As cooler weather approaches, it’s time to break out the seed packets and get planting. Not only will I be planting the Brassica family of plants (broccoli, cabbage, Brussels), but this month I’ll be planting carrot seeds.
Rather than germinating my seeds in a greenhouse environment on my patio, I’ll be planting my carrot seeds in a direct sow method. As carrot seeds are teeny-tiny, I’ll have to carefully drop them from pinched finger and thumb into a shallow canal in the soil.
They’ll germinate within a week or so and form a line of delicate green sprouts. As they grow and develop their customary feathery leaves, I’ll have a better idea how many will actually survive through maturity. Why won’t they all survive the long haul?
Thinning the Carrot Sprouts
Because I cannot control exactly how many carrots fall from my fingertips, I usually over seed which leads to overcrowding. Each carrot will need a good inch to either side as they plunge deep into the soil. If I leave them as they are, I’ll end up harvesting a bunch of skinny carrots. I don’t know about you, but I prefer my mine nice and fat. So once they reach a height of about 3 inches, I’ll take a pair of scissors and thin the line by clipping the smallest stems and leaves between the larger, leaving about 2 inches between the strongest, most vital-looking sprouts.
Kids love this part! Something about taking a pair of scissors and “cutting the hair” of their carrots brings a smile to a child’s face. Watching them grow and harvesting ranks right up there, but active participation is always a win. For more details on how to grow carrots, check my How-To Grow section.
My son likes to eat his carrots raw. My daughter doesn’t prefer them at all. Grow what you’ll eat! Or all this “fun” will be for not. For new ways to consume carrots, check out Yummly.