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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Testing Carrot Seed Tape

I've always loved to experiment with plants.  Even as a kid, I was forever taking cuttings of different plants, jamming them in a pot of dirt, and seeing if they would grow.  (Spoiler:  Many of them will.  Don't let people fool you about needing to always cut at a node and dipping in rooting medium and starting in a glass of water.  These things might increase your chances of success, but a fairly high percentage of plants will start little copies of themselves if you jam a cutting in dirt and keep it moist for a couple of weeks.)

Anyway, spring is a great time to experiment, because you are busy putting all the lovely new plants in the ground.  I'm running a couple of experiments this year, and I'll keep you updated on their progress.

The first one is using seed tape to start my carrots.  Normally, I just sprinkle carrot seeds across a raised bed that I have and let them grow in a random sort of way.  It generally works, except they really need to be thinned, and I'm really bad at making myself do that.  So, I often wind up with stunted carrots and less yield weight-wise than I would have normally.

Longing for a beautiful, long row of well-spaced carrots, I bought some seed tape.  It's kind of ridiculously expensive, costing I think $3.49 for about a row and a half of carrot seeds.   But the beauty is, you prepare your soil, dig a furrow, and lay the tape in and cover it.  Ideally, the tissue-like paper will biodegrade, the seeds will sprout, and you will have a perfectly-spaced row of carrots.

That's the plan.  I just put some carrot tape in the ground this weekend, so it's too early for any sprouting.  But I'm hoping this gives me a nice load of robust carrots we can enjoy this summer and freeze for winter.

I'll keep you posted.

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