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Sowing Carrots & Onions

ShepsSheps Posts: 2,228
Morning all...I've sowed some carrots and onions this morning...carrots sowed into large 7cm x 7cm square x 9cm deep cells, decided to take my chances on one seed per cell so I don't have to disturb them when planting out.

I sowed the onions in the same way as the lovely lady on GW , so into a small seed tray and lightly covered.

These will be left in the greenhouse until ready to plant out, unless there is going to be a frost.

Any advice most welcome and do I need to treat them the same as my other seedlings and use propagator lids?



  • Jenny_AsterJenny_Aster Posts: 936
    My carrot and onion seeds just get planted in the garden without any extra coddling, as they're relatively hardy, I guess they'll germinate when the time's right. 
    Trying to be the person my dog thinks I am! 

    Cambridgeshire/Norfolk border.
  • pinutpinut Posts: 191
    edited April 2023

    That is a risky strategy as there is no redundancy to fall back on - like counting your chicken before they've hatched.

    To get one carrot, sow 3-5 seeds then apply Darwin's theory of natural selection for gardeners: nip or snip out the weakest seedlings leaving the strongest to grow on. You do not pull them out, just removing the green tops will kill them off.

    As for onions, if you want show size and quality, you need to start the seeds off earlier - get them germinated by February to get a long growing season.

    You don't need a propagator, any container with drainage holes will do. Cover with cling film/clear plastic bag/sheet of glass etc if you have them and place them somewhere warm as they need the warmth to germinate.
  • LynLyn Posts: 23,190
    I agree, bit late for onions,  but they prefer to be cooler so I would take the lid off and keep them cool. 
    Carrots and parsnips are not keen on being transplanted,  best sown direct. 

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • ShepsSheps Posts: 2,228
    Thanks both, all part of the learning curve as first time sowing both.

    Point taken re the carrots, but won't cling film / glass do the same thing as a propagator lid.

    Onions will be for salads, so Spring Onions I guess.

    Raised beds will be filled at the weekend, so might have a go at direct sowing then.
  • LynLyn Posts: 23,190
    Raised beds are ideal for carrots,  the carrot fly can’t fly higher than 18”. So you’ll be ok there. 
    Your Spring Onion seeds will be fine this time of year,  you can sow a few more next month for succession planting.   That way you’ll have fresh spring onions through the summer into autumn.
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • ShepsSheps Posts: 2,228
    Thanks @Lyn great news on the onions 😁 raised beds are not that raised at only 20cm high, I'm really relying on veg cages and Veggiemesh to keep out the nasties.
  • Jenny_AsterJenny_Aster Posts: 936
    I sown some onion seeds too late last year (Stuttgart Giants), when they got to be a bit bigger than a marble I stopped watering them, letting them dry in the summer heat. I gathered them, stored them over winter and now I've used them as onion sets, planting them this year. Believe I've to be careful about them flowering, though I think I'd like some to flower so I can collect the seeds. If you don't think your onions are going to be big enough, you could always treat them like sets and be well on your way to huge onions next year.
    Trying to be the person my dog thinks I am! 

    Cambridgeshire/Norfolk border.
  • ShepsSheps Posts: 2,228
    Thanks @Jenny_Aster 👍
  • scrogginscroggin Posts: 434
    @Sheps, I sow my spring onions in multi trays as shown, then transplant each module into the garden when they're 3to 4" high. These were sown in a cold greenhouse on the 13th March, I'll sow some more in a couple of weeks for succession.
    I've only ever direct down carrots and use enviromesh to keep the dreaded carrot fly away.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,889
    I've only ever sown carrots direct too - but in containers so that the soil mix is suitable, and to avoid potential carrot fly as mentioned already. I think I do them in May but it's a while since I've grown them, and I'd need to look back at photos etc.
    I'd need to devote the entire garden to carrots if I wanted to be self sufficient in them so it isn't really worthwhile!
    I use old compost from the previous year's annuals for them as it's lower in nutrients. Carrots don't like richer soil .  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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