Carrots are extremely popular and widely used vegetables. They are not popular only for the delicious taste but also for their health effects on our bodies. In fact, carrots are one of the healthiest vegetables. They contain sugar, vitamins, and carotene. Besides, it is also one of the easiest vegetables to grow.
Carrots are extremely tough plants. They are free from pests and diseases and they can endure frost. But, they are a bit demanding when it comes to soil. They require a good quality soil to grow. In this article, you will find a detailed guide for growing carrots successfully.
The first step in preparing your soil for growing carrots is cleaning it from debris, clays, rocks, stones and any other unpleasant element for the growth of your carrots. Just like any root vegetables, carrots require a soil that can help them grow. Therefore, you should use a well-draining soil that is loamy and sandy. Loose soil allows carrots roots to push through it and grow freely.
You should avoid heavy soil because it will slow the growth of the roots. Besides, heavy soil is the main reason for rough roots. You could improve the quality of your soil by applying a 10-20-10 fertilizer.
It is also recommended that you don’t use manure until your plants grow. Applying manure before planting your carrots will lead to the deformation of your plants.
Planting carrots should be done in spring. Although this plant tolerates frost, you should avoid it for best results. Therefore, the perfect timing would be 4 weeks before the last spring frost. Dig holes of 1/2 inch in depth and sow one single carrot seed per hole. Make sure to leave a gap of two feet in all directions between each hole.
Carrots seeds germinate slowly. Thus, your plant may take several weeks to show any signs of growth. Usually, they take at least 3 weeks to show indications of life.
Carrots love cool temperature. For best results, you should grow them in a sunny spot in your garden. In order to grow and thrive, carrots need temperature degrees of 75F at daytime and 55F at nighttime. Warm soil facilitates the germination of seeds, however, with cold soil, the germination of seeds will definitely take longer.
These plants prefer slightly moist soil. Keep the soil moist but soggy. To avoid overwatering, you should provide your carrots with one inch of water weekly. You could poke your finger 4 inches deep into the soil surface to check whether or not your carrots need watering. If the soil is moist don’t water them, otherwise, you can water your carrots.
5. Fertilizing mulching and weeding
You should start fertilizing your plants 5 weeks after sowing. Fertilizing them earlier is very harmful and it will hinder the growth of the roots. The best fertilizers to apply to carrots are 0-10-10 or 5-15-15. They contain little nitrogen and they are rich in potassium and phosphate. Apply one of these fertilizers according to the manufacturer’s tips.
Mulching is extremely important and vital for carrots. It helps the soil retain moisture contributing to the acceleration of the germination process. It also works as a shield for your plants’ roots against burning sunlight.
Removing the weeds around your carrots is essential for having big delicious roots. Weeds will feed on the nutrients that you provide for your plants. This will make your carrots develop poorly.
6. Pests and diseases.
Although carrots are generally free from pests and diseases, there are some dangerous pests that may attack your plants. The most dangerous threat comes from Aster Yellow. This notorious disease is caused by pests. Weeding is one way to protect your carrots from this diseases. You should also be careful of Wireworms and Flea Beetles.
You will be able to start harvesting your carrots after 2 to 4 months of planting. Mornings are the best time to harvest carrots because afternoon heat will make the roots fibrous. You should also keep in mind that frosts will make your carrots testier and fresher as they will encourage your plants to store sugar in their roots. Therefore, it is advisable that you harvest your carrots after a couple of frosts.
These are the best steps and tips for growing carrots. Follow them and you will manage to grow this adorable vegetable successfully. Don’t hesitate to start growing carrots, they are easy to grow just like growing pinto beans and garbanzo beans.
Enjoy growing your own food.