Carrots, crisp and crunchy, are an undemanding crop in the garden. You can grow varieties different than those in grocery stores. Carrots range from midgets no more than 3 inches long to giants over a foot. Carrot seeds germinate faster in warmer -- but not hot -- weather. Get a jump-start on spring by planting carrot seeds indoors a few weeks before the last frost in spring.
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Things you need
- 4-inch peat pots
- Potting soil
- Waterproof tray
- Cling film
- Spray bottle
- Grow lights
Fill the peat pots with fresh potting soil. Don't use old soil because it might carry the fungus that causes wilting. If that's all you've got, spread the soil in a roasting pan and place in a 250-degree oven for 30 minutes. Turn the oven off and let the soil cool to room temperature.
Water the pots until the soil is soaked, then place the pots in a waterproof tray.
Place three carrot seeds in each pot, equidistant from one another and at least 1/2-inch apart. Cover with no more than 1/8-inch of soil. Press the soil over the seeds. Spray with a misting of water until the soil and seeds are damp.
Cover the entire tray and the pots with cling film. Place it in a sunny window. The plastic absorbs the heat from the sun and helps the seeds sprout sooner. Check every few days and mist with water, if needed. The soil should be damp but not soggy. As soon as the seeds have sprouted, remove the plastic.
Keep the tray in a sunny window that receives six to eight hours of daily sunlight. If that's not possible, place the trays under grow lights. As the carrot tops grow, move the lights up. Turn the tray every other day so all the carrots sprouts get equal light, otherwise they may bend toward the light.
Transplant the entire peat pot in the garden, making sure the rim of the pot is under the soil. If exposed, it will wick the moisture out of the soil and dry out the carrots.
Tips and warnings
- Use the larger peat pots rather than the small ones to give the carrot root more room to grow. Once it hits the bottom of the pot, it will fork.
- Don't wait too long to transplant to the garden.
- Because carrots are a root crop, they may not do well when transplanted.
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