Q What is poor emergence of carrot seedlings?
A The emergence of seedlings is poor and erratic. In extreme cases, no seedlings emerge
at all. Other crops may have grown perfectly successfully on that site and in close proximity before.
Caption: A few changes can make all the difference to carrot germination
Q How can I prevent poor emergence of carrot seedlings?
A The most common cause of gappy seedlings is the timing of the sowing. If the soil is too wet or too cold, the seeds often fail to germinate, or germinate but die off before or shortly after emerging above ground. Sowing small quantities at regular intervals and expecting to lose a few
is a good approach.
In addition, a large population of slugs, especially keeled slugs which spend much of their life feeding below ground, can wreak havoc with carrot-seed emergence. The slugs eat the seed at or around germination, so the seedlings simply never appear above ground. Using a biological control for slugs will help to reduce their numbers.