Carrots are fun to increase in autumn or spring. First of all, they offer instant reward, or as instantaneous as you can get with a vegetable — you can begin reaping some varieties in as little time for a month. Secondly, they have some adorable shapes. It is possible to go for the conventional long, thin carrot, but you could also find ones that are round, short and stubby or perhaps shaped like a heart. Third, their lacy tops, which divides the sturdy roots beneath the ground, are fantastic fillers in a veggie garden and at home among ornamentals. Finally, they are good to eat raw or cooked, in everything from soup.
More: How to grow cool-season vegetables
When to plant: Sow carrot seeds in early spring and again in late summer when you’ve got cold winters. If your winters are mild, with just occasional light frost, you are able to develop carrots from late summer through spring.
Days to maturity: 30 to 80
Light requirement: Full sun
Water requirement: Regular, even rust, otherwise they will become tough and misshapen
Favorites: Bolero, Danvers, Danvers Half Long, Early Nantes, Imperator, Little Finger, Nantes, Royal Chantena, Short ‘n Sweet, Thumbelina, Touchon, Yellowstone
Planting and maintenance: if you would like your carrots to seem like those around the seed package, you want really loose, fine dirt which doesn’t have any lumps, stones or roots to get as heavy as the carrots will grow. So, even more than with other vegetables, soil prep a few weeks before planting is the first job. Add in lots of amendments so the dirt is quite rich.
Carrot seeds are very small and can be hard to handle, and they do best sown directly in the ground. Sow them around a quarter inch deep in rows or broadcast them over a broad bed, then cover the seeds with more fine soil.
Keep the bed or rows moist for 3 weeks after sowing until the seeds have germinated. Proceed to water frequently; carrots will dry out and be tough or split with watering. Pot carefully. After the greens hit 1 inch tall, then begin to thin the carrots to about 2 to 4 inches apart. Luckily, you could eat those you thin, including the tops. Keep the tops of the roots coated so they do not turn green.
Carrots have some issues with pests, particularly carrot weevils and carrot rust flies, but these are primarily debatable when plants are young. You might want to rotate your harvest seasonally or use row covers until the plants are about 6 inches tall.
Laara Copley-Smith Garden & Landscape Design
Harvest: Check your seed package days to maturity and begin to crop once carrots hit your preferred size. The shorter the growing period, the bigger the carrot. Depending on the sort of carrots you’re growing, they need to be ready to harvest when their shoulders are a half to three-quarters of an inch in diameter. Dig around attentively to pull them out. If you live where winters are very cold, you’ll have to harvest before the hard frosts. If your winters are not bitterly cold, but you still get stinks, pay carrots with hay or hay after the first hard frost and continue to crop them. Remove the tops if you are going to save them.
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