You would think that growing carrots is easy. However, many people find that however carefully you follow the instructions on the packet, they just refuse to grow. Or they do germinate successfully and then get eaten by bugs, or get pulled up accidentally with the weeds! Most vegetables that are prone to such difficulties can be started off in a seed tray and then planted out, but carrots are very fussy and do not like their roots to be disturbed. But..... there is a truly foolproof method of growing carrots which works every time!
Things You Will Need
Cardboard toilet roll tubes
Step 1Place the tubes in a seed tray - you will fill the tray so it is tightly packed so the tubes do not fall over. Fill each tube almost to the top with a mixture of multi-purpose compost and seed compost. Water each tube thoroughly.
Step 2Add just a few seeds to each tube. Cover the seeds with a light dusting of seed compost. Cover with a propagator lid or glass.
Step 3Keep the tubes in an unheated greenhouse and water daily. Once the seeds have germinated thin out to two or three carrots per tube.
Step 4Once the carrot tops are around 2 to 3 inches tall you will need to plant out. First though you will need to harden off by putting the tubes outside during the day and bringing in at night. You will need to repeat this for 3 or 4 days. In order to plant out you will need to dig a small hole for each tube. Once you have dug a hole, then carefully lift out the tube and place in the hole. Firm the soil around the hole. You can plant your tubes almost next to each other as carrots can stand being grown close together. Water well.
Step 5Continue to water during dry periods. When large enough then harvest the smaller carrots to allow the larger carrots to have more space. Harvest the larger carrots when grown to the required size - you should be able to judge this from the top of the carrot poking out of the top of the soil.
This is a method that has worked well for me and takes the chance and frustration out of growing carrots.
Tips & Warnings
Once you have sown your carrot seed in the tubes they will dry out extremely quickly, so make sure you water at least once a day. During warm periods you may need to water even more.
Once slight disadvantage of this method is the tendency of the larger carrots to bend over slightly at the end. This is (I think) a result of the roots exiting the compost and hitting the soil. A small price to pay I think!!