Vegetable Garden - Tips on Growing Carrot Seeds
65-85 Days to HarvestSowing
Carrot Seeds Depth: ¼-½" (6-13 mm) Germination soil temperature: 55-80º F Days to Germination: 6-21 Sow indoors: Not recommended Sow outdoors: Early spring to mid-summer.
pH range: 5.5-6.5 (best at above 6.0) Growing soil temperature: 60-67º F br> Spacing in beds: 2" (5cm) apart in rows 6-8" (15-20cm) apart, 3 rows to a 30" (0.75m) bed. 4 rows to a 36" bed (0.9m bed) Watering: Moderate. Light: Full sun for best yield, tolerates light shade. Nutrient requirements: N= high, P=low, K=low Rotation considerations for Carrot Seeds: Avoid rotating with celery, dill, fennel, parsley and parsnip. Good Companions: Would be Beans, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, chives, leaf lettuce, leeks, onions, peas, peppers, red radish, rosemary, sage and tomato. Bad Companions: Celery, dill and parsnips
As soon as the soil can be worked, make small weekly or bi-weekly plantings, until July. You can harvest any time from when the carrot is young to full maturity. Place a seed every inch or so. Cover with ¼" soil. When seedlings appear, thin to 2-4".
For you to have the best carrot quality, remember to grow in cool weather, plant them in sandy or loosely worked soil, and supply ample moisture.
Carrots do not need rich soil and if you have excess nitrogen this will cause a hairy root system.
- Carrots prefer their feet (roots) to be cool, and their tops to be warm.
- When soil temperature rises above 70ºF (21ºC) carrots will be bland tasting and small.
- It is important to give carrots the growing conditions they like. You can add a layer of organic mulch, around the plants to moderate the soil temperature when the warmer days of spring and summer do arrive.
- Another way to keep the plants cool is to plant a leafy companion crop close to the carrots to help shade and cool the soil.
- When you notice crowding and no matter how careful you were in spacing the carrot seeds they will always need some thinning.
- You will notice that carrots that grow too close together will be stunted, excessively slender or deformed.(crooked)
- You can thin with floral shears or with scissors to no less than 2 inches between plants.
- A helpful hint would be for you to realize that because of their small seed size, carrots tiny seedlings just do not have the strength to push up and out of the crusted soil, you can help them by planting them with radishes, as the radishes will emerge first and break up the crusted soil on the surface. Also by keeping the soil moist throughout the germination period, the soil will not have a chance to become hard or crusted.
To be sure about pH, test the soil with a pH meter. Apply fertilizer and lime using the results of the soil test as a guide.
- Soil pH is a measurement of the number of Hydrogen ions present in the soil solution along with as the acidity of the soil. When the soil pH is too acidic the nutrients that are present in the soil become locked-up or unavailable (low pH) or alkaline (high pH).
- Correcting the pH has the same effect as applying fertilizer as it unlocks plant nutrients already present.
- In the garden some garden plants thrive in acidic soils while others prefer an alkaline soil.
- The acidity or alkalinity of soil is a measurement by pH (potential Hydrogen ions). pH is a way to measure the amount of lime (calcium) contained in your soil, and the type of soil that you have.
To Measure Soil pH
It is recommended that you use a relatively inexpensive, and follow the manufacturers instructions when testing the pH Level of your Gardens soil. To raise or lower the pH level in the soil either Limestone or Sulfur is utilized. Other materials will accomplish the same results; however the two that are listed are the most commonly used.
Limestone is added to the soil to raise the pH level because limestone is essentially calcium and calcium reacts with water in the soil to yield hydroxyl ions .. a process known as, hydrolysis = thus the pH level in the soil is raised.
Sulfur reacts with bacteria in the soil and produces sulfuric acid, which releases hydrogen ions thus causing the soil to become more acidic =the pH level is lowered.
Application Of Lime (To Raise Soil pH)
To increase your pH by 1.0 point and make your soil more alkaline.
- Add 4 ounces of hydrated lime per square yard in sandy soils
- Add 8 ounces of hydrated lime per square yard in loamy soils
- Add 12 ounces of hydrated lime per square yard in clay soils
- Add 25 ounces of hydrated lime per square yard in peaty soils
- The addition of ash, bone meal, or crushed oyster shells will also help to raise soil pH levels.
Application of Sulfur (To Lower Soil pH)
If your soil needs to be more acidic, sulfur will lower the pH if it is available.
To reduce the soil pH by 1.0 point
- Mix in 1.2 oz of ground rock sulfur per square yard if the soil is sandy
- Mix in 3.6 oz per square yard for all other soils.
- Composted leaves, wood chips, sawdust, leaf mold and peat moss, will also help to lower the soil pH.