Carrots are easy to grow as long as they are planted in loose sandy soil in the colder periods of the growing season – spring and autumn (carrots can tolerate frost). Depending on the variety and local growing conditions, carrots can ripen from 2 to 4 months. Plant them in spring and summer for continuous harvesting until autumn!
When growing carrots, the soil surface should be cleaned of debris, stones and large pieces of bark. Smaller pieces of vegetable raw materials can be mixed into the soil for enrichment. Start with soil that will help your carrots grow healthy. When growing carrots, the soil should be sandy, well-drained loam. Heavy soils cause carrots to ripen slowly, and the roots will be unattractive and rough.
Remember that when growing carrots, rocky soil leads to poor roots. Cultivate or dig the area where the carrots will be planted. Make sure the soil is tilled to soften and aerate the soil to make growing carrots long and straight. Fertilize the soil with one cup of 10-20-10 for every 3 feet (3 m) of the row you are planting. You can use a rake to mix the soil and fertilizers.
Is it that hard to grow carrot?
The hardest part about learning to grow carrots is figuring out how to avoid the carrot root fly. The root fly attracts carrots by the smell of the leaves, which becomes more intense after any work you have to do on them. Therefore, the idea is to sow as close as possible to the right distances and protect the crop.
Carrots need a very thin soil without large stones or obstacles. The soil should be light and sandy if possible and should not be treated recently. Carrots are a bad competitor to weeds, so you want weeds to be as environmentally friendly as possible. The obsolete seed technique is a good organic solution where the bed is cleaned and prepared and left to germinate any available weed seeds. Dig up or rake young weeds before planting carrot seeds.
What is the best way to grow carrot?
When sowing seeds, you need to bring them as close as possible to the correct distance, as the removal of unwanted plants will attract the carrot fly. Carrot seeds are very small and difficult to sow fine, so here’s the trick:
Mix carrot seeds with sand in a ratio of 100 to 1, which is about a quarter of a teaspoon of carrot seeds per quarter cup of sand. Sow carrot seeds in shallow planters about 2 cm deep. The distance between the carrots is 3-4 cm between plants and 20-25 cm between rows. They should start popping their heads above the ground in about 17 days.
All carrots can be harvested unripe as baby roots, which tend to be crunchy but tender and quite sweet. Of course, they can also be left to full size, shape and color. All carrots contain a lot of beta-carotene, a pigment that we metabolize as vitamin A. Vitamin A deficiency can lead to vision impairment, so it is believed that carrots are good for eyesight. Carrots are also rich in vitamins C, B6 and niacin.
Due to the relatively vertical nature of the plant, carrots can be grown quite densely, and therefore, it is useful to save space on a smaller area of cultivation. That is, even a small garden can produce much more carrots than, say, lettuce or cucumbers. The seeds can be sown from early spring to late summer for almost a year, so they are an integral part of almost every garden.
Stages of growing carrots
Prepare the bed for planting. A raised bed or half-barrel or other container filled with planting mixture will be a good home for carrots. Prepare the bed for planting by turning the soil to a depth of at least 12 inches. If your soil is heavy with clay, add sand and well-seasoned compost to the bed and turn it over with a garden fork. Loose soil is best for growing carrots. Be sure to clear the bed of lumps and stones that can cause carrot roots to split or deform.
Sprinkle bone meal on the bed, but do not add manure to the soil before growing carrots. Bone meal is rich in phosphorus, which stimulates root growth; nitrogen in the manure will cause carrots to grow hairy roots. Deeply water the bed and let it stand for a day or two before sowing carrots; You want evenly moistened soil for fast germination and growth.
Sowing the seeds. Carrot seeds are tiny; it is very easy to reseed the planting bed or container. Mix carrot seeds with sand on the palm; this will make it easier to sprinkle the seeds on the bed – and you will know exactly where the seeds were sown. An alternative is to use granular carrot seeds that are easy to hold and sow one at a time, or a seed strip – a thin paper strip on which the carrot seeds are evenly spaced. Granular seeds and seed tape will save you from having to thin the seedlings later.
Sow the seeds thinly and evenly across the bed or down the row – eventually you will want to give each carrot an inch or a little more so that it grows around. Use the handle of a garden hoe or rake to make a shallow trench to sow the seeds in rows. The rows next to the weeping drip lines will provide even hydration during the growing season. Lightly cover the seeds with й inch peat moss or potting soil. Gently press the ground seeds with your fifth hand or board; this will ensure good contact of the seeds with the soil, which is important for germination.
Protect the seeds. Cover the bed with a floating lid to protect small sown seeds from rain or irrigation that can detect and expose the seeds. In hot and dry weather, use sacks of burlap to cover the beds or rows (plant the burlap with water so that the seeds remain moist only until the seeds germinate). Be sure to look under the protective cover every day or two; when the seeds germinate, remove the burlap. Floating row covers may remain in place, especially if the temperature drops below 40 ° F in your area.
Keep growing carrots moist and free of weeds. It is important to maintain the planting bed with moisture until the seeds germinate. Spray the bed once or twice a day with a thin spray for the first few weeks. Do not allow the soil to dry out.
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Once the carrots have sprouted, continue to moisten the bed with a fine spray until it is well rooted. When the roots begin to grow, water the carrots deeply for continuous, even growth; Deep watering means maintaining soil moisture just below the deepest tip of the root. Carrots and other roots follow the moisture in the soil. When the green tops begin to wither, it’s time to water. When the soil dries to a depth of 3 inches, it’s time to water. Even deep watering will promote the growth of carrot roots. Remove weeds from the bed of carrots; weeds compete with carrots for soil moisture and space for growing.
Thin the seedlings and eat. Thin carrots at a distance of 1 inch from each other to ensure full growth of the roots of neighbouring roots. Carefully lift the thin carrots too close to the seedlings or cut off the tops at ground level with garden shears before the roots begin to develop. You can eat thinners – just add them to salads.
Carrots are ready for harvest when they are large enough to be eaten – you judge. Baby carrots can be added to salads whole. Push the soil away from the shoulder of the carrot roots; as soon as the roots are ½ inches in diameter or larger, they will become quite sweet and tasty to eat.
Troubleshooting your carrot plant
The biggest threats to carrots are four-legged animals such as deer, gophers, woodpeckers and rabbits. (Here’s how to protect animal pests from destroying your garden.) Otherwise, carrots are fairly trouble-free, although there are a few insect pests and plant diseases you may encounter.
Watch out, especially in the northwest, for carrot rust, which looks like little green houseflies with yellow heads and red eyes. Their eggs hatch into whitish larvae, which are buried in the roots. Infected roots become dark red, and the leaves – black. Infections usually occur in early spring, so one solution is to delay planting until early summer, when the likelihood of damage is low. Or cover the plants with a floating lid to keep flies away.
Parsley is a green caterpillar with black stripes, white or yellow dots and small orange horns. They feed on carrot leaves, but this is the stage of larvae of black butterflies with dovetails, so if you notice them on your carrots, try not to kill them. Instead, transfer them to the weeds of the carrot family and watch for chrysalis and later butterflies to form!
How to care for your carrot crop
Carrots do not require special care. Try to keep the soil around them from weeds, although as soon as the carrots start to grow strongly, its leaves will shade most of the weeds. Water from time to time.
Thinning carrot seedlings not only wastes time, but also attracts the root fly. These pests smell of shredded leaves when you lift carrots up before laying eggs in the ground. Then their larvae eat carrot roots. Thin sowing of carrot seeds avoids the need to thin the carrots. If you still decide to thin the carrots, see how to reduce the infection of carrot roots.