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carrot anxiety

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by 'Sparagus on April 30, 2006 12:33 PM
Ok, Im trying to grow carrots for the first time this year, and am so nervous about it! Ive prepared the heck out of the soil, read a ton, and now I have one last question.

Ive read about mulching the bed to keep it from getting dried out, and a crust forming that is hard for the seedlings to bust through.

Do any of you do this? What is best to use? My options would be grass clippings (if DH gets to the lawn tomorrow!) or some finely sifted compost. Good? Bad? Unnecessary?

Thanks!!!

[flower] Karen [scaredy]
by mater sandwich on April 30, 2006 04:15 PM
I can't specifically answer your question, however, I can tell you what worked for me this year. I worked up the area for my carrots. I smoothed the surface and placed the seeds on the ground in a wide row configuration. Then I covered them with the seed starting mix that I recovered and saved while repotting all my tomato and pepper plants. I watered the area every day that it did not rain to keep it moist. The way that it looks now, I had nearly a 100% germination rate. I have a lot of thinning to do in the near future.
Subsequently, I have 3 types of carrots planted; Chantenay Royal, Danvers half long, and Oxheart.

I hope this gives you an idea and was some help.

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Some days there is more laughter than others....Just depends on what/who you focus on....
by hick on April 30, 2006 06:04 PM
I have no training, I just got fed up with trying to keep the seeds moist so I drop them on the ground in a row, as thin as I can to minimize the thinning procedure, and then I cover the row with a board. A 2x4 works for me. I peek under in a few days and notice the little yellow hairs, then I move the board on to the sunny side of the row. Right on the edge of the line. The high 2x4 shades the little guys a bit until they are an inch or so high, and the board right on the edge keeps the ground more moist. The wind stays off them and the row remains straight since any wayward seeds get smothered. I try to uncover them originally late in the afternoon so they have the evening to harden before the next days noon sun hits.
Good luck though.

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still trying to get it right.
by comfrey on May 02, 2006 04:03 PM
Here is how I do my carrot seeds...First of all I grow the Danvers half long type that way the rocky ground is not a big factor for me. I make a humpped up wide row about 12 inches wide, then I smooth off the top of the hump so it is flat, then I take the handle of my hoe or a stick and make a shallow row in the middle of the hump, then I go down the row dropping the seeds in the row I made ontop and using my hands I cover them up with a light covering of soil, which I pat down gentlely so the dirt will stay in place when watered or if it rains so the seed is not washed out...Keep it moist until you see the tiny little green sprouts, then if you planted too thick...once they are a few inches tall you can thin them out to the right distance between the plants...They are slow to germinate, so don't worry when they haven't sprouted and you think they should have.

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by 'Sparagus on May 03, 2006 03:47 AM
That's alot like how I did it for the little carrots, the big ones I dug down 12", took out all the soil and screened it, and also loosened the bottom of the hole with a fork, about 6 more inches!

So.....Im home all day to keep the beds moist, so I guess I wont worry about mulching too. Thanks all!

[flower]
by dodge on May 03, 2006 03:31 PM
Sparagus,

I am in Pennsylvania too.. Carrots dont have to be watered and mulched here....I mean you can but dont panic if you miss a few days of water. I let ole mother nature tend mine.. One thing about carrots, they do take a long time to germinate.....I mark the rows with Onion sets .. So I can be sure.. i put some seeds in this week, I will tell you when they pop up. No mulch on mine......Liquid fertilizer is all.. I water them well when they are planted.

;o)
dodge

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