How to Grow Carrots
Want to learn how to grow carrots? You've come the right place. Smart, health
conscious gardeners grow them. They are a favorite of weight watchers and
health conscious crowd. Carrots are loaded with vitamins, and they
are nutritious. On top of being good for you, carrots taste good, too.
They can be nibbled and munched upon whenever the urge arises.
Bunnies like them, because they know just how good and healthy carrots are.
There is a variety of carrot for everyone. Carrot varieties are largely
categorized by length.
Short varieties come as small as two inches, and are as wide as they are
long. These are the carrot of choice for gardeners who have hard clay or
The longer varieties do best in rich, well worked soil rich in compost. The
long, fat carrots are the most popular of home gardeners.
While most carrots are orange, there is a yellow and a red variety for those
looking for a different type to try.
Baby carrots are a shorter type of carrot.
There is even a Chinese baby carrot to choose from.
See specific varieties
Tips for Growing Carrots:
Work the soil deeply. Remove all rocks and stones.
A loose soil is very important. Add plenty of compost.
Do not add too much nitrogen fertilizer. It results in "hairy" roots.
Thinning seedlings is a must. Follow the spacing on the seed packet.
Prior to planting carrot seeds, work the soil deeply. Add liberal amounts
of compost. If compost is not available, add peat moss. When growing carrots,
it is important to remove any rocks, stones and debris which may impede the
downward formation of the roots. When a root hits an object, forked roots
Carrot seeds are among the smallest, finest of garden seeds. They are very
difficult to space. Sow seeds very thinly, about 1/4 inch deep. Cover them
with a fine garden soil. Or sprinkle them on top of the soil, and lightly
water them into the soil. Space rows 1 to 1 1/2 feet apart. For home gardens,
we recommend double rows, spaced 1 1/2 feet apart, and then wider rows, to
afford easy access.
Broadcast sowing of seeds, is also popular with carrots. With broadcast sowing,
sprinkle or spread the seeds across the area you are planting. Seeds fall
randomly, and do not develop in rows.
Whichever method you use, it is important to thin the seedlings before crowding
impairs their growth. After the seeds have germinated, thin to two inches
apart as soon as possible.
Tip: For a continuous harvest, sow some seeds every two to three
Care and Feeding of Carrot Plants:
Keep carrots well weeded early in the season. They are easily overcrowded,
with any competing weeds usually winning out.
While they may not show it, carrots need a good supply of water, in soil
that drains well. They also respond well to fertilizer applied prior to sowing
carrot seeds, and a couple of times during the season.
Do not over fertilizer your carrots. Too much nitrogen in the soil, results
in hairy(fine feeder roots), mis-shapen carrots.
Tip: Make sure to mark the rows well, as carrots take a long time
to germinate. We suggest you plant a few radishes in the rows to "mark" them.
After the carrots have germinated, the radishes can be harvested.
Ideal Soil pH: 5.5 - 7.0 More on soil
Days to Maturity:
Carrot roots are ready to pick approximately 65 to 75 days, depending upon
Insects and Pests:
The most common problem is the maggot stage of the Carrot fly. This 1/4 inch
white maggot eats along the outside of the carrot.
Bunnies are well known to enjoy carrots. While everyone knows bunnies like
the roots, they also eat the carrot leaves. Mice and moles will also nip
at the tops of the carrot roots.
Buy garden Pest Netting - keep bunnies out.
More on Controlling:
There are some diseases, particularly viruses, that can occasionally infest
your crop. To the home gardener this is usually infrequent, except in wet
weather, or poorly drained soils.
Begin to harvest carrots as "baby" size, thinning the row as you harvest.
Once you begin picking, you can harvest as needed. After the plants have
died off, the carrots do not need to be harvested right away. They can remain
in the soil for weeks or more.
In the "old days" before refrigeration, carrots were kept in the soil, and
covered with a thick layer of leaves. Then, they were dug up as needed, for
consumption. Carrots kept in the ground will last well into the winter months.
Note: Keeping carrots in the ground for long periods can affect flavor.
Carrots are somewhat hardy. They will withstand cold weather and a light
Garden Carrot Recipes:
May we suggest:
Plant problems - causes and cures
Carrots more information from Garden Hobbies
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Netting - Keep rabbits, deer, and other foraging animals out!
Are Deer, Bunnies or birds feasting on your plants?
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