Planting Carrots in Paper Pots

Carrots are a very tricky crop to successfully transplant. We grow lots of carrots but do not use the paper pots for them. If you want to give it a shot, our recommendation for carrots is to first figure out exactly how long it takes for carrots to reliably germinate in your system (in a germination chamber, on a heat mat, or whatever you do on your farm). After seeding carrots in paper pots, transplant a DAY OR TWO BEFORE you expect the carrots to actually sprout. In this way, you are setting out primed seed that is ready to emerge. (Remember that the root radical emerges from the seed before the cotyledons emerge above the soil.) This will increase the likelihood that you will get nice carrots that are not forked or twisted or stumpy.

The challenge with this approach is: if it rains and you cannot transplant, you might be stuck and be forced to toss your flats. Transplanting carrots that have already germinated most often results in roots that are forked or stumpy. We do sell deeper paper pots that can increase your chances of success: CP304 and CP305.

On my small farm, I am always shooting for a thicker stand of carrots than 1 carrot every 2 inches. I like planting a band of carrots (rather than a single row) so that when I am hand digging, I am getting more pounds of carrots for every time I stick my digging fork in the ground. This results in greater income per row foot. This is especially true for baby carrots.

For these reasons, I do not strongly recommend transplanting carrots. If you have good success and have a better method than what I described here, please let me know!