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gixxerific
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Stella a dibble is just a tool used to put a hole in the soil for planting seeds, bulbs.

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The Bearded Farmer
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Lots of good ideas... I'm going to look for some sort of hand seeder.
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nes
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Veseys has them: https://www.veseys.com/
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digitS'
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I thot sum1 would mention my problem - getting good germination and actually having some carrot seedlings to thin . . :oops:

My garden soil drains very, very fast. Once the interminable spring rains stop and we get to sunshine - the dampness disappears out of the top inch of soil in about 30 minutes . . . Since carrot seed resides in the top 1/4" of soil, I'm sure I've killed thousands of tiny carrot seedlings by not maintaining good soil moisture levels.

I could cover the soil surface and the underlying carrot seed with a board or burlap. But, that would mean that I'd need to look under the covering on a regular basis - over what seems like a carrot seed's required 3-week germination schedule . . . see above regarding seedling murder :roll: .

There were a couple of solutions:

One that gets you to "Applestar's seed balls" quickly is just to order pelletted seed. I've ordered pelletted carrot seed from both Johnny's and Harris in years past. They don't always have the varieties that I am interested in trying but - those clay pellets go a long way to holding needed moisture against the seed.

Nes mentioned the "the wallpaper paste method." I'm not sure what Vanessa is referring to - probably the gluing of the seed to paper. I've done that using one tablespoon of cornstarch to one cup of water and bringing that to a boil. Cooled this gel to room temperature before I glued seed to strips of paper towels.

Howsomeever . . . the paper towels were a bit tedious to try to get underground what with wind and everything. So, I just carried the cornstarch mixture out into the garden in a ziplock bag, cut the corner out of the bag and dribbled the gel into the soil. Then, I sprinkled the carrot seed on the line of gel. It really does just a good a job of holding moisture on those seeds during the weeks it takes for them to germinate.

Now back to seed sprinkling techniques . . .

Steve
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estorms
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Carrots are just a lot of work. Pick a cool day, take your time and just enjoy it. I had beautiful carrots in a raised bed last year. I planted, thinned and weeded. When they were about six inches high, a deer ate them all in one night. I'm moving that raised bed into the fenced area of my garden this year.

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nes
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digitS' wrote: Nes mentioned the "the wallpaper paste method." I'm not sure what Vanessa is referring to - probably the gluing of the seed to paper...
Nope, I meant your second method - sort of.

You mix the seeds in with a fungicide-free wallpaper paste (and I'm sure you could use a home-made substitute); then you place the whole thing in a ziplock bag and cut off the corner (so like a pasty piping bag) and use this to get the seeds into the ground :).

I've read about this in books, but I bet there is an online explanation somewhere.
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GardenGnome
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Here's one this isn't the one I was talking about
https://www.johnnyseeds.com/p-5479-hand-seed-sower.aspx
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GardenGnome
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here's the one but I kinda like the one I posted first maybe ill get one.
I just use a bowl and tweezers.
https://www.yardlover.com/luster-leaf-mini-seedmaster-seed-planter?sa=X&ei=TWdzT-H-LsLniALjz7yFCw&ved=0CFYQgwgwAA
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applestar
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Nes, one time I tried that -- and I used the cornstarch and water paste/gel -- the gel would squeeze out everywhere BUT where I wanted to it to go, and the seeds -- oh, the seeds! They all kind of huddled together in the opposite corner from the hole no matter how I squeezed the bag, then when they finaly lined up at the hole, they would either clog the hole and not come out, or come out all of a sudden in an unconteolled spurt, and, and.... nutz:

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really fresh carrots are a real treat - so I'm up for the 'work'

I don't even attempt rows - I do multiple 2x2 patches - cat food can with hole punched in one half - 6d nail as I recall... you can 'carry' the seed on the unpunched side then with a little practice sprinkle them randomly.

the 'trick' is to make the patch small enough you can easily reach the whole thing.

I used a big sheet of wrapping paper to 'perfect' the size for the holes and my 'sprinkle technique'

it does require a fine seed bed tho - light rake over and it's done.

as they sprout / grow I thin them by eating . . .

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stella1751
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GardenGnome wrote:here's the one but I kinda like the one I posted first maybe ill get one.
I just use a bowl and tweezers.
https://www.yardlover.com/luster-leaf-mini-seedmaster-seed-planter?sa=X&ei=TWdzT-H-LsLniALjz7yFCw&ved=0CFYQgwgwAA
This looks like what my sister described! I like your idea of a bowl and tweezers. I think that is what I will try this year.
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digitS'
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nes wrote:. . . You mix the seeds in with a fungicide-free wallpaper paste (and I'm sure you could use a home-made substitute); then you place the whole thing in a ziplock bag and cut off the corner (so like a pasty piping bag) and use this to get the seeds into the ground :).

I've read about this in books, but I bet there is an online explanation somewhere.
Wow, that's interesting! I'd have to be comfortable about what's in wallpaper paste but it sounds like it would be much like the cornstarch gel scheme.

I actually adapted the idea from [url=https://www.coopext.colostate.edu/4dmg/VegFruit/fliud.htm]Colorado State University's information on fluid seeding.[/url]. I tried what they suggested with pre-sprouting the seed, using carrot and lettuce seed. The carrot seed was almost a total bust!! :x The lettuce seed, pre-sprouted, worked fine but - who cares?! Lettuce seed germinates quickly and I never have trouble with it! It was the carrots, and to a lesser extent the parsnips, where I needed some help.

Using fluid seeding for alfalfa seed, is not uncommon. That's another tiny seed that's hard to handle but, I'm not going to recommend fluid seeding to avoid thinning. Putting the lettuce seed in the bag with the gel just resulted in "drips" of lettuce coming up after a few days. There wasn't really anyway to have drips with just 1 seed each.

Steve
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The Bearded Farmer
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That cat food can idea is great. I can really picture that working even if I do stick to rows. I will seed more carrots this weekend like this and report back.

That is basically the same idea as a mini hand seeder just less fancy!
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My method is to start all my carrots indoors. I plant 4 seeds per peat pot starter. With Scarlet Nantes carrots I usually have around 90%+ germination rate. They grow under a little grow light that I put together with some CFL's. When they are around an inch or so tall out of the soil, I plant them outside. No thinning necessary! They seem to grow just fine right next to each other. Plus I usually get one cool one per year where two carrots spiral around each other into the ground...the kids love those!
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nes
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applestar wrote:Nes, one time I tried that -- and I used the cornstarch and water paste/gel -- the gel would squeeze out everywhere BUT where I wanted to it to go, and the seeds -- oh, the seeds! They all kind of huddled together in the opposite corner from the hole no matter how I squeezed the bag, then when they finaly lined up at the hole, they would either clog the hole and not come out, or come out all of a sudden in an unconteolled spurt, and, and.... nutz:
Exactly why I haven't tried it yet :).
Think it would be pretty hard to get the carrots seeds to spread evenly in the gel. There must either be a trick to it, or something in the wallpaper paste that holds them in suspension better.
(This method is listed in all my organic gardening books, so I would assume the wallpaper paste is harmless)
Vanessa raising organic vegetables, livestock, wildflowers, and family in zone 5A.

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nes
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digitS' wrote:
nes wrote:. . .Using fluid seeding for alfalfa seed, is not uncommon. That's another tiny seed that's hard to handle but, I'm not going to recommend fluid seeding to avoid thinning. Putting the lettuce seed in the bag with the gel just resulted in "drips" of lettuce coming up after a few days. There wasn't really anyway to have drips with just 1 seed each.
...
That is really neat though because I've tried germinating on paper towel and the roots get so intertwined into the towel it's difficult to get the seedlings out. I don't remember the results but it didn't go well when I tried that.

If you can get them to sprout in a fluid medium that would definitely solve the problem. I'd go with a plastic container so I could pick the seedlings out though.
Vanessa raising organic vegetables, livestock, wildflowers, and family in zone 5A.

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stella1751
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I am getting some great ideas with this thread! I don't usually grow carrots, but I decided to this year because I read they will go well with garlic, and I have two-thirds of an 8 x 4 bed invested in some spring garlic.

My latest favorite idea is little peat pots. I bought a bunch on sale several years ago. They've just been sitting around, wasted, because they are too small to do much with. They are 1" tall and 2" deep. How soon before planting should I go with these? I have some bigger ones, too, probably 2" x 3".

I also have a bunch of those peat plugs that expand when wet, but I suspect they will expand too wide for carrots. Right now they are about the size of three stacked silver dollars.
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nes
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Don't use peat pots!!

They don't degrade (hence peat bogs preserving mummies!) so if you try to plant them out the seedlings only have the space of the pot to grow and the roots get entwined in the peat so you can't remove them from the pot with out damaging the seedlings.

I didn't have much luck with newspaper pots for the same reason.

I usually direct seed my carrots and things go fine :). I either twist them between my fingers or really throw them over a large area & don't have to thin that much.
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stella1751
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I've heard people say that about peat pots, Nes, but I've had good luck with them. There was one time when I forgot to tear off the bottom on one, and its growth was delayed by about two weeks, comparative to the ones around it. (I remembered it afterwards and didn't want to dig it back up. Should have, but didn't.) Otherwise, they work great!

I may as well use up these tiny ones, anyway. I only have a sixteen of them, and it will be an inexpensive experiment :lol:
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Stella, wait until mid April, then plant carrot seed in the garden where it will grow. Try to not get it too thick. It should be planted about 1/4 inch deep. It takes about 3 weeks to germinate. You end up with something like this:

[img]https://donce.lofthouse.com/jamaica/carrots_09_2.jpg[/img]

These are Royal Chantenay carrots.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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stella1751
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jal_ut wrote:Stella, wait until mid April, then plant carrot seed in the garden where it will grow. Try to not get it too thick. It should be planted about 1/4 inch deep. It takes about 3 weeks to germinate. You end up with something like this:
Won't their tops freeze, Jal_UT? Our average last frost is near the end of May, May 22. (I think)
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jal_ut wrote:Stella, wait until mid April, then plant carrot seed in the garden where it will grow. Try to not get it too thick. It should be planted about 1/4 inch deep. It takes about 3 weeks to germinate. You end up with something like this:

[img]https://donce.lofthouse.com/jamaica/carrots_09_2.jpg[/img]

These are Royal Chantenay carrots.
Now THAT is some carrots.

Do all home grown do that? My last experience was a bit hit and miss. But I remember the cucumbers being huge too..
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Won't their tops freeze, Jal_UT? Our average last frost is near the end of May, May 22. (I think)
Looks like your last frost date is about the same as mine. (average) I plant carrots around the 5 of April to the 15 of April. Depends on the weather. I have not had any trouble with them freezing. They seem to have some cold tolerance, but not as much as spinach.
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holy crap jal, those carrots are amazing. they look as big as your boot.
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planting carrots

I've always mixed carrot and radish seeds and planted together - as the radishes grow and are pulled, the carrots get thinned without work. I've also planted the carrots in patches, using a garden rake lightly but firmly to thin the carrot seedlings when they reach an inch or slightly more in height, the spacing is ideal.

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Seeder

There are two seeders I have seen, this is the better quality one ....

https://www.johnnyseeds.com/p-7235-mini ... eeder.aspx

Maybe his will help, I wish I could tell you from experience but I have a small garden. :D
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Amy Is Growing
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Tons of great info here. Jal_ut, beautiful picture! I planted all my seeds this year in jiffy peat pots. This was of course before reading the negative reviews of peat pots (not like me to not do my homework, but I was attracted to the convenience of the mini peat pots). Thankfully I'm in southern California, and with our dry, hot weather, I don't seem to have a problem with them staying too wet. Anyway, I've had great luck so far considering this is my first time growing anything in quite some time. I planted 50 cells of carrots, and 49 came up. Once they are ready, they will be transplanted into deep raised beds.

I wanted to ask if someone could describe the growth rate of carrots. How quickly could we expect they get to the thinning stage? I'm gathering that the census is to thin when they are 1-2" tall. Also, how big should they be before transplanting into my beds?

Thanks for all the info here and thanks in advance for any help or input you all might have!
Amy Lynn

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Amy Is Growing
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Tons of great info here. Jal_ut, beautiful picture! I planted all my seeds this year in jiffy peat pots. This was of course before reading the negative reviews of peat pots (not like me to not do my homework, but I was attracted to the convenience of the mini peat pots). Thankfully I'm in southern California, and with our dry, hot weather, I don't seem to have a problem with them staying too wet. Anyway, I've had great luck so far considering this is my first time growing anything in quite some time. I planted 50 cells of carrots, and 49 came up. Once they are ready, they will be transplanted into deep raised beds.

I wanted to ask if someone could describe the growth rate of carrots. How quickly could we expect they get to the thinning stage? I'm gathering that the census is to thin when they are 1-2" tall. Also, how big should they be before transplanting into my beds?

Thanks for all the info here and thanks in advance for any help or input you all might have!
Amy Lynn

"Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be."

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you guys have a lot of patients. I just sprinkle into about 1/2 inch deep furrows made with my fingers, cover, water, and keep moist~ish as time allows. I don't thin...except when we just have to pull a carrot out to taste check. :) they do fine. I don't care about funny shapes and stuff. Last year we got a cool pair that twisted around one another. It looked like two carrots hugging, my kids thought it was great :) This year I didn't even put em in furrows, just sprinkled them over the bed and raked em in with a hay rake. They are doing fine. Not orderly, but probably spaced enough to not need thinning anyway.
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GardenRN
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oops sorry, double posted. :oops:
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