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This is my first year planting carrots. Should I try to germinate them indoors before planting outside? Also, is it too soon to plant them outside?

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A

Generally we do not recommend pre-germination for small seeds like carrot as it is difficult to handle them and get uniform spacing or we may also damage the root when planting. Root damage leads to crooked roots later in the season.

To ensure good germination, double dig the carrot bed, rake the surface to smooth it slightly then scatter the seed over the surface. Since the seed is quite small, it is difficult to spot once on the soil surface. So don't over seed or you may have very thick plantings which will reduce root size. After seeding, firm the soil surface to cover the seed and further pack the planted area. Moisten the surface well and then cover it with compost, grass clippings or straw. This will reduce the need to re-water too often which contributes to soil crusting. Using this approach, you can successfully plant carrots through the summer (about every 4-6 weeks) for a continuous crop.

Posted on 9 May 2008

Dan Drost
Vegetable Specialist

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