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Failed Carrots

To date I have sown around 6 maybe 7 sowing of carrot seed. BUT I have yet to grow any carrots!!!  I have sown early and late variety (Tendersnax and Autumn king) as I have done for the past 9 years on the allotment. No problems in the past but this year as soon as the seeds have germinated to around 1/2 inc tall they suddenly disappear? All sowings have been covered in enviromesh from the start and no soil disturbance present. Different brands of seeds used in different locations as I have two plots on two different sites (about 4 mile from each other). Other plot holders also having similar issues in germinating the carrot seed. Even now the weather and soil are very warm the problem still exists.


  • endpaperendpaper Posts: 27

    Hi I'm new to growing but saw you've not yet got any replies and since I've been reading up for my own carrots I thought I'd have a go at your mystery.

    There seems to be a big clue in the fact other plot holders have the same problem as it feels like this means your problem is not something you're doing but something in the environment. Since no problems in the past, that also suggests soil type is unlikely to be the culprit provided it's got enough nutrients in it - and I would've thought if it were soil issue you'd have the problem later, once there's more of a root structure... So... that leaves pests and diseases. Enviromesh presumably rules out bigger critters like carrot fly, so does this leave diseases, esp those that get into the soil before the mesh might be placed?

    My guess based on the above and what you said about the size of the seedlings when they disappeared is 'damping off', which is a soil-borne fungus... It likes cold and damp conditions, and suggested remedies would be improving drainage and avoiding overcrowding to limit its spread.

    Bear in mind that I am currently just watching my very first seedlings emerge at about 1.5 cm, so am not exactly the voice of experience, but in any case I hope my thoughts might still help!

  • mixymaxmixymax Posts: 7

    Hi endpaper,

    many thanks for taking the time to reply 

    I agree with all you say. I can only add that my soil is very light and free draining on BOTH sites

    my methods and timings are as per previous seasons and always avoid the temptation of sowing too early - unlike other plot holders who seem to sow some 4-5 weeks before me

    ( strangely enough their showings are romping away??????)

    just made another sowing

    that said - we can but try try and try again but as again many thanks for input

  • milkseymilksey Posts: 2

    Hello mixymax what is the latest on your carrots as I am having a similar problem and am thinking poor quality seed.

  • mixymaxmixymax Posts: 7

    Hi milksey

    still the same I'm afraid. About 8 showings down the line and not one carrot! I am told that the problem was highlighted on tv not so long ago and that carrots were failing nationwide across the uk? Looks like there's no rhyme or reason for it all and just have to wait till next year. That said I have, only a few days ago, sown some more Autun King main crop seeds where I took my 1st early potatoes from. Have to see how these perform - if at all

    many thanks for showing an interest

  • milkseymilksey Posts: 2

    I am only on my 4th try, a few have come up and I am thinking I will have to do a bit of thinning and I will try to replant the thinnings but only in the evenings after all the little critters have gone to bed. I grow resisterfly and flyaway but these are still under enviro mesh. Monty Don said last week his carrots we a disaster, so what hope for us mere mortals.

  • Stuart RStuart R Posts: 42

    Sorry to hear about your troubles Mixymax! Have you had any slug damage on other crops this year?Can't say I've heard of any local carrot issues this year down the allotment. Personally my earlier sowings (late march) have been the most successful even though these took several weeks to germinate. Plenty carrots being lifted from fields around us here this last week also. 

  • mixymaxmixymax Posts: 7

    Hi Stuart R

    Yes - all my other crops, brassicas, potatoes, peas, beans, salad - everything gone fine EXCEPT the carrot! other folk had similar results and carrot problems on both my allotments which as I say are several miles apart

    no common denominator I'm afraid - even got one of the regions well known and successful growers and competition winners next to me and his carrots are failing 

    Thanks for your response though

  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    Mixymax, had exactly the same problem in a garden I look after. Last year fine this year awful and I've had reports from other clients of the same problem. I can only put it down to the weather this year.

  • mixymaxmixymax Posts: 7

    Thanks dave

    as they say ....  "There's always next year!!"

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