How To Grow Carrots From Seeds
Carrots are famous root vegetables that are simple to grow if they are planted in loose, sandy soil. Major varieties of carrots are immune to diseases and pests and they are also good late-season crops that can bear cold.
If there is a difficulty in growing carrots, it’s just having soil which should not be too heavy or, you will end up with round balls. Most varieties of carrot need loose and deep soil. Carrots are produced from seed and take about three to four months to mature.
Let's have a look how to grow and harvest carrots.
- Sharp Sand
Types of Carrot
Danver's Half Long
Sweet in taste
Sweet in taste
Sweet in taste
3-inch in size
Round and bite-sized
Long in size
Crunch in storage
How to Sow The Seeds
When it comes to sewing first up you need to dig over the soil and then using the back of the fork just break up any large clods of soil.
Afterwards, get a finish leveled soil surface with help of fork. You have to finish or tilth, which ultimately resembles a sort of mixture of small marbles and breadcrumbs. Ensure that you don't dig in lots of organic matter at this point because that often encourages the carrots to deform.
If your soil is heavy or not very sandy what you can do is dig in some wash sharps or wash silver sand but don't use building sand as it contains things that are not suitable for growing.
You sow carrot seeds in little trenches called drills and you space each drill about six to eight inches apart and depth wise don't go in more than half an inch.
To make your drills nice and straight, you can use an old border or a scaffold board or an old deck board with a bamboo cane to run alongside. The reason you sow your seeds into drills rather than just well broadcasting it willy-nilly that it's much easier to spot what's weed and what's not.
Carrot seeds are very small, so you should put them into a pot and mix them with a pinch of silver sand. This helps in actually seeing where they are sown. You should include both the sand and seed into the drill.
After sowing, gently pull a little soil over the top and then water well with a fine hose, not a really big one because you don't want to blow the tiny seeds out of the drill. Next, you have to label and write the name of the plant and then write the date of sowing.
How to do Thinning
When the young seedlings emerge you will need to go in and thin them out unless of course, you have sold very thinly in the first place. However, the reason for thinning is basically what overcrowding will leave you with lots of small carrots and you might encourage the carrot fly more.
All you do is simply go in and with your thumb and forefinger just remove those carrots which are just too close together and you want to aim basically so the carrots are spaced apart. Once you are done, you can burn or chuck away your thinnings. Why do you burn or chuck them away? Well, that's to avoid carrot fly.
How To Harvest Carrots
Grow about 1/2 ft. in length
Spread about 7 to 8 inches
Grow about 1 1/2 inches in diameter
Grow to about 9 to 11 inches high
Small and round in size
Carrots become tastier as they grow. Carrots are ready around 3 months and ½ inch in diameter. You can harvest whenever the desired maturity is reached.Harvest by pulling and twisting or digging then discard the leaves, once harvested. The leaves will continue to take moisture and energy from the roots, leaving them weak and reducing the sweetness of your carrots.
3 Tricks to Reduce Carrot Fly
We can't think about growing carrots without talking about the carrot fly which is the biggest pest of carrots and it also attacks parsley. Fortunately, it is a doodle to control though you just need to think ahead.
Now the way fly works is that the female flies along the ground just above the ground and is attracted to the carrots because of the smell of the carrots. She comes along and she will lay an egg at the top of the carrot just below the bottom of the foliage there and then the egg will turn into larvae. The larvae will burrow into the carrot and eventually, rocks will set in which of course spoils the crop.
But all you need to do is to go in mid to late March and cover your crop with this frost fleece, horticultural fleece or environment you will find all three products in your local store. You simply pop it over the top peg it down. Moreover, the way it works is basically that water and light can still get to the crop but of course the carrot fly female can't. Now I would leave this on as a permanent cover pretty much and right the way through to August so that your crop stays frat free.
The other technique which is really common is to erect a low barrier around your crop. You simply pop in four canes in a square and then you simply wrap the canes around the outside not over the crop with your fleece. Pegging it down at the ground so that the fly which of course is flying along at ground level can't penetrate and it doesn't need to be a lot higher than 3 foot because the fly doesn't fly higher than 3 foot.
You could try something called companion planting which is basically growing different crops together each one benefiting the other. In the case of carrots, if you alternate the rows with onions, the pungent smell of the onions will confuse the carrot fly and it won't know the carrots are actually there
Ensure that you do not leave thinnings lying around which you removed. Make sure you burn them or discard them in the rubbish otherwise the smell will attract the carrot fly.
If there are many carrots to eat at any one time they can be stored in a box of sand or slightly moist peat and put in a frost-free, cool, dark place for storage. You can keep for a couple of months in these conditions. When you are harvesting carrots for storage then you need to be picky regarding quality control. Any damaged roots need to be thrown away or use in the kitchen as they will rot faster and may expand to the rest. Remove all the leaves about half an inch above the root and put the carrots in a box of moist sand in a frost-free, dry shed.
Health and Safety
- Be careful when using potentially hazardous chemicals. Read the instructions before using and don't forget to wear gloves.
- Look after your back while moving or shifting heavy items or materials.
Would you like to grow carrots?
© 2017 Ashi