garden. Drizzle the gel in your furrow and sprinkle the carrot seed on top. You will use more gel than if you make seed tapes but cornstarch isn't very expensive.

This has worked just as well as pelleted seed for me :) . I have used it for lettuce seed as well but lettuce germinates so quickly anyway that it isn't a very important help.

Steve
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SOB
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As someone who will be planting carrots for the first time soon you all are getting my scared! :D

What about putting wet newspaper in the bottom of the furrows and planting on top of that? Then cover with your soil. Anyone try that?

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rainbowgardener
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I don't have any trouble; I just put the seeds in the ground and they sprout. It does help to have your soil very loosened up and light. I don't really bury the seeds just pat them down so they are in contact with the soil and then dust a light layer of potting soil over them and water them in.
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Gary350
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I sprinkle my carrot seeds in the snow. I read some where carrots require several weeks of cold weather to get good germination. When the temperature gets right the seeds grow.

tedln
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I have random carrot seed germinating in beds this spring where it was planted two years ago. Same thing with lettuce seed. Interesting how long some seed can remain viable and still germinate. I don't understand why it didn't germinate the year it was sowed.

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applestar
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@SOB - trouble with using newspaper like that is any part od newspaper gets exposed will dry up and wick moisture away. Also, I don't think newspaper will break down enough for the weak seedling roots to grow through, even less so if it dries out.

I don't particularly like seed tapes for shallow planted seeds like carrots for the same reason, though I've tried making them with tissue party streamers.

The cornstarch gel digitS described is what I used to make the seed tape though. sounds a lot simpler to just squirt it in the ground.

tedln
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If the corn starch gel is thick enough, why not add the seed to the gel and disperse it in the cold gel. Then use a mayonnaise or ketchup dispenser to squirt the gel into a shallow trench. It should give even distribution better than sprinkling the seed on the gel.

Ted
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WinglessAngel
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i think that is something i am going to have to deff try with the next carrot sowing i do for my garden, thanks for the tip :)

orgoveg
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SOB wrote:As someone who will be planting carrots for the first time soon you all are getting my scared! :D

What about putting wet newspaper in the bottom of the furrows and planting on top of that? Then cover with your soil. Anyone try that?
This is my second year trying carrots. Last season, it went perfectly but I had waited to sow on my last frost date. It's really not difficult. I'm just surprised at the time required for germination when seeds are sown early. I run my finger along the tops of the rows to make a shallow trench. I rub the seeds between my fingers into the trench, then squeeze the sides of the trench together. I sow many different seeds this way, adjusting the depth of the trench accordingly. In spots, it's necessary to pick up a clump of soil and crumble it over the seeds. (I make the soil fine on top of the rows before making the trenches).

I love the corn starch idea. Sometimes, really heavy rains can ruin everything. I'm thinking that could really help keep the seeds in place.

I don't think anyone has mentioned that mulching helps after the tops are 2"-3" high. It seems that after germination, carrots like the soil cool. I think I experienced evidence of that when my late season second planting failed.

BTW - I think I am seeing 2 or 3 sprouts emerging. I'll report back when germination is successful.

WinglessAngel
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i think you've got a pt there on the rain washing away the seeds....i was worried about tha twith my romain seeds after we got rain that night after planting....i am deff going to be using that method for sure the next time i plant!

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digitS'
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tedln wrote:If the corn starch gel is thick enough, why not add the seed to the gel and disperse it in the cold gel. Then use a mayonnaise or ketchup dispenser to squirt the gel into a shallow trench. It should give even distribution better than sprinkling the seed on the gel.

Ted
I did that with the lettuce seed I tried, Ted. . . . with the bag, not a dispenser.

It worked okay except I got a little too much seed or too little gel because the plants came up in little, dense globs! You'd probably need to give some thought to how far you wanted to run the gel out in the furrow and how many seeds that would require. That way, you wouldn't get them too thick in the gel.

As I said, lettuce is really no problem for me in the garden. Carrots have been. There seems to be a fairly small window here to get good germination for "naked" seed. Yes, it seems to be right about the last frost date but, I think it has a lot to do with getting some well-timed rain.

Here is how this idea came to me: [url=https://www.coopext.colostate.edu/4dmg/VegFruit/fliud.htm]Fluid Seed, CSU[/url]. Be advised that I DID NOT find that sprouting the seed worked well, at all! Not only did the carrots not come up well but they didn't seem especially early. However, just getting the seed in the gel worked as well as buying pelleted seed for planting. Very high germination over about 4 years now.

Steve
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tedln
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Another thought on using the gel planting method would be to put the gel into a zip lock bag, add the seed, and then zip the bag and squish it around until the seed and gel are mixed well. Cut a corner off the bag any size you want. Then plant the seed by squeezing the bag like your decorating a cake. The zip lock method should work because it makes it easy to mix the seed and gel plus you can squeeze almost all of it out of the bag. It should result in very little wasted seed.

(digitS, If you already described the zip lock method, I apologize. I just read your last post and you mentioned using a bag instead of the dispenser.)

Ted
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Canoe
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First I have to say I love this forum. You folks have the best ideas. I am getting back into gardening, didn't have the time or space for a long time. But my little girl likes to do things with me, so trying to get her hooked too. The cornstarch in a zip lock idea is great. But when it was said to use it like frosting a cake a light went off. If i can get them to sprout in the shape of a happy face or something she would love it. I may do it with rye grass seeds though. Thanks for all the great info and the great ideas.

Canoe

WinglessAngel
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that is a great idea canoe! i never thought of that....i have my fiance's "daughter" taken under our wing since her dad is not around and her mom is perpetually working and she loves the thought of her second "mom" having a garden....next time i plant some seeds again, carrots or lettuce or radishes or something i will have to do that with her...she would love that idea....or spell her name with them or something lol apologies but I'm snagging ur idea...hope u don't mind? :)

Canoe
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No worries on taking the idea. I kind of got it from Disney anyway. They do it with there plants. But I would never have that type of room to make things like they do.


Canoe :)

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digitS'
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Canoe wrote:First I have to say I love this forum. You folks have the best ideas. I am getting back into gardening, didn't have the time or space for a long time. But my little girl likes to do things with me, so trying to get her hooked too. The cornstarch in a zip lock idea is great. But when it was said to use it like frosting a cake a light went off. If i can get them to sprout in the shape of a happy face or something she would love it. I may do it with rye grass seeds though. Thanks for all the great info and the great ideas.

Canoe
Ha! Well, with my limited experience - I'd choose the lettuce.

It came up really easily and while it was in "globs" for me, a little more artistic gardener could have turned it into something cute!

I used a lettuce seed mix, by the way. A lot more colorful that way :wink: .

Steve
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tedln
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Canoe,

You will probably have to wait until fall for the Rye grass. I think the weather is already to hot for Rye grass to germinate. Mine is already trying to send up seed heads so it can die. If you have a packet of lettuce seed, try that. It will germinate quickly and grow a little before the high heat arrives for the summer.

Ted
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WinglessAngel
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i agree with the lettuce, my romain i will prob have to replant as i think the seeds washed away in the rain we had the following night....i might just be growing romain lettuce in my yard next to the garden area lol, but if i do oh well, its not fenced off and the rabbits can have something to munch on lol

Canoe
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Thanks Guys I was just thinking some type of grass so we didn't have to thin it is all.

Canoe :)

orgoveg
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Okay, I can officially declare that my carrots have sprouted. It took 23 days.

Thanks for making me be patient :)

WinglessAngel
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aww thats great! i am going to have to replant again, as out of probably a hundred seedlings planted I did a sprout count this morning and only found 16 had made it through the wind storm and the last few days of rain, and I'm sure the rest are going to follow suit with the next few more days of heavy rain and thunderstorms we are going to be getting on top of that...replanting it is! :(

maringardner
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I planted carrots three weeks ago and had a bunch of sprouts, but I came home today and noticed they were gone. I am thinking birds or slugs got them.....
I planted more seeds last weekend so maybe they will make it......

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If its slugs they will ony get worse. My slugs only seemed to eat my first two leaves of lettuce. I would go out at night anc check. If it is slugs sprinkle some salt around the bed or epsom salts will also get rid of them! The real tiny slug will be n the 100,s soon if you have some now! I usually look under the boards or rocks and get rid of the big ones that will produce the many!
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tedln
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marlingardener,

I would be surprised if you have slugs. I haven't seen one in years because of the drier climate where I live. I think of your area as primarily dry.

I test my garden yearly for slugs and snails by strategically placing a large stone or board in a shady portion of the garden. I lift the board or stone occasionally to check under it for critters. Many people swear by the old beer in a saucer method of eradicating them. It never worked for me because by the time I got the saucer placed, my beer can was empty.

(oops! that was from maringardner instead of marlingardener. Yep, you probably do have slugs.)

Ted
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tedln
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Hey, I juxt harvested some eight inch long carrots to send into town to our daughter along with a Walmart bag full of lettuce, onions, chard, and radishes. Can't wait for some tomatoes to ripen and squash to mature.

Ted
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