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Direct sow carrots??

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Direct sow carrots??

Post  Windmere on 3/9/2013, 12:24 pm

Hi everyone,

I've been doing some reading about planting carrots, and I've read a lot that says you should sow carrots directly outdoors.

I want to have an early crop, so I began my carrots inside. I plant on putting the peat containers directly into the ground when I am pretty sure the last frost has passed.

Does anyone have any thoughts about this? I've done a search in the forum, but have not come across any posts that addressed this subject.

thinking
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Re: Direct sow carrots??

Post  yolos on 3/9/2013, 12:52 pm

Sorry I can't answer your question about carrots in pots. But I have experience in sowing them directly in the gound in Brooks, Ga.

My first sowing last year was on carrot week about April 15. They popped right up in about 3-5 days, got about a couple of inches tall and sat there all summer doing nothing the rest of the summer. In the fall they took off and I pulled a mess of carrots. Last spring was so short they did not have time to produce anything before the hot weather got here.

This year I decided not to wait for carrot week and started planting them early. I planted two squares on 2/10/13. They have just now sprouted. I guess it was still a little cold for them that early. I planted two more squares on 2/24/13. They have not yet germinated. I planted another two squares this morning. I hope they germinate a little faster than the earlier ones. I have a feeling that the latest planted ones will produce almost about the same time as the earliest planted carrots.
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Re: Direct sow carrots??

Post  quiltbea on 3/9/2013, 1:01 pm

Basic information: Carrots can be sown outdoors 3 weeks before your last expected frost. I would transplant any seedlings the same time and very gently to not disturb the roots.
Edited to add: I would also loosen the soil in the square down as far as you can, up to 12" or so, to make it easier for the carrots to spread their roots without rocks impeding.
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Re: Direct sow carrots??

Post  Pollinator on 3/9/2013, 6:34 pm

@quiltbea wrote:Basic information: Carrots can be sown outdoors 3 weeks before your last expected frost. I would transplant any seedlings the same time and very gently to not disturb the roots.

In the South, carrots work better as a fall crop. I sow in August and have nice fresh carrots all winter. I sowed a spring crop the first week of February, but it will be touch and go to get them to produce before hot weather comes. Sometimes here it goes from winter to summer without much spring. If spring is extended, MAYBE I'll get some spring carrots.

The biggest problem with sowing in August is getting germination. It's usually mighty hot, and it dries out very fast. I water 2-3 times a day until the carrots show, then drop back to once a day. But sometimes that doesn't even work, especially if it's running near 100 degrees every day.
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Re: Direct sow carrots??

Post  yolos on 3/9/2013, 6:49 pm

You are right Pollinator, the very best carrots I have ever eaten (red cored chatenay) I planted in the fall. Apparently the cooler temps make them the best.
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Re: Direct sow carrots??

Post  gwennifer on 3/9/2013, 7:21 pm

@Pollinator wrote:The biggest problem with sowing in August is getting germination. It's usually mighty hot, and it dries out very fast. I water 2-3 times a day until the carrots show, then drop back to once a day. But sometimes that doesn't even work, especially if it's running near 100 degrees every day.
Pollinator, try priming your carrot seeds first this fall and see if it makes a difference with germination rates. I picked up on the tip from this blog post: Growing Carrots with Character. Here's the pertinent excerpt:
Carrot seeds are naturally slow germinators, but you can speed things up a bit by priming the seeds indoors. Starting three to four days before you plan to sow them, soak carrot seeds in water for an hour, and then transfer them to a damp paper towel. Fold to enclose the seeds, then put inside an airtight container. Keep at room temperature. Plant the primed seeds within five days. I find that it is seldom necessary to prime seeds sown in spring, my rainiest season, but priming carrot seeds is tremendously helpful in summer, when I'm planting carrots for fall.
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Re: Direct sow carrots??

Post  Pollinator on 3/10/2013, 12:54 am

@gwennifer wrote:Carrot seeds are naturally slow germinators, but you can speed things up a bit by priming the seeds indoors. Starting three to four days before you plan to sow them, soak carrot seeds in water for an hour, and then transfer them to a damp paper towel. Fold to enclose the seeds, then put inside an airtight container. Keep at room temperature. Plant the primed seeds within five days. I find that it is seldom necessary to prime seeds sown in spring, my rainiest season, but priming carrot seeds is tremendously helpful in summer, when I'm planting carrots for fall.

Thanks. I'll give this a try.
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Re: Direct sow carrots??

Post  cheyannarach on 3/10/2013, 1:30 am

Those peat pots don't always break down that fast to I would cut the bottom out of your pot right before you put them in the ground!
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Re: Direct sow carrots??

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/10/2013, 2:25 pm

@cheyannarach wrote:Those peat pots don't always break down that fast to I would cut the bottom out of your pot right before you put them in the ground!

Same with toilet paper rolls and newspaper rolls in my experience.

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