20) Early summer carrots (sowing indoors, growing outdoors)

In this tip:

  • Introduction
  • Remarks and experience
  • A)# Growing mini summer carrots with long straight roots.
  • B)# Growing in a shove tray with compost (and shoving in the garden soil).
  • C)# Shove tray (old design), carton cardboard drink pack

Introduction

Perhaps you want to grow summer carrots very early in spring. In gardening books and on the internet you find articles about germinating carrot seeds in peat-dust or moist sand. The moist, sticky germinated seeds must be carefully sown in the garden soil. I think that this sowing method is not so easy.

I have a good experience with the next procedures (short descriptions):

1) Sowing (laying) “short germinated” carrot seeds in the garden soil

zaadjes schuin 2

schuifzaai 89

schuifzaai 90

  • Germinate summer carrot seeds indoors on moist toilet paper.

.

  • Choose a piece of garden soil in a greenhouse or under a tunnel greenhouse.

schuif 70

vroege zomerwortels 19

  • You can use a lath with sowing holes and a sowing stick with rubber band to make shallow sowing holes in the soil, at fixed distances.

pincet 1

  • Use tweezers to pick each seed with a short root from the moist toilet paper.

vroege zomerwortels 20a

  • Lay those seeds in shallow sowing holes on moist garden soil.

vroege zomerwortels 21a

  • Or lay these seeds just on the moist garden soil.

tiny 4

vroege zomerwortels 20b

vroege zomerwortels 23a

vroege zomerwortels 23b

  • Cover the germinating seeds with a thin layer of sieved dry (garden) sand. This dry sand on moist garden soil will get moist.
  • Or sprinkle a thin layer of moist crumbled soil on the seeds.

20210216

  • Put a transparent cover of a mini greenhouse over the germinating seeds.

20210215

  • Close the (tunnel) greenhouse over the transparent cover.
  • In this way the germinating seeds “lie well” in the soil; frost free and warm at sunshine.
  • Let the emerged carrot plants grow bigger.
  • Remove the transparent cover under the tunnel greenhouse in March (late winter, early spring), otherwise it is too warm at sunny weather. From this moment on, the plants are covered by the (tunnel) greenhouse only.
  • Remove the (tunnel) greenhouse or open the greenhouse in April or May (mid spring).

.

.

2) Planting “long germinated” carrot seeds (mini carrots) in the garden soil

vroege zomerwortels 12

  • Germinate summer carrot seeds indoors on moist toilet paper and let the carrots grow bigger on the toilet paper.
  • When using a trick (described further on) you get “straight” carrot plants, each one with a long straight root. I call them “mini summer carrot plants”.

.

  • Choose a piece of garden soil in a greenhouse or under a tunnel greenhouse.

vroege zomerwortels 25

vroege zomerwortels 26

  • Make a deep narrow hole in the garden soil; that is easy with a fork or with the stem of a fork or spoon.

vroege zomerwortels 12

pincet 1

  • Use tweezers to pick each mini summer carrot plant from the moist toilet paper.

vroege zomerwortels 27a

  • Hold the mini summer carrot plant in the tweezers while doing next steps:
    • Lower the root of the mini summer carrot plant in the deep narrow hole in the garden soil.
    • Make sure that this root gets straight vertically in the hole in the garden soil.
    • Close the hole in the soil; use the fork or the stem to push garden earth against the side of this root.
  • Now you can release the mini summer carrot plant from the tweezers. If it’s okay, the mini carrot plant remains at the same level in the garden soil.

vroege zomerwortels 27

  • Plant more mini summer carrot plants in the garden soil.

vroege zomerwortels 28

  • Spray cold water on the plants and on the garden soil.

20210216

  • Put a transparent cover (of a mini greenhouse) over the planted mini summer carrot plants.

20210215

  • Close the (tunnel) greenhouse over the transparent cover.
  • In this way the mini summer carrot plants “are well” in the soil; frost free and warm at sunshine.
  • Let the carrot plants grow bigger.
  • Remove the transparent cover under the tunnel greenhouse in March (late winter, early spring), otherwise it is too warm at sunny weather. From that moment on, the plants are covered by the (tunnel) greenhouse only.
  • Remove the (tunnel) greenhouse or open the greenhouse in April or May (mid spring).

.

in de tuingrond

At June 1 (late spring), the summer carrots are this big. These summer carrots grew from germinating seeds that were laid (sown) in the garden soil. Or from mini summer carrot plants that were planted in the garden soil. These carrots are rather long and rather straight.

.

Remark:

balkonbak 1

You can sow summer carrots or plant mini carrot plants indoors in a balcony tray. Let the summer carrots grow bigger indoors.

balkonbak 4

balkonbak 5

Dig in the balcony tray in the garden soil and water the plants.

20210424

Put a (tunnel) greenhouse over the plants and let the summer carrots grow bigger. Open or remove the (tunnel) greenhouse in April or May (mid spring).

balkonbak 7b eng

This photo shows 4 groups of summer carrots at June 1 (late spring): 3 groups of carrots in trays and 1 group in garden soil (between tray 1 and 2). The summer carrots in the trays are smaller (lower) than carrots in the garden soil.

in de tuingrond

Harvest: summer carrots that grew in the open garden soil.

balkonbak 8

Harvest: summer carrots that grew in trays.

The summer carrots that grew in trays are shorter and thinner than carrots from the open garden soil. And some carrots have a kink at the lower end (due to the bottom of the tray).

.

Conclusion: Germinated summer carrot seeds or mini summer carrot plants grow in garden soil into “good” summer carrots. When they grow in a balcony tray filled with garden soil, the carrots are smaller and/or thinner.

The best procedure is sowing or planting in the open garden soil in a greenhouse or under a tunnel.

.

3) Planting mini summer carrot plants in a shove tray

The next procedure is oldest. Sow or plant summer carrots indoors in a shove tray. Let the carrots grow some bigger. Get the block of soil with small carrot plants out of the shove tray and put the block in (on) the garden soil. Under a greenhouse tunnel.

  • Put each mini summer carrot plant in a shove tray filled with sieved compost.
  • Let the carrots grow bigger indoors.

  • Shove the block of soil with small carrot plants on (in) the garden soil in a greenhouse or under a tunnel greenhouse. Use a putty knife to shove the block out of the tray.
    • (Or stab the putty knife at the bottom in the shove tray and lift the block out of the shove tray. Lay the putty knife with the block of soil on the garden soil. Hold the block and pull the putty knife out from underneath. This is much easier (no photos yet)).

  • Put a transparent cover of a mini greenhouse over the small carrot plants.

  • Close the (tunnel) greenhouse over the transparent cover.
  • Let the carrot plants grow bigger.
  • Remove the transparent cover under the tunnel greenhouse in March (late winter, early spring), otherwise it is too warm at sunny weather. From that moment on, the plants are covered by the (tunnel) greenhouse only.
  • Remove the (tunnel) greenhouse or open the greenhouse in April or May (mid spring).
  • Harvest the carrots when they are big enough.

.

Foil over the tunnel greenhouse:

At all above mentioned procedures you can do the next:

  • Put plastic foil over the tunnel at very cold, freezing weather.
  • Lay bricks on the far ends against blowing away or getting loose.
  • Remove the foil when temperature is higher again.

.

Remarks and experience:

  • In late winter, “dry” summer carrot seeds germinate very slow in garden soil, even in  or under a greenhouse (tunnel). It is too cold then. It can take several weeks before the first carrot plants are there. For a fast germination, the temperature must be highter than 18 C (64 F) for many hours.
  • Indoors, carrot seeds germinate much faster on moist toilet paper or in moist soil. Definitely in a warm place. After 1 to 2 weeks, there are many seeds with a small root.
  • In a balcony tray filled with garden soil, you can sow “dry” carrot seeds. That goes well too. Put the tray at a warm spot in your house. Let the seeds germinate and let the plants grow bigger.
  • The least work: sow (lay) short germinated summer carrot seeds in garden soil. Or plant mini summer carrot plants in the garden soil. Put a transparent cover and a (tunnel) greenhouse over the seeds. From mid spring on, you have the first harvest. This procedure works well and you harvest big (rather straight) carrots.
  • More work is sowing or planting in a balcony tray filled with garden earth/compost mixture. Let the plants grow bigger indoors or under a tunnel greenhouse. Dig the balcony box in the garden soil. Put a transparent cover and a tunnel greenhouse over.
    • Many carrot plants in the balcony box grow slower or give smaller carrots than in the open garden soil. Or carrots with a kink at the lower end (due to the bottom of the balcony box).
  • Much work is using the shove tray. This tray is not so deep so big chance of bent carrots in the garden soil.

.

.

A)# Growing mini summer carrots with long straight roots.

vroege zomerwortels 7

  • Let summer carrot seeds germinate indoors. The seeds lie on moist toilet paper in a tray or margarine box that is “on the side”. Due to that position, each carrot seed gets a long root that grows (about) straight down. This procedure is as follows:

vroege zomerwortels 2

  • It is wise to use a small gray plastic plate (with beveled corners).
  • With this grey plate, you can see clearly how the seeds germinate.
  • Fold the gray plate in the sheet of toilet paper. Instead of toilet paper, you can use a piece of tissue or paper handkerchief.

vroege zomerwortels 3

  • Lay the plate with toilet paper in the margarine box.
  • Lay or shove the plate with paper against 1 long side of the box (on the photo above the whole is against the lower long side of the box).
  • Pour or spray water on the toilet paper in teh box.
  • Pour out the excess water.
  • Make sure that the plastic plate with toilet paper is always against the lower long side.

vroege zomerwortels 4

  • You can make a pencil mark at the outer side of the box indicating at what side the toilet paper touches the long side of the box (red arrow).

vroege zomerwortels 5

  • Lay dry summer carrot seeds on moist toilet paper. That goes well when using a small tray and the moist point of a cocktail stick.
  • Lay the seeds on as shown on the photo above;
    • 3 or 4 rows of seeds on the upper half of the gray plastic plate.
    • lay the seeds In bond” (in each horizontal row shifted in relation to 1 row higher or lower).
  • Hold the box slanting (with the side of the plate that touches the box down); after a while a puddle of water appears. That is okay.
  • When no puddle visible, spray or pour water in the box.
  • Put the box upright again.

vroege zomerwortels 6

  • Put (click) on a well fitting lid on the box.
  • Put the box on a warm place (above a radiator or on a central heating unit).

vroege zomerwortels 7

  • Put the box on the side; in the box, the toilet paper and the plastic plate touch the lower long side of the box.

.

Explanation:

vroege zomerwortels 8

vroege zomerwortels 9

These photos show the box without a lid, for explanation. The box is on the side. At the top the seeds stick to the moist toilet paper. Under the seeds there are a few centimeters (2 inches) room, so the roots can grow straight there.

Under the gray plate there is a puddle of water. This water keeps the toilet paper moist when the box is on the side.

.

Continue:

  • Let he carrot seeds germinate.
  • Regularly check the germination: (put box upright, lid off, check, lid on, put box on the side). Meanwhile also check if there is enough water in the box.

vroege zomerwortels 10

vroege zomerwortels 11

After 7 days of germination, the mini summer carrot plants are this big. Big enough to be replanted. But when you wait one more day….

vroege zomerwortels 12

vroege zomerwortels 13

….. the mini summer plants are even bigger. These mini carrot plants have little leaves already. Plant them out now; for longer summer carrot plants are harder to replant straight in the garden soil.

.

.

B)# Growing in a shove tray with compost (and shoving in the garden soil)

Replant “mini carrots” in shove trays, filled with compost. Let the plants grow some bigger indoors. After a few weeks you can shove the blocks of planting soil in (on) the garden soil.

.

B1) Shove tray and insert tray

It is useful to replant the mini carrots in a shove tray. The making of the shove tray is described in   tip 2   nr 68.

  • On this photo: at the left side the shift tray, at the right the insert tray (with 2 bites in th eupper edge).
  • Put a shift tray in an insert tray to make a “set” or “combi “.

.

B2) Filling with compost and replanting mini carrots

  • Make planting soil; mix sieved compost or potting soil with agricultural lime. Ratio: 1 part agricultural lime and 20 parts of potting soil or compost.
  • Fill the “set” with planting soil. Height about 0.5 centimeters (1/5 inch) under the edge.

  • Lay a piece of place mat with holes on the soil. Distance between holes is about 3 centimeters (1.2 inch).
  • Use a pencil or planting stick to make planting holes of 1 centimeter (0.4 inch) deep.

  • Or lay a piece of sink mat on the soil.
  • Make planting holes of about 1 centimeter (0.4 inch) deep.

  • Planting soil with (11) planting holes.

  • Make a planting hole deeper and wider.
  • Put a mini carrot in the planting pit.
  • Shove planting soil against the stem, fill the planting hole.
  • Plant (11) minicarrots in this way.

  • Eleven (11) mini carrots planted out.

  • Spray cold tap water on the soil.

  • You can scatter dry sieved (garden) sand between the plsnts on the planting soil.
  • To reduce drying out of the soil. And to have less weed plants growing.
  • But without the sand on, the growing goes well too.

  • “Drop” the tray on a flat surface to “distribute” the sand equally over the tray.

  • Put a transparent (plastic) box over the tray.
  • Put the whole at a light spot at about 20 C (68 F).
  • Let the carrots grow bigger indoors.

.

B3) Shoving a block of soil with carrot plants in the garden

In January, February or the beginning of March (mid to late winter) you can shove the block of sowing soil in the garden. The outside temperature is low during that period.

So you better put a (tunnel) greenhouse over the little plants after shoving. Or put the greenhouse on the soil a few days before, to warm the garden soil ahead.

Open the greenhouse right before shoving the plants.

  • Put the combi with small carrot plants on a flat surface.
  • Fill a small beaker with cold (tap) water.
  • Pour the water on the sowing soil.
  • Wait at least 5 minutes before continuing. In the mean time the water can drop in the soil. Moist sowing soil is easier to shove out of the tray. And moist soil is sticky, so it does not fall apart so easily during or after shoving.

  • Use a fork or a garden shovel to loosen the garden soil deeply.
  • Use a small wooden board to make a furrow in the soil.

  • Sprinkle some agricultural lime on the soil in the furrow, when desired.
  • Use a garden shovel to mix the lime with the soil and to loosen the soil deeply. Straight carrots grow in loose garden soil. In compact garden soil you get crooked or branched carrots.

  • Again use a small wooden board to make a furrow in the soil.

  • Put the combi in the furrow on the soil.

  • Carefully lift the shove tray out of the insert tray.
  • Put a putty-knife under the block of planting soil so the block gets loose. After this, shoving is much easier.

  • Put a putty knife in the shove tray near the short closed side.

  • Carefully pull the shove tray underneath the block of sowing soil with plants.
  • In the mean time use the putty knife to retain the block of sowing soil.

Remark:

  • In plaats van het schuifkuipje onder het blok zaaigrond wegtrekken kun je het volgende doen:
    • Steek het plamuurmes onderaan in het schuifkuipje en til het blok uit het kuipje.
    • Leg het plamuurmes met blok op de gewenste plek op de tuingrond.
    • Houd het blok tegen en trek het plamuurmes er onder vandaan.
    • Deze werkwijze gaat veel handiger (nog geen foto’s).

.

  • Put the “next” combi in the furrow.
  • Lift the shove tray out of the insert.
  • Put a putty-knife under the block of planting soil so the block gets loose. After this, shoving is much easier.
  • Put the shove tray next to the “previous shoved” block in the furrow.

  • Carefully shove the block with little carrot plants on the soil.

  • It can happen that the blocks of sowing soil fall apart.
  • Then use a small wooden board to keep the blocks in shape.
  • Use a putty knife to shove some garden soil against the sides of the blocks.

  • When no more blocks present, shove garden soil against the blocks to fill the furrow.
  • The blocks are soaking wet, so no water need to be sprayed on.
  • Put a tray with water on the garden soil in the greenhouse.
  • (The water makes the air moist. And during frosty weather, water freezes before the carrot plants will freeze).

.

B4) Tunnel, plastic cover and plastic foil

  • After shoving the carrots, put a greenhouse (tunnel) over the plants (again).
  • Only a greenhouse is sufficient at non freezing weather.

  • At cold, freezing weather put a plastic transparent cover over the carrot plants. The tunnel greenhouse is put over this plastic cover.

  • When you have put many small carrot plants in the garden soil, you can put 2 overs next to each other over them.
  • Caution; do not plant the carrots at the position where 2 hoods meet. Plants at that position  will be flattened by the edges of the covers.
  • Put a tray with water on the garden soil in the greenhouse.
  • (The water makes the air moist. And during frosty weather, water freezes before the carrot plants will freeze).

  • After shoving the carrots, put a greenhouse (tunnel) over the plants, the covers and/or the trays with water.

  • When very cold, freezing weather is forecasted, put plastic foil over the greenhouse.
  • Put bricks on the ends of the foil against blowing away.
  • Remove the foil at non freezing temperatures.

.

.

C)# Shove tray (old design), carton cardboard drink pack

Before the shove tray, made of margarine boxes, I used this design. This long tray is less usefull than the shove tray of margarine boxes.

You can make a shove tray out of a cardboard drink pack. Photos below:

.

Small summer carrots growing.

Shoving blocks of sowing soil out of cardboard drink pack (the first block on the soil has been shoved out of another shoving box).

Advertisement

4 thoughts on “20) Early summer carrots (sowing indoors, growing outdoors)”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: