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Post  bgardner on 5/20/2020, 7:02 pm

I started carrots from seed this weekend and built top hats for my SFG. You guys like pictures, so picture attached. 

SFG top hats Top-ha10[/url]

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Post  OhioGardener on 5/20/2020, 8:19 pm

carrot 

Looks good!

Remember, Carrot seeds do not like to dry out, and will not germinate if they get dry. After I plant carrot seeds, I mist the soil to ensure it is evenly moist, and then cover it with cardboard or a piece of wood. Then, after about a week, gently lift the board or cardboard to look under it for germinated seeds, and remove the board as soon as sprouts are seen. I get close to 100% germination with that method.

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Post  mollyhespra on 5/20/2020, 9:56 pm

Lookin' good, Brian! Nice work with those!

OG, awesome tip! I do something similar with paper towels, but I like your method better. Thanks!
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Post  bgardner on 5/20/2020, 11:03 pm

This is hardly the week to worry about them drying out. I just got 4 inches of rain... as you know, OG.

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Post  Emily49 on 5/21/2020, 11:30 am

I guess this is why I have bad luck with carrots!  I see 3 sprouts!
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Post  sanderson on 5/21/2020, 6:53 pm

Yes, keeping the MM moist for sown seeds is critical. I use the mist settling on the hose wand.

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Post  plantoid on 5/22/2020, 1:06 am

@Emily49 wrote:I guess this is why I have bad luck with carrots!  I see 3 sprouts!

 Carrots can take up to 21 days to show through , they need a warm moist soil as well , any cold long wet spell can deter them and also cause seed rot .
 They don't like trying to germinate in a cold shady spot either .

 I like the idea of slipping a board over the sown seed to stop the sol drying out for a week or so . 

A friend  taught me many years ago to actually fill a small finger hole . A 3 inch deep hole in the seed bed with sand at each position you want the carrots to grow . Then poke a pencil 1/2" deep , sow two carrot seeds & cover over with  bit more sand .  It's called " station sowing " , snip off the smallest carrot when they are an inch or so tall .

 The beauty of it means that due to the use of the sand you can see where the carrots should come up . The temperature & moisture content of the sand is fairly even throughout the filled hole , that's what carrots like .  Using a true MM I used fine horticultural vermiculite grains in place of the sand .  Look in the gallery pictures at my carrots .

 Tip.
If you want some really big carrots  station sow the specimen as one pair of seeds per six inches  snip off he smallest ,  then as it grows add an inch of peat & vermiculite every time the greenery reaches 9 inches tall , add top hats as needed to contain the medium .

Keep them lightly watered so the tap root is forced down deep and you can have massive 3 inch diameter 15 inch long carrots that are edible
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Post  mollyhespra on 5/22/2020, 9:18 pm

Thanks for reminding me of the usefulness of marking where the seeds have been planted, Dave! But I didn't know the trick of creating the 3" hole and filling it with vermiculite. Those tap roots are going to love the ease of going through that fine medium.
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Post  plantoid on 5/24/2020, 6:08 pm

@mollyhespra wrote:Thanks for reminding me of the usefulness of marking where the seeds have been planted, Dave!  But I didn't  know the trick of creating the 3" hole and filling it with vermiculite.  Those tap roots are going to love the ease of going through that fine medium.


 Ten or so years  I realised that the big nurseries were selling trays of micro plug plants were putting a half teaspoon of peat in the moulds in the trays then dimpling the peat ,  dropping  seed in each hole and covering it with the tiniest sprinkle of fine vermiculite & vermiculite dust .

 I could easily see that each seed that had germinated was slap bang in the middle of the vermiculite .  .
I knew about the sand trick  donkeys years ago by a 83 yr old gardening friend . So I sat and thought of the advantages that might have caused the nurseries to use the vermiculite .  Came to the conclusion  warmth , light & constant moisture. 

 I was exchanging info with Josh Greene at the time  ...sent him a useful hand book on growing giant vegetables . The five pound carrot method intrigued me but I didn't want  a corona virus looking carrot that would be almost certainly inedible . So I tried it with 2 carrot seeds & vermiculite plug in a six inch diameter tube cut in 3 inch sections to eventually make a grow tube 18 inches long ..& it worked . /as the greenery  grew I back filled .
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