How to get carrot seeds to germinate?

bunks(Australia)January 17, 2008

Hi all!

I've recently (read: one week ago) planted some carrot seeds direct into pots, and... nothing!

Zip! Nata!

Any ideas what I could be doing wrong? The soil is kept moist, but not wet. It's been pretty warm here, about 30-40 C each day. The beetroot I planted at the same time are doing beautifully.

Also does anyone have any tips about the best way to water young seedlings without them getting knocked around?



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May be too deep. Just barely cover them or press them into the surface and you might also cover the surface with a piece of cardboard, newspaper or something to help keep it uniformly moist for a few days. Remove it and look each day and when they start coming up good, leave it off. Be sure that you have viable seed. You might put a few on a damp paper towel and put it into a zip lock bag to see of those sprout.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.
Bill P.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 8:32PM
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Sorry, I forgot to address the last question. There are a number of watering wands or sprinkling cans that have heads with very small holes. That coupled with low water pressure will help some in keeping from disturbing the plants and knocking them around. If they are in pots that can be set into a container of water and bottom soak, that will wick the water up into the pot and could be done till the plants were big enough to withstand normal watering techniques.
Bill P.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 8:44PM
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naturegirl_2007 5B SW Michigan(5B SW Michigan)

Carrots usually take longer than a week to come up for me, sometimes as long as 3 weeks. They take longer to germinate than most other veggies I grow. Give them some more time and they may be fine. I've read they will not germinate if the soil is over 95F. Soil at 40 C would be too hot. (Kinda ridiculous we still use Fahrenheit temps here in the US, in my opinion.) Your could try shading the soil to help keep it cool enough for good germination. Hot air temps don't alway have to result in similar soil temps.

Are you planning to grow them to maturity in the pots or intending to transplant them? Carrots do best direct seeded into the spot they are to grow. Roots often are crooked or forked if they are transplanted. If you need to move them be extra careful and try to not disturb the root.

I water young carrots and beets in the garden with a nozzle set to a very fine gentle mist. It takes awhile to get them wet enough but keeps the seedlings happily in place.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 10:33PM
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When planting carrots I always use a 1 X 4 to cover the seed. It will protect then from a pounding rain or with no rain it will keep them moist to sprout. Takes about a week.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2008 at 6:34AM
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Thanks for the info guys!
Will give it more time and try shading them. I will also check the seed is viable.
naturegirl, I will be growing them to maturity in the pots, but thanks for the info about transplanting. So much to learn!

Thanks for the help!


    Bookmark   January 18, 2008 at 7:24AM
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I sowed some carrot seeds in December and I remember they took aaaages to show up- weeks longer than any other seeds from the same time period. They seem to be doing fairly well now though, or at least looking like actual carrot leaves. I'm glad to see you've just sowed some now, it reminds me that I should get right onto a succession sowing. Bring on the weekend!

I'm going to try sheltering them this time as well as it's been a summer of downpours and my seedlings have been getting knocked around woefully.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2008 at 7:35AM
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