Carrot Seed Germination, Time, Seed Sowing Method

Carrot Seed Germination, Time, Seed Sowing Method

Introduction to Carrot seed germination

The botanical name of the Carrot is Daucus carota subsp. sativus and it belongs to a family Apiaceae. Loamy and sandy are the soil types that are suitable for Carrot germination. Carrots will take two years to grow from seed to fruition and die i.e., biennials so they utilize their leaves in the first year to assemble energy from the sun to build a major, bland root. This is where they store their energy over the winter. At the point when the climate gets cold in the first year of growth, Carrots convert their starches to sugars, so the roots become sweeter in winter.

A step by step guide to Carrot seed germination process

Carrots are easy to grow as they are planted in loose, sandy soil during the cooler periods of the growing season. Carrots may take anywhere from 2 to 4 months to mature, depending on the variety of Carrots and local growing conditions. The lower the soil temperature, the slower the maturing process of the Carrot. The seeds are usually immature, and they must grow up before they sprout. Garden-grown Carrots are fully flavored and they are very popular, long-lasting root vegetables that can be grown in different weather conditions. They will have better flavor if they mature in late summer rather than earlier.

A guide to the Carrot seed germination process.

The first main trick is to sow Carrot seeds thinly and then maintain dampness in that top layer of soil until they germinate. Because they may take as long as three weeks to germinate, this can be challenging, especially in hot weather when the surface of the soil is nearly always dry. The way to achieve this is to water very deeply before planting, and then either water very regularly or employ some other means to reduce evaporation.

Different varieties and shapes of Carrots

We have different varieties of Carrots in a rainbow of colors, sizes, and shapes.

Bolero: shape looks like slightly tapered and the size is 7 to 8 inches – resists most leaf pests and blights.

Danvers: classic heirloom – size in between 6 to 8 inches long, that tapers at the end and has a rich, dark orange color – suited to heavy soil.

Little Finger: heirloom – a small Nantes type of Carrot only 4 inches long and one inch thick -good for containers.

Nantes: shape looks like cylindrical – 6 to 7 inches long exceptionally sweet – crisp texture.

Thumberline: heirloom; looks like round Carrot, good for clay soil and containers. 

About Carrot and Carrot family crop seeds

  • Carrots’ family similar to parsnips, and parsley take 14 to 21 days to grow; that means you should keep the seedbed uniformly moist for three weeks or it may extend
  • Carrots and Carrot family crops will germinate gradually as they have hard seed coats
  • For seeds to germinate and start growing dampness must penetrate the seed coat
  • Both heat and cold can speed a seed’s intake of dampness

Learn all about good soil, germination time, basics of Carrot planting, harvesting, and taking care of Carrots in this article.

The importance of good soil to germinate the Carrot seeds

Here’s how to prepare the soil for Carrot seed germination and what to do to prepare your garden soil:

  • Prepare the soil properly as is extremely important for Carrot growing! If the Carrot roots can’t easily grow unobstructed, it can lead to stunted and misshapen crops
  • Dig down 12 inches and make sure there should not be any rocks, stones, or even soil clumps in the soil to impede your Carrots’ growth
  • Avoid amending the soil with nitrogen-rich material – instead, work in old coffee grounds
  • If soil is heavy clay or too rocky, you need to plant Carrots in a raised bed at least 12 inches deep and filled with fluffy, sandy, or loamy soil (not clay nor silt)

Finally, don’t expect the perfect shape of the Carrot as grocery store Carrots but your Carrots will still taste better.

Germination time of Carrot seed

Seeds take 14 to 21 days to germinate. Whereas Carrot seeds are small, they need to be sown shallowly. One of the tricks to planting Carrot seeds is to keep the top-most layer of soil damp during the long germination period. Water deeply before planting. Directly sow the tiny seeds ¼” deep, 4 seeds per 2cm, and set the soil slightly after seeding. Make sure that the seeds are only just buried. Water the area regularly with the gentlest stream, and keep it constantly moist until the seeds will sprout.

Basics of Carrot Planting.

  • Have well fertile garden loam, plan to spend more amount of time in preparing your Carrot bed
  • Carrot seeds are naturally slow germinators you can speed up the process little bit by soaking the Carrot seeds before planting for an hour
  • As mentioned, the soil must be loose, sandy, and loamy so that Carrot roots can easily spread down through the soil
  • Keep the soil moist with frequent shallow watering
  • Cover with a layer of vermiculite or fine compost to prevent a crust from forming which is harmful for germination
  • The best soil temperature for Carrot seeds germination is between 50 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Sow ¼ inch deep, 3 to 4 inches apart in rows 1 foot apart
  • Sow seeds about every 3 weeks, for multiple harvests
  • Carrots are sometimes slow to germinate. They may take 2 to 3 weeks to show leaf, so don’t panic if your Carrots don’t appear right away

Pests and diseases of Carrots

  • Black canker
  • Carrot rust flies
  • Flea Beetles
  • Root-knot nematodes
  • Wireworms
  • Aster Yellow Disease will cause shortened and color changed Carrot tops and hairy roots

For both the Carrot rust fly and wireworm predatory nematodes are an effective control. Apply generously in the spring when the larva of both pests is most active.

Carrot seed rate and seed treatment

For sowing of a one-acre land seed rate of 4 to 5 kg is sufficient.

Seed treatment with cow pat, pit at a rate of about 3 g in 1 liter of water for 24 hours.

Seed treatment with 5% Trichoderma viride.

Before transplanting, seedling root dip with 5% Pseudomonas fluorescens.

Carrot seed spacing or Carrot plant distance

Carrot spacing depends upon the variety grown and its top height. Spacing needs are dictated by the width of the cultivation equipment being used.

Rows are marked with a spacing of about 25 – 30 cm apart. Sow the Carrot seeds mixed with sand and it should be one part of seed with 4 parts of sand.

Seed information of Carrots

  • In optimal conditions at least 60% of seeds will germinate
  • Usual the carrot seed life is 3 years
  • Seeding rates are usually calculated in seeds per foot of row
  • Rates are for raw, not for pelleted seeds

Taking care of Carrot seeds

  • Gently compost Carrots to retain moisture, seed germination, and block the sun from hitting the roots directly
  • Snip tops with scissors instead of pulling them out to prevent damage to the fragile roots of the remaining plants
  • Water at least once per week up to one inch to start, then two inches as roots mature
  • Sort out gently, but be cautious not to disturb the young Carrots’ roots while doing so
  • Fertilize with a low-nitrogen but high-potassium and -phosphate fertilizer 5 to 6 weeks after sowing

Harvest and storage of Carrots

Harvest of Carrots.

  • At any size, you can harvest the carrots, but the flavor is best when the carrot has turned bright orange
  • Generally, the smaller Carrots will have better taste
  • If you’re growing Carrots in the cooler periods and early summer, harvest the crop before the daily temperature gets too hot
  • After harvesting, store at a cold temperature just above 0ºC
  • You can store in sand or simply leave Carrots under the soil in the garden as it is during the winter, and pull off when you need them

Pre-sprouting of Carrots

Pre-sprouting is the most ideal approach to reduce the Carrot germination time and ensure a crop – there is no guessing whether the seedbed has accidentally gone dry and postponed or crashed your harvest.

Ways to pre-sprout Carrot seeds

There are two ways in pre-sprouting Carrot seeds.

Boiling water method

  • Sprinkle Carrot seed across a tray of sterile potting soil or seed starting mix
  • Pour very warm water or just boiling water over the seeds as it removes the cuticle and some lower layers of Carrot seed hulls
  • Cover the seeds with damp soil or seed starting mix and place the tray inside a plastic bag
  • Steam the soil with a kitchen spray bottle twice a day until the seed will get sprouted

Freezing method

  • Mix the seed with moist soil or seed starting mix; spread the mix across a seed-starting tray or paper plate
  • Place the tray or plate in a clear plastic bag, seal it, and put it in the freezer for 24 hours but not longer
  • Then place the seed and soil mix inside the plastic bag on a seed-starting heat mat or refrigerator top at 21°C to 27°C for three days or longer—until the seed has sprouted

What to do when seeds sprout

Once seeds sprout, take them out of the plastic bag—soil mix, seeding starting mix, and gently spread the sprouts in well-prepared rows and furrows of ¼-inch depth then cover them lightly with potting soil. Keep the new sprouts well watered until they are rooted and growing. 

Pre-sprouting results

  • The sprouts will grow uniformly and they will have the same height and produce a crop two weeks earlier than if you had sown directly in the planting seedbed
  • From sowing most Carrot varieties take 70 to 80 days to harvest. The best time to grow Carrots is in the cooling periods of the year such as spring or fall
  • You can store the fall grown Carrots in the garden bed until you are ready to use them—as long as the soil does not freeze

Commonly asked questions about Carrot seed germination/farming

Questions about Carrot farming.

How do you germinate Carrot seeds fast?

Pour very warm water or just boiling water over the seed. Boiling water removes the outer layer of the skin covering the exterior body surface of vertebrates and some lower layers of Carrot seed hulls. Cover the seeds with damp soil or seed starting mix and place the tray inside a plastic bag.

How much time does it take for a Carrot seed to sprout?

14 to 21 days

Carrot seeds take 14 to 21 days to sprout, most of the gardeners mix a few radish seeds, along with Carrot seeds to mark the row which sprouts quickly. Cover the seeds lightly. In cool temperatures of early spring and late fall, the best Carrots will grow.

Do Carrots need the sun to germinate?

Carrots are a full-sun plant. Though they tolerate partially, Carrots require at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight during the day time. Sunlight is important to grow the vegetables and Carrots that do not have a proper amount of sunlight will produce poor crop yields.

At what temperature do Carrots germinate?

Germination temperature: 10°C to 29°C – Will germinate at temperatures as low a 40 F, will germinate in about a week at 24°C, with adequate moisture. Seed can be saved for 3 years.

How often do you water Carrot seedlings?

Like other vegetables, growing Carrots require a minimum of 1 inch of water every week. If they cannot get an adequate supply from rainfall, you will need to water the soil. When you are watering your Carrots, make sure soil is soaked completely. 

What is the soil that suits to grow Carrots in?

The optimum soil for Carrots is loose, free of debris and clods, and either loamy or sandy. Plant seeds early in spring to avoid the summer heat, which will turn the roots hard and bitter.

What is the best fertilizer for Carrots?

Fertilize with a low-nitrogen but high-potassium and -phosphate fertilizer 5 to 6 weeks after sowing.

Should you soak Carrot seeds before planting?

Carrot seeds are generally slow germinators, but you can speed up things a little bit by priming the seeds indoors. Starting three to four days before you are planning to sow them, soak Carrot seeds in water for an hour, and then transfer them to a moist paper towel. Seeds germinate in one to two weeks, depending on the weather.

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