Got carrot seeds? For best results, sow carrot seeds directly into the ground and do this just after the last frost date in your area when the soil is at a minimum temperature of 7C. To have carrots that you can harvest until fall, sow more carrots every 3 weeks — you can keep doing this until you a) get enough to feed a family of four, which is 150 plants, b) you run out of space, or c), you get bored of eating too many carrots.
It takes between 14-21 days for the seeds to germinate and 60 to 80 days after planting before you will start harvesting your fresh carrots.
Katrina Violette at Adagio Farms, an organic farm in Chisholm, Ontario, has some key tips for keeping those carrots seeds moist for the 2 to 3 weeks before they germinate. Try this:
- Soak carrot seeds for 4-5 days.
- Set one cup of water to boil and add two tablespoons of corn starch.
- Boil until the mixture thickens, and pour it into a plastic bag.
- Let cool and add your carrot seeds to the bag; mix well to ensure seeds are evenly mixed.
- Snip off a corner of the bag, and squeeze it into rows in the garden.
- Admire toothpaste-looking, but evenly spaced, carrot seeds.
- The cornstarch gel encourages moisture to remain near the seeds.
When you are ready to plant, form straight rows in the soil about 15-20 cms (6-8 inches apart) and drop the seeds in the ground about 2.5 cms (1 inch) apart. If the seeds are a little closer, don’t worry (carrot seeds are very small and it’s difficult to be precise), you can thin out the plants when they start growing.
Cover the seeds with a light layer of soil and water well.