grow carrots

If you want to grow carrots, it is best to do so in loose, sandy soils that are well-drained, in some shade, and well-fertilized.

The fertilizer that will work best in the soil is 10-20-20 of which one cup should be spread onto the soil for 5 meters of rows to be planted. Work the fertilizer into the soil to a depth of about 10cm. The carrots will grow best if the weather isn’t too hot, in the cool temperatures of early spring or fall.

They like a low temperature of about 60 degrees Fahrenheit to a high temperature of about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. They also thrive in soils with a pH range of about 6.0 to 6.8. When preparing the soil, make sure you remove large rocks and debris and heap the earth into high rows and little valleys between them to ensure good drainage.

Place the ridges about 50cm apart and now you are ready to start planting. Don’t fertilize too much or too often since that might make the carrots develop forked roots and that is undesirable.

Plant the carrots as soon as the soil can be worked in spring and all chances of frost have passed, or in early August if you want a fall crop. On top of the ridges you have prepared, make a small groove along the ridge, about 1cm deep, and scatter the seed at about 20 seeds per 30cm in the row. This can be easily done if you mix the seed with some dry sand, and keep pouring the sand into the small grove for even distribution.

Cover the row slightly with earth, and water the row often but with a spread water stream and not a strong stream that could wash out the carrot seeds. Make sure you prevent crusting of the soil above the seeds since the carrot might not be strong enough to push through the soil. To prevent that, hoe slightly and keep the soil evenly moist until the seedlings have emerged.

Another option is to place a thin, clear plastic film over the seeds to keep them warm and moist and to prevent the earth from crusting over. The film can be removed once the seedlings appear. Young carrot seedlings are weak and grow slowly, so keep the weeds under control for the first few weeks to help the carrots grow better.

Once the carrots start to show up and are about 10 cm tall, thin them out so there is only one carrot every 5cm. This will ensure each carrot has enough room and nutrients to develop into large healthy vegetables. Keep weeding the area where the carrots are growing and keep watering the plants to keep them moist, but not wet since you don’t want the carrots to rot.

Fertilize the carrots about every month to help make them even more nutritious and to help them grow. Carrots can have some diseases; if leaf spots appear on plants, dust them with an approved fungicide. If a plant becomes yellow and stunted, remove it from the garden to ensure the other carrots don’t get infected as well. Don’t water the carrots too much towards the end of the growing season, or the roots will crack.

You can harvest the carrots once the roots are about 2-5cm in diameter. Remember you don’t have to harvest all the carrots at the same time, you can keep them safe in the soil until you are ready to use them. But if there is going to be a frost, do take them inside.

If you want to store them for a while during the winter you can place them into layers of compost or moss, in a cool, almost freezing, moist place, and they will last you for the whole winter. Remove the carrot tops before storing them since the carrot tops will just rot anyway and make the carrots last for a shorter time.

If you want to have the carrots in the refrigerator, wash them, take off the carrot tops, and store them in airtight plastic bags to maintain their moisture. They will last like that for at least a few weeks.

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