Today, we’re going to be talking about how to grow carrots. So, without taking your precious time let’s get started…
Topics covered in this article:
- Getting Carrots to Grow Straight
- Getting Faster Germination
- Three Ways to Thin Your Carrots
- Harvesting and Storage
How To Grow Carrots
Before we get started, there are a few of the basics on growing carrots. The first one is carrots do not like to be transplanted. So, you want to plant them in the garden where they’re going to grow. They also will grow in full sun or part shade, a minimum of 4 hours of direct sunlight but the more sunlight you give them the faster the harvest is going to be. Carrots are a cool-weather crop, which means they grow and pretty much anything but the summertime, depending on where you live. You want to get them out as soon as your last frost date is. You also want to get them planted in time before your first frost date comes in the winter.
Generally, carrots and you can look on your package, it’s about 60 to 80 days from sowing to harvest. So, find your last frost date, count back 60 to 80 days, and plant them net. Carrots can take a little bit of frost, so even if you go either way over that line, you’ll probably still be okay.
One of the biggest questions I get is, why do my carrots come out misshapen? … There’s a couple of reasons that might happen. Carrots are a taproot which means they grow one root straight down. They have some feeder roots coming off of it as we all see, when you dig care it up but that main root is a taproot. It just wants to grow straight down but if it hits something like a little rock. Then, it’s going to either fork and go around both sides of that rock or just twist and go around it. So, you can end up with a lot of crazy, sometimes, obscene shapes.
You want to make sure that your soil is light, fluffy, airy, and has a deep root run, at least 12 inches for most carrots. You can do this by adding a lot of organic matter, sand but you want to make sure that’s gonna grow straight down without having anything get in its way and without being pressured by tight compact soil. If that’s impossible where you’re growing your carrots, there’s a couple of ways around it.
- Grow short stubby carrots and you’re gonna see either you know a couple of inches long or they have some that are kind of like almost round. Those would be your best bet in heavy soil with maybe lots of rocks.
- Another option would be to grow them in containers. Carrots grow great in containers filled with nice airy potting soil, again at least twelve inches deep.
- Another reason your carrots might be misshapen is if you recently added manure to your garden bed. Manure within the last 6 to 12 months is going to cause carrots to fork. So, you want to wait at least 6 to 12 months after you put manure down to plant your carrots.
The problem a lot of people have is Germination. Carrots take up to 2 weeks to germinate. They’re pretty slow and for impatient gardeners like me, after 1 week it seems like 2 weeks. So, you wonder what’s going on. Another problem to make matters worse is that carrots need to be consistently moist their seeds. But when you consider that you hardly want to cover carrot seeds, depending on the weather the top of the soil could dry out within a couple of hours.
So, here are some great tips, water the ground first before you sow your seeds. That way you don’t have to water again after the seeds are there and wash them away. Another one is sowing your seeds sparingly, you don’t want to crowd them. You can sew them in a 4- to the 6-inch-wide band then you want to press them down with a piece of wood. Press them down firmly, so they make contact with the moist soil, and then you’re going to leave the wood there. Yup! … you heard right, you’re gonna leave the wood there to hold the moisture in the soil.
It’s also going to if you’re sewing this maybe at the end of summer, it’s gonna keep the seeds cool. If you’re sowing carrot right after your last frost date, it’s gonna protect against any kind of crazy frost that surprised you but they’ll be safe under that board. You are gonna leave the wood there for maybe a week or a week and a half and then after that.
Every day you’re gonna check under the wood, to see if they’ve sprouted. Once they’ve sprouted, you’re going to just put another piece of wood under each end, about an inch off of the ground. That way it gives them a little more time being protected from drying out, from birds, from the elements to push that taproot and start getting that established. So that, once you take it off, they are ready to go. Then, once they’re about an inch tall, so once they’re touching the bottom of the wood, take the wood away, you’re done with it. Now, they can continue to grow successfully.
The question I get a lot is my carrots just don’t grow very big. If you’ve followed all the advice that we have already given, then the main reason is probably overcrowding. It’s really easy to over sow because carrot seeds are so tiny. So, what happens is they end up coming up all of them too close together. Then, they’re going to crowd each other for space and they’re not gonna reach maturity.
The best thing that to do is, once your carrots are about two inches tall, start thinning them. Carrots need about an inch of space to grow. If you imagine when you’re thinning out your seedlings, imagine each one of those carrots being the size of a carrot and thin anything around there. You want to thin out the weakest ones around that section. So, pick one that’s the strongest and then give it an inch space, trim out all the weakest ones around that. Then, find the next strongest one within about an inch or so, trim off the ones around. I’m saying trim because that’s what I like to do. You can pluck the seedlings but what I find is even at two inches tall. Carrots have a lot going on under the ground, if you sow them too thick which you most likely did, all those roots are intertwining. So, when you pull one up, it could disturb the ones you actually want to keep.
So, if you take just a tiny pair of scissors and cut them right off at ground level, rather than plucking them. You are going to get better results now. I know it’s hard to do sometimes, it literally goes against a gardener’s DNA to not be nurturing and to pull out and kill things. But it has to be done in order to get a decent harvest.
If you still have a problem with it there is another option. What you can do is take carrot seeds and radish seeds, pour them both in your hand and kind of mix them up. Sow them just as you would normally but what happens is that those radishes are going to mature a lot sooner than the carrots. So, as you thin out the radishes or harvest the radishes, you’re basically leaving that space around the carrots before the carrots get matured. Make sure to always keep the soil moist around your carrots until harvest. Drying out the soil causes the carrots to be wimpy, brittle, not juicy, and crunchy, how you want to carrot it to be. It also decreases the sweetness of the carrot and also keeps the area free of weeds. Weeds are going to compete with carrots for nutrients and water.
No 04: Harvesting and Storage
Now, if you have really light airy soil or you’re growing in a container, harvesting the carrots is easy. Look for the carrots, you kind of might move the greens away. You’re going to see the very top of the carrot right there at soil level. What you are looking for is basically, for it to be the size of a carrot and if it is, so it’s time to pull it. Give it a pull and a twist at the same time and it should come right out. If you’ve got heavier soil then you might want to water heavily before you harvest and that’s gonna help them come out a lot easier. Harvesting carrots is great to do with kids because it’s kind of like a little treasure hunt.
One quick tip after harvesting is to immediately take off the tops. Take off all the green because if you leave those on there, the root is still gonna try to support those greens. So, it’s gonna take moisture out of the carrot and put it into the greens.
Hope so guys you liked reading this article. I tried my best as much as possible ways to make you understand everything clearly so hopefully, this article is gonna be helpful for you in how to grow carrots. Keep visiting us to learn many more things. Have a nice day!
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