Who doesn’t love a sweet, orange carrot freshly plucked from the soil of their garden? Carrots are fun for gardeners of all ages and experience levels, though they can be a tough crop to get started. These root vegetables are finicky germinators, needing plenty of sun and adequate moisture levels to get started, and they often need some extra TLC to ensure a plentiful harvest.

Carrot seeds can take anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks to begin germination. Start your seeds at the tail end of winter, a few weeks before the last expected frost, according to Cornell University. They germinate best between 50 and 85 degrees F. If you’re not seeing the results you want right away, try this simple hack:

Once you sow the seeds, water them well and then cover them with a board. Keep the board over the seeds as a moisture barrier until you see the sprouts starting to peek through the soil. Plants are tough and are adept at reaching toward the sunlight, so don’t be afraid of smothering them. Once they emerge through, remove the board and let them continue to grow on their own. We guarantee you will have a higher germination rate with this easy trick.

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