Tuesday, May 17, 2011

In the night garden


Oh look girls and boys it's Upsy Daisy in the night garden. Hello Upsy Daisy. Oh no Upsy Daisy we can't say that on a children's television show. Shall I tell all the girls and boys what you are doing in the night garden?

In the garden at the moment we have some carrot growing that were first raised in pots. I am not expecting any great success as every thing I have read and heard suggests they are highly sensitive to transplanting and thus this should be avoided. However it was worth the experiment while we were still preparing the garden.

What also makes carrots tricky to grow is the fact that their seeds are so small and require planting just slightly below the surface. This makes them vulnerable to quickly drying out or being washed away by the rain. Our garden is on a slop and even though very slight it is enough for the surface to wash down hill after a good rain.


In an attempt to overcome these challenges Melanie is trying a technique, courtesy of Linda Woodrow,  where the seeds are sown directly in the ground then covered with a blanket to help retain moisture and provide protection. Melanie has used hessian sacks that I acquired free from our local fodder store.


Unfortunately it's been a few weeks now and the only things sprouting under the hessian are a couple of sour sobs. What did Melanie do wrong? She does admit she failed to water regularly.

Has anyone tried this technique or got any tips for Melanie before she attempts this again?

BTW the fact that Melanie was doing this at night has nothing to do with the technique and every thing to do with there not being enough hours in the day.

15 comments:

  1. I fail to water things too and am left with very low germination rates!
    I use a similar method of covering in punnets with a folded piece of paper towel that I keep very wet. Once the seeds have germinated, I remove it, but it gives a good result. It also helps to protect the seeds from being displaced by watering!
    With carrots, I sow radish seeds around them because they germinate so quickly, they remind me to water them and by the time I have pulled the radishes the carrots are almost 2cm tall...

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  2. I have tried to grow carrots several times and have had no luck. The last time I managed two. That was it!

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  3. I have had several failures growing carrots apparently the soil needs to be very fine, the only carrots I have managed to grow have been the small round baby ones they look a bit like radishes. As for covering the seed I have noticed people using shade cloth to cover grass seed, must be for the same kind of thing keeps it damp and stops the birds too. I thought I might try some of that seed tape stuff next time.

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  4. Bev aka foodnstuffMay 18, 2011 at 6:12 PM

    The carrot seed tape I bought has worked well and the carrots are germinating...nicely spaced.

    I didn't cover them with anything...only a thin layer of sieved potting mix. I didn't need to worry about watering, because we've just had a week of rain.

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  5. Phoebe I am sorry but also pleased to hear you have similar short comings. It's nice to know you are not alone. I really like the radish idea and I understand how that would remind you to water. I might give that a go. I find I am very reliable at watering in summer because I set up a routine. However in winter the rain upsets my schedule.

    Veggiegobbler Hay 2 is 1 more than 1 and 2 more than none. The up side is that you know it's possible. I look forward to reading a post from you when you grow 3, and many more.

    Kellee I have heard that said about fine soil, but just recently I also heard the contrary claiming they are capable of pushing through even clay. Seed tape??? now I am going to have to google.

    Bev there it is again "seed tape". Hold on I will be right back..... I am back. Wow! what a novel idea. One of the blogs I follow has a post about making the stuff. Bev it's nice to hear a positive carrot experience. I hope they grow into fine specimens.

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  6. I just keep sowing and sowing...because they can be temperamental. I haven't had any luck with the seed tape either. I am sure it has to do with them drying out. My dad used to put a plank of wood over the row of seeds. This way, they never dried out. Of course, you have to check regularly to make sure they aren't up and being squashed. Wet towels are good too, because they hold the moisture, better than hessian. My most successful to date have been a mixed packet of Diggers Heirloom. Oh, and in cold weather, they just take FOREVER to germinate.

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  7. Hazel My first carrot growing experience was a successful one and that was with a pack of assorted Diggers heirloom as well.

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  8. love your 80% goal and look forward to reading more of your blog. thanks for sharing!

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  9. Dmarie you are welcome. And thank you visiting. That is an interesting photo of you squashed in rock. I trust they got you out ok ;)

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  10. I finally have some good carrots growing and am having to thin them out. Since my 4 year old daughter helped me plant them I am also finding some strage carrot growth - not just in the wrong garden beds, but they are growing in the crocks between my pavers - I sort of like them.

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  11. Anonymous I so love hearing other peoples gardening experiences. So here we have a number of us who are having difficulties growing carrots, then here you are with carrots growing like weeds. Love it! thanks for sharing.

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  12. Hey, I just gt down on my hands and knees and some of my carrots are up...it took over three weeks...don't give up!

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  13. Hazel thanks for that info. There is hope for our carrots yet. Oh and congratulations on yours.

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  14. Congratulations were premature...bloody slugs. I will sow some more. *sigh*

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  15. Oh Hazel no! I am finding the plastic milk containers are doing a good job at protecting a small handful of my carrots. Like you say, you just got to soldier on and plant more, then sometimes even more.

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