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I have had this problem with my recent sowings, but I have been sowing in large pots also. What I have done to over come it is to cover them in fleece as soon as I have sown them, it keeps out the majority of the water, needless to say the slugs and snails. Its improved germination no end!
It's also possible to grow carrots (particularly the shorter & stubbier varieties) in pointed wicker hanging baskets. This gives them depth to grow, more than adequate drainage, and also helps keep them away from those nasty pests. My mother has found this very successful over the last two years, and she lives in what has been a very wet part of the UK.
I started my carrots off in peat pots in the greenhouse before transorting to the veg patch this year and now they're almost ready to pull up and eat.
Just harvested our first lot this year - enough for the two of us for tea. Yes had same problem, nothing much germinating and those that did put on leaf growth but no sign of a carrot. May have enough for another meal later but a really poor show. However have also got late sown ones in pots (see Lornas comments) - we will see.
Here in the midlands I too have had a terrible lack of germination in carrots. Having tried 3 different varieties (Chantenay, Nantes and the multi coloured types) I've had very little luck and even the few that do germinate are then getting attacked by slugs. So you have my sympathy Jane. I'm going to try some late season one's in pots on the patio, hopefully they might be more successful.


Yes do try sowing your carrots, beetroot and radishes in pot. I have been doing this for about 6 months now as I am new to this whole gardening thing and I was reading my mum's Gardeners' World books to get me started and it really works if you put almost tarpaulin like stuff on top of the pots overnight.
It might be a cultural thing. In Australia we are so used to the problem of keeping carrot seeds damp that we are particularly attentive to watering multiple times a day. We only ever have a problem at our place if there is a slip and they are allowed to dry out for even a few hours!
We have been growing veg in raised borders for a couple of years with some success. Can any one let me know what sort of veg I can sow now for harvest later in the year or that can be harvested in the spring?

Also having recently dug over a lawned area for growing veg what can I add to the soil to improve it? I tried well rotted horse manure from a garden centre ,and it seemed to hinder plants not help them...can any one help...thanks

We've had no problems getting carrot and beetroot to germinate - the difficulty has been getting them to produce anything edible. The carrots are the size of sweeties and the beetroot haven't developed at all. Can't be lack of rain!
Grown carrots for the first time this year in raised bed. Even though the rains were heavy the drainage was good not leaving the carrots sitting in water. Plenty of own made compost dug in b4 sowing, absolutely fab germination and loads of carrots. Must say it is new virgin top soil.
I have just got back into growing my own veg after years of not bothering with the garden much and I grew my carrots in a plastic dustbin. For one thing the carrot fly couldn't get at them and I had a decent crop of carrots which I am still picking.
I have grown carrots in a large pot and in a raised bed this year and both have ended up curling up. It has also happened with my parsinps as well. Has anybody out there any ideas why this has happened.
Icky!!! I did find a large amount in a plastic bag at the back of the greenhouse the other day. Needless to say, neck tied and in the bin! Perhaps a few bag lined pots selectively placed around the garden would help solve a disposal problem??
I live beds/herts border I have had an allotment for 1 year here is a 'beginners luck' progress report: non-stop battle with slugs/snails in spite of throwing everything at them!

greens/carrots/parsnips bit of a disaster amazing results with beans/peas/courgettes/early potatoes/sunflowers/herbs/salads/onions very pleased, look forward to 2008 interested to hear from other 1 year plotholders

Margaret Senior: I only got my allotment in April, so I was far behind everyone else. My allotment was like an overgrown jungle of brambles, couch grass and mares tail and nettles. I had tomato blight inside a very large plastic greenhouse which wiped out my indoor toms and I also had it outside which wiped out my outdoor toms. All my onions ended up as very small (looked like pickling) onions. I had great parsnips, good potatoes, poor carrots, swede, turnips and beetroot also poor broccoli, not bad cabbages and small red cabbages. Excellent runner beans, very poor french beans and peas. not very good courgettes, aubergines and melons (I only had 1 melon) and bad crop of cucumbers. I noticed that at the end of the season all my veg wanted to start growing and the courgettes etc. put on loads of female flowers just to be struck down by the frost. I dont know when my plot was last worked so the ground wasnt manured before I took over. I look forward to next year with better successes I HOPE. Fingers crossed.


jan2008 plastic glove and a plastic bag does the trick in the black bin bag underneath other rubbish (have you got a solution for backache from bending to colect slugs?)
hi, can anyone recommend a short but flavoursum carrot variety to grow as the traditional longer varieties dont seem to appreciate all my hard work!
At my wits end with what seems like an army of snails I found comfort that I am not alone, even though I am thousands of miles alway in Southern California. This wet winter we have had has caused an insane amount of snails to devour everything I am trying to plant this spring. I have tested copper wire - to witness them crossing it without so much as flinch. Coffee grounds work, but in my experience only for a night or two, then I guess it looses it's strength. I too have put them in our green waste recycling bin and I am sure they laugh as they watch me try to figure out how they escape the covered bin. Wonderous little creatures, but if I loose anything else I may find myself with an evil look on my face and a container of salt in my hand!! The English gardening mags are wonderful, so much better than anything here in the US, you are all very fortunate to have them.
When we were youngsters my brother and i used to collect snails, make a line each across the road(not a very busy road at all) and wait for a vehicle to come along, the one with the most squashed snails in their line was the winner. we could never find enough snails to keep our game going for more than an hour or so.I think snails along with the traffic have multiplied to plague proportions