How to Grow Carrots

Carrots are one of the most popular root crops throughout the world. Many home garden grow carrots, because they are healthy and can be added to so many dishes. Add homegrown carrots to any number of meals, to make a nutritious side.

If you’ve seen the commercials, you know carrots are a great source of vitamin A. Learning how to grow carrots isn’t difficult, but it does require time and attention.

Growing Carrots – Selecting Soil for Carrots

Selecting the proper environment is essential, when learning how to grow carrots. Carrots grow in the spring, summer, fall and even winter, depending on the climate. Carrots can survive light frosts, which makes them a versatile crop and explains their widespread popularity.

Carrots are best grown in cooler weather, though. Carrot crops thrive in temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Carrots grow in moderate shade, but perform best in sunlight. Choose a patch of soil that’s exposed to direct sunlight.

The best soil for carrots has a slightly acidic pH level. Somewhere between 5.5 and 6.5 works best. Home pH testing kits are inexpensive and easy to use, so purchase your own ph testing kit.

Preparing the Soil for Carrots

Prepare the soil bed by adding compost to the soil three or four weeks prior to planting. Keep in mind that carrot seeds only keep for three or four years before going bad.

Turn up the top 12 inches of topsoil. Remove any rocks, roots or twigs that you find, though your garden should have few impediments, anyway. Removing these obstructions allows the roots room to grow.

Add organic matter prior to planting, so the soil retains water, especially if the soil tends to be sandy. Adding organic matter also lightens the soil’s composition, if it’s heavy.

Germination takes place underground. If you want to speed up the germination process, soak the seeds in water for six hours prior to planting.

Planting the Carrots

Sow the carrot seeds about one third of an inch beneath the soil. This is important, since pushing the seeds deeper makes it difficult for them to reach the top of the soil after germinating. Consider planting the seeds a bit closer to the surface, so that the sunlight can reach them, if the weather is unseasonably cold.

Another option is to place two or three seeds in each hole, noting that holes should be between 18 and 24 inches apart. Try planting one seed per hole, with holes spaced about three inches apart. Either way, put at least eight inches between each row of carrots.

Different varieties of carrots may require different treatments, so check the seed packet for any unique specifications.

Tending to Carrots

How to Grow Carrots

How to Grow Carrots

Carrot seeds require some amount of maintenance to ensure they grow. Keep the soil moist. Carrots grown in moist soil tend to be sweeter.

Every few days, give your carrots a good amount of water in the morning. About a half inch of water at a time is appropriate for young carrots. Monitor the carrots to ensure that they don’t receive too much water via rainfall.

Reduce the carrot’s water consumption so they don’t grow too quickly when they begin to reach full maturity.

Carrots and Fertilizer

When selecting a fertilizer, keep in mind that carrots are better off in the company of organic fertilizers. Simple compost might be enough, but Mycor root-building fertilizer can help carrots retain water and grow well.

Avoid weed killers, as they are likely to kill the carrots along with any weeds.

Thin out the carrot tops, so they don’t become entangled. Maintain the area by removing weeds and adding compost, as needed. Carrots should spend 10 weeks underground from planting until harvest. Harvest carrots early if you desire them to be tender.

Carrot Growing Tips

Sprinkle wood ashes throughout the area to enrich the soil’s supply of potassium, which is essential for carrots.
Do not add fertilizers that contain high amounts of nitrogen (i.e. manure), as these fertilizers tend to cause carrots to grow unevenly. Carrots should have one root, but the addition of nitrogen-rich fertilizers can cause them to sprout several roots.
Make sure all roots stay covered with soil, which keeps the carrots orange and sweet tasting.
Carrots are not easy to transplant. Once the roots take hold, they are difficult to move.

Carrots are vulnerable to a number of pests and diseases. Some of the more common ones are:

Carrot Gardens

Growing carrots can be done with relative ease, but knowing the intricacies involved in the process can make carrot growing easier. Follow these tips and you can be enjoying homegrown carrots in as few as 10 weeks.

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