Monday, April 23, 2012

Carrot Seed Mats and Some Onions Planted

It has been raining for the past two days. Heavy at times, but mostly a gentle sprinkle. The temperatures are much cooler, more seasonable for this time of the year. I can almost see green sprouting before my very eyes. The grass is ready for its first mow and the leaves are beginning to unfurl among the trees surrounding out property.

Last weekend, K helped me prepare one of the in ground gardens for planting. We removed one of the trellis supports that the pole beans grew on last year to make space for the San Marzano Tomatoes that will be grown on the remaining trellis this year.

Two New Semi-Raised Beds

The garden was amended with compost and mixed in with the Mantis cultivator. K also helped by building two 3x8 foot frames out of 2x4s. These were filled with garden soil amended with compost. Carrots and onions will be grown in one of the new beds and peppers will planted in the other.  


Carrots were the motivation to actually frame in a few beds this year. I have difficulty growing carrots and I am hoping that the slightly raised bed and deeply dug and amended soil will result in a happy place for carrots to grow. 

The carrot seed mats (Granny's method) were made earlier in the season one day when I was dreaming of gardening but the weather was not cooperating. I found some cheap napkins that measured exactly 12x12 inches. I folded the napkins into quarters and glued a couple carrot seeds along the top and left edges and at the crossed creases. They were folded up and stored in zipper bags until ready for planting.

Carrot Seed Mats

After a long workday on Friday, I was able to plant out the carrots and some onion sets into the new bed. The soil was really dry, so I spread out a soaker hose watered the bed well in the morning then again after planting.



Scarlet Nantes and Imperial carrot seed mats planted with Red Baron onion sets in between. Danvers carrots were planted after the photo was taken on the very end. 

17 comments:

  1. Must have been awfully hot that those carrots and onions "panted", LOL! Been there, done that....I usually either put the wrong month or year in my title ;-)

    I'm wondering why such large spacing on your carrot mats....I crowd them in at 2" apart, and get over 50 seeds on a mat! Of course, I like to pull some of them at baby size, and there are always some that don't germinate.

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    1. Whoops! I fixed that typo. I did see you mention that you are spacing your carrot seeds on your mats at 2-inches. But I had already made these up a while ago at 3-inch spacing. Planting them closer would help eliminate weeds too. I'll give that a try on my next batch.

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  2. I hope it works really well. I have such trouble keeping carrots wet enough that I can hardly get them to germinate. I may have to do both mats and boards over to keep them wet. Or wait until next winter . . . Good luck on yours.

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    1. I have difficulty keeping carrots watered enough early on as well. I hope now that I am home I will remember to check them. I have better luck growing carrots in fall for some reason, but last fall my bed was dug up by a neighborhood cat before the carrots grew.

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  3. Looks good! My carrots that were planted a month ago finally have some real leaves. They seem to take forever to get going.

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    1. I hope these don't take a month to sprout, but I wouldn't be surprised if they do.

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    2. Mine always take at least three weeks. I planted mine a month ago and they are just now beginning to get their first true leaves. I had to look sideways at the bed to even see them last week.

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    3. Mine take three weeks in the spring and half that time in the summer. Mine are up and some have their first true leaf. We had RAIN the last couple of days though so the soil is nice and damp for a change. I wonder how much things have grown. I've got to get out and check things.

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    4. This is probably why I don't have much luck with carrots. I've never been very patient and probably forgot to keep an eye on the moisture of the carrot bed. I hope to do better this time.

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  4. Good luck with your carrots!! I've had hit and miss luck with them. 2 years ago I had perfect carrots. Last year I had sporatic germination and forked carrots.

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    1. Holly, two years ago I had some great fall carrots. So it is possible for me to grow some, but we will see :)

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  5. Brilliant idea for planting carrots! That will have surely help keep them from washing away these past few days!

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    1. I was worried when the rain came down so hard and fast, but the seed matts survived the abuse. Now if only the carrots will grow.

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  6. Love the new beds! Looks like your garden is getting bigger every year!

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    1. Thanks Thomas! Just a mini-expansion this year, but it will make watering with soaker hoses more efficient and it will be much easier to keep the paths in between the beds clean.

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  7. That's a great idea to make carrot seed mats. Carrots are always difficult to keep moist enough to get them to sprout plus they always seem to take their time. I might have to try your method.

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    1. Keeping them moist enough to sprout seems to be my downfall. I am trying to make extra effort to be diligent this time.

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