How To Grow Carrots

Michelle RobertsGardening, Planting Tips

carrots

Carrots come in all sizes and colors from short “Little Fingers” that only grow about 4″ long to the standard 8″ – 10″ carrot.  They also come in purple, yellow, creamy white, and orange.  

The carrot is a relative of anise, caraway, and parsley, originating over 2000 years ago in Afghanistan. Carrots are exceptionally rich sources of vitamin A, B complex, vitamin C, carotene, and cancer fighting agents. Carrots will keep for a long time in the refrigerator or root cellar (with tops off).  They are loved all over the world by man and animals alike.

CarrotsIf you’ve ever wondered hot to grow carrots after a failed attempt – you’re not alone.  Carrots are one of the more difficult crops to grow.  First of all, the seeds are tiny and the seedlings are very tiny.  If your soil crusts over, its over.

The seedling shoot will not be strong enough to break through the crust.  So, keep the planting bed evenly moist during germination and prepare it with lots of compost so there will be little in the way of the tap root or the first shoot breaking the soil.

Wait until your soils are between 70 and 80 degrees for quickest germination.  Create a trench that is about 2 inches deep.  Load it with Azomite and a bit of compost. Don’t overseed as it will mean hours spent thinning.  A good rule of thumb is 16 – 20 seeds per 1 foot of row and space the rows 12″ apart. Water deeply as it will help drive the taproot down.
[spacer height=”30″ mobile_hide=”true”] Things to be careful of:  

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  • Don’t use too much manured compost as it will cause splitting of the root
  • Don’t add too much nitrogen to the bed as it will cause splitting as well
  • Carrots planted too late in the year or harvested before fully ripe will not be as flavorful or colorful
  • Thin when carrots are at the second true leaf stage
  • Weed. Don’t let competition get established. Hand weed if necessary.
  • [/ol] [spacer height=”30″ mobile_hide=”true”] We’ve grown carrots for years and enjoyed the rich delicious flavor throughout the winter months as well. By piling your beds with straw, you can continue to harvest right through the winter.  Of course, if you plant in a hoophouse, you can harvest till January without dealing with the snow.  This year we’re giving purple and yellow carrots a try. Can’t wait to taste them!
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