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Maybe it wasn’t such a cool trick

By Penny Stine

Come on, carrots, would you just emerge from the ground already!

That’s my thought every day when I go out to check my carrot patch. You know, the same one I blogged about last week claiming I’d found a cool new way to germinate carrot seeds. That darn paper towel has been on the ground for almost two weeks now, and this is what I’ve got to show for it!

Yes, a couple of sketchy looking teeny-tiny carrots. I thought by now I would have dozens of little seedlings.  The bits of paper towel that are visible under the thin layer of dirt look fully intact, strong and impenetrable, like there’s no way they’d allow a carrot to sprout through. The few teeny little seedlings that are emerging look like they’re on the edge of the paper towels. I suspect they didn’t bust through the paper towels, but merely wandered to the edge.

Of course, I peeked under an edge (no doubt killing the little seedling that looked like it was still thinking about doing something). I didn’t have my phone when I did my peeking, so I didn’t take a pic. I immediately covered it back up, ashamed at my lack of faith. But there you have it. Every time a seed sprouts and grows, I’m still amazed that something actually grows.

I was going to get more carrot seeds going with the paper towel trick, but since they’re so slow to emerge and I’m starting to wonder if they ever will, I decided to modify it.



This time, I cut the paper towel into strips and then wet all the strips. I placed the strips on the cardboard, carefully placing seeds on the all of the edges. This way, the seeds don’t have to send roots and leaves directly through the paper towel, but can send them meandering to the side, where the roots will encounter soil and the leaves will find sunshine.  

I covered these strips with other damp strips and put them in a zip-loc bag, same as before. I did it this morning at about 5 a.m. (isn't that what everyone does before work??) Mabe they'll be ready to plant by the first weekend in May. 

And maybe my other carrots will be above the ground, chiding me for my lack of faith. 


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