I planted carrot and beetroot seeds outdoors (UK) nearly 2 months ago. Only a few seeds have sprouted, out of two full packets (probably 30+ seeds of each type). The seeds were planted into freshly prepared soft ground. I think we have the right kind of soil for carrots and beetroot, fairly decent loam. The weather has been warm and fairly wet, however, I'm worried they might not have had enough water.

Will the seeds have simply rotted by now, or is there a chance that they could still germinate, with extra watering?

  • How many seeds do you plant? Into what material? And what bed preparation? May 31, 2016 at 10:55
  • Thanks for the comment @Graham. I've added more detail to my question.
    – Matt
    May 31, 2016 at 11:23
  • If you had a bout of warm weather, they might have sprouted but you didn't see it, then if you had some (too) cold weather the sprouts died. Is this what happened? How old are the seeds? Many smaller seeds don't keep well.
    – Bulrush
    May 31, 2016 at 12:36
  • Maybe ants ate the seeds (it happens for tiny and early seeds) May 31, 2016 at 13:07
  • Thanks for the idea @Giacomo, however, I've never seen any ants or evidence of ants in the garden.
    – Matt
    May 31, 2016 at 13:40

3 Answers 3


Any chance slugs ate them ? What you can try is plant some of the seeds you got in for example clumps of 4 in the module trays and then transplant outside when they are big enough this is the safest bet to avoid slugs and you will confirm at the same time if problem is not with the seeds you bought.


So it turns out that I probably had a bad batch of seeds.

After replanting from a new seed packet, under essentially the same conditions, I have some thriving carrots!


I have experienced similar problems before as well. I now use a seeding mix when I plan seeds directly in the ground. That seems to be working for me since this year I got both carrot and beet seeds to sprout from the ground.

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