All summer long, every few weeks, I did a new planting of carrots. Most did
not germinate. I planted different varieties from different vendors, so I
know the seed wasn't the problem. I think it may have just been too hot all
summer (temperatures regularly 100 and above). As a result, two of my beds
now have tons of un-germinated carrot seeds in them. One of them holds
garlic now, and the other has the wilted remains of peanuts.
I am wondering if some of the seeds may sprout and grow into carrots next
spring. I know that you can plant onions in the fall and have them sprout
first thing in spring; would this apply to carrots as well? I have noticed
a few sprouts since the weather got cooler, but they haven't really done
much, as it is quite cold at night. Do carrot seeds just stay sleeping all
winter and sprout in the spring like onions do?
I stuck some grocery store carrots in the ground a few years ago and
grew them out because my wife likes Queen Anne's Lace (wild carrot.)
They grew about 5 feet tall, seeded, and now I get volunteer carrots
every year -- it's just like dill; hard to get started, but then
reseeds readily. So I think that means fall-planted seeds work better
than planting in the spring. But it may depend on the climate.
(BTW, the volunteer carrots have tough mostly white roots, not yellow
I'm guessing you have Queen Ann's Lace in the area, so they crossed.
Gary Woods AKA K2AHC- PGP key on request, or at home.earthlink.net/~garygarlic
Zone 5/6 in upstate New York, 1420' elevation. NY WO G
Utah wasn't it? Why plant a cool weather crop in the summer heat?
As to your question; in the wild seeds have to overwinter to survive, so
yes it is possible, although I would not imagine not in your climate
extremes. Besides today's crops are a far hybrid journey from their wild
So while possible, your overwintered seed bed can be a breeding ground for
carrot diseases*, so practice safe gardening. Besides if you get a good
soil freeze you will kill most of them off. Also, I would destroy any
volunteers that do come up and rely solely on tested seed stock. There can
be good and bad reasons why Volunteers survive, for example; an undesirable
throwback to earlier breeding stock. If you are into food production you
don't have the time to spend finding out why. That's a dollar waiting on a
dime. Besides, you want to grow seed stock a ways from your garden anyway
and rotate your crops .
A technique you can use on your seed stock is to try to germinate prior to
planting to see if they are viable. a simple wet paper towel in a sunny
window is usually sufficient. That way you know it is not the seed before
you plant and can concentrate on the garden variables. BTW, Carrot seeds
don't transplant well so these are on a suicide mission.
Some guidelines to review:
BTW white root is touched on in these links
*Integrated Approaches for Carrot Pests and Disease Management from General
Concepts in Integrated Pest and Disease Management By Aurelio Ciancio, K.
Because they all grew wonderfully last summer in the exact same temps.
Anyway, I'm not really LOOKING to grow carrots from dormant seeds. I was
just wondering if I might expect to see them come up next year.
Yes, you may, but carrot seeds in the soil are usually short lived and don't
Interesting you say "wilting remains of peanuts"? How did those do for you?
do you grow them often? same bed?
Yes, but different beds. Last year's bed was in the shade, and this year's
was in the sun, which may have made the difference. Or the soil could have
been finer in the other bed. I will try them in the shady bed again next
year and see if I get better results.
I tried peanuts for the first time this summer, because this area is similar
in climate to the Deep South (this area used to be a booming cotton town,
and it was originally called Dixie before they re-named it St. George). But
they didn't do very well. I may try again, but I mainly grew them as a
curiosity, as I also did with cotton (which did VERY well!). I like growing
weird things alongside the tomatoes and onions! Sometimes I do very well,
and sometimes I don't, but it's cool trying.
Well, I didn't do this on purpose; I am just curious about all the seeds
that I planted all summer that are still un-germinated in the ground that is
now growing cooler and moister. I wouldn't deliberately try to plant
carrots this time of year, but these were already planted, months ago! I
will definitely start a whole new bed in the spring.
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