Fall Carrot Fail – Tuesday Garden Party

Fall Carrot Bed

I seeded this bed with fall carrots about 6 weeks ago. I thought it would be perfect in the dappled shade to grow through the hot summer. I left one lettuce plant that I’ve gotten three cuttings from so far.

What? You’re wondering where the carrots are?

Well, here are three.

And here are four more. Hmmm, you think that’ll keep us in carrots during autumn?

Yeah, it’s a great big “fall carrot fail.” I find carrots so iffy – sometimes they take off and fill the bed and I can’t thin them fast enough and other times…well, seven come up. I’m pretty sure I use the same soil, prep it similar, and fertilize the same, and yet I get such variable germination. Sigh.

Anyone else starting to think about a fall garden?

And did any of you notice the new TGP button we’ve got with the new site design? I love it! If you’d like to replace an old button on your site or use this in your posts, simply copy the code for the smaller button in the sidebar.


  1. I really do like your new site!

  2. I am having trouble finding were to click to link up!

  3. Thanks for the garden party ! Maybe more carrots will come up :) !

  4. Uh oh….looks like the Linky thingy is broken!

    • Sorry you’re having trouble! Maybe try again, as others are able to link up and it’s working for me…?

  5. Carrots are finicky! We have tried to plant carrots a few times and have literally ended up with one little carrot in all those plantings. :)

  6. I love your new site, it looks so fresh. I grew carrots for the first time this year, just picked them this morning. I think the longest carrot is about 4 inches long. As for a fall garden I planted Arugula, radishes, Kohlrabi, spinach, turnips, looseleaf lettuce, and shell peas. about a month ago I put in more green bean plants that are flowering like crazy, and I planted 3 more english cucumbers that have already produced 6 nice cukes. I’ve never done a fall garden, so if I’m lucky I’ll be very happy.

    • Wow – that sounds great, Sakura! So far, the carrots were it for me…oops. :) I think I’ll have to go find some starts somewhere…

  7. Hi Jamie
    I left a link for making Fruit Flavored Vinegar. It’s easy and dirt cheap to make, especially if you grow your own berries. Use fruit flavored vinegar in salad dressings, marinades or any recipe calling for vinegar to kick it up a notch on the flavor scale.

    Thanks for hosting. I can relate to your carrot situation!

    • I’ll have to try that, Kristel! I made chive blossom vinegar for the first time this year (which is good), but I’ll have to try it with fruit. It would make a great salad dressing, wouldn’t it?

  8. Website looks great!! I live in Eugene and am wondering if it’s too late to plant fall carrots? Our carrots from the spring didn’t do real well as I had a lot of little hands getting into them. Would love to try again if the timing is OK. We have had a lot of luck in the past with growing our carrots in big pots. And when they come up successfully, the kids are crazy about them.

    • Thanks, Sydney! Sorry to say that it’s too late to get carrots – they will take a long time to germinate in August and then there are only a couple months to grow. You can maybe try to get baby carrots, or a short type like “Thumbelina.” There are varieties labeled “winter carrots” that can be overwintered in our area, but they should be planted in July.

      You might want to grab a copy of my Vegetable Garden Checklist (find the link in the Organic Garden drop-down in the purple bar above) – it lists the ideal time to start seeds and seedlings for every month of the year. And since I live not far from you, you can follow the dates as written! :)

  9. I didnt’ have much luck this year with carrots either, so don’t feel bad. Yeah, I’m looking ahead to home-grown lettuce in the fall garden. Enjoy your lettuce!

  10. It looks as though you have a drip (soaker) hose in that bed, and the carrots that germinated were in close proximity to that hose. Carrots are really, really finicky in regards to water availability. You HAVE to keep them consistently moist until they germinate. Otherwise they start to germinate and then die when they dry out. Many people lay a strip of cardboard or a wooden plant over their rows of carrots to keep the moisture in until the seeds have germinated.

    One other issue we have had in the past is birds – sparrows, finches, etc. love to eat little seeds. If you don’t have your carrot seeds well hidden under that thin layer of dirt, they are fair game for a sparrow’s snack!

    • These are good tips, Mary! You’re right about covering – I have used old fence boards in the past, but I didn’t think about it because it was so gray here in June and July. But it wasn’t very wet, and I probably didn’t keep them watered enough. :( Got fooled by the cool, gray days!

  11. We usually do a fall garden. This year we’re planning to rely on it pretty heavily since we didn’t have much of a summer harvest. We’re in transition, moving out to 10 acres but we’re trying to do the garden along with the move. Just had a huge truck load of dirt delivered this morning to fill our raised beds. Thank you for hosting!

  12. Thanks for sharing about your carrots Jami. We just planted some carrot and radish seeds, so I won’t worry so much if they don’t sprout. Our cucumbers have gone insane though! I have now reached maximum produce capacity in the house, so I will be fermenting pickles tomorrow. I can’t wait to eat them in the dark days of late winter. Yum.

    I have decided to extend gardening in my yard to include those things that grow naturally in my patch of green. Join me as I find out what grows in suburbia!

    • Oh, man, our cukes have just started coming on strong, too, Jennifer! Gotta pick everyday or we get the monster cukes that no one likes. :)

  13. Haha – sounds like my edibles in most cases! Clearly the powers that be want me spending money at the farmer’s market. :o)

  14. Well, I have been planting fall crops of peas and green beans as fast as I pull stuff out. I also planted some radishes and carrots (for the third time this year). I have yet to have a carrot seed grow into anything at all. Total fail! I am about to plant a bed of lettuce and beets for the fall, yum!

  15. Jami-

    your new web-site design looks really good. Don’t feel too bad about the carrots. Every year we all have hits and misses. That’s why in gardening “there’s always next year”!

  16. Sorry about your carrots Jami! I hear covering them with burlap helps them germinate. I haven’t tried it yet. I can usually get mine to germinate in the spring via direct sowing. I’m not sure about these fall starts I just started though.

    • That’s a good tip about the burlap, Holly – I hadn’t thought of that. Hmmm, now to find burlap that’s not destined for a decorating project… :)

  17. Beth Cookson says:

    There’s always a challenging crop when you garden. I like your new ‘button’ and will add it as a link to my website.

  18. Was it too hot or dry? So sad, at least you have time to try it again, I appreciate you hosting,

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