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Carrots, Planting, Growing, Harvesting ~ Carrots in Containers

how_to_grow_carrots_1

Botanical name: Daucus carota @ Old Farmer’s Almanac

Plant type: Vegetable

USDA Hardiness Zones: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Sun exposure: Full Sun

Soil type: Sandy

Soil pH: Neutral


Carrots are a popular root vegetable that are easy to grow in sandy soil. They are resistant to most pests and diseases, and are a good late season crop that can tolerate frost. Not all carrots are orange; varieties vary in color from purple to white.


Planting

  • Plan to plant seeds outdoors 3 to 5 weeks before the last spring frost date.
  • Make sure your soil is free of stones; carrots need deeply tilled soil that they can push through.
  • Have you ever seen a carrot that has grown “legs” or forked? Fresh manure, or even recently applied rotted manure, can cause carrots to fork and send out little side roots. Don’t use it before you plant your seeds.
  • Plant seeds 3-4 inches apart in rows. Rows should be at least a foot apart.


Care

  • Gently mulch to retain moisture, speed germination and block the sun from the roots.
  • Soil should be well drained and loose to prevent forking and stunting of the root growth.
  • Once plants are an inch tall, thin so they stand 3 inches apart. Snip them with scissors instead of pulling them out to prevent damage to the roots of remaining plants.
  • Water at least one inch per week.
  • Weed diligently.
  • Fertilize 5-6 weeks after sowing.
  • Carrots taste much better after a couple of frosts. Following the first hard frost in the fall, cover carrot rows with an 18-inch layer of shredded leaves to preserve them for harvesting later.


Pests

  • Wireworms
  • Flea Beetles
  • Aster Yellow Disease will cause shortened and discolored carrot tops and hairy roots. This disease is spread by pests as they feed from plant to plant. Keep weeds down and invest in a control plan for pests such as leafhoppers. This disease has the ability to overwinter.


Harvest/Storage

  • Carrots are mature at around 2 ½ months and ½ inch in diameter. You may harvest whenever desired maturity is reached.
  • You may leave mature carrots in the soil for storage if the ground will not freeze.
  • To store freshly harvested carrots, twist off the tops, scrub off the dirt under cold running water, let dry and seal in airtight plastic bags, and refrigerate. If you simply put fresh carrots in the refrigerator, they’ll go limp in a few hours.
  • Carrots can be stored in tubs of moist sand for winter use.


Recommended Varieties

  • ‘Bolero’: resists most leaf pests.
  • ‘Nantesa Superior’: sweet flavor, adapts to any soil.
  • ‘Thumberline’: round carrot, good for clumpy or clay soil.


Recipes


Wit & Wisdom

Carrots are biennial plants. If you leave them in the ground, the tops will flower and produce seeds the second year.

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7 responses

  1. Love carrot cake …Have an old lady here, who makes the best banana or carrot cakes in the country😀 …She makes me sometimes one or the other …Yummm
    I keep the over due bananas till they brown and soft, almost rotten, that is how she needs them for her cakes.

    June 12, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    • that’s the best way to make and great use for over ripe bananas … i use them in pancakes too, yummy😉

      don’t usually make carrot cake, although i do love it … i guess because i always feed the horses all the carrots lol

      June 12, 2013 at 1:08 pm

      • While I remember, ( Before I forget😀 ), amongst the new special seeds investment I have made couple months ego, I HAVE bought some LEMON GRASS SEEDS also…..Can’t wait to start my new lemon grass patch from seeds. In the spring tho .

        June 12, 2013 at 1:14 pm

      • let me know how that grows for you, i am buying some citronella seeds, our state bird should be mosquito i swear. the geranium they sell that are supposedly mosquito repellant is a lie, don’t wast your money. they don’t work and they don’t flower.

        going to do blog on it in near future

        June 12, 2013 at 1:16 pm

      • let me know how that grows for you, i am buying some citronella seeds, our state bird should be mosquito i swear. the geranium they sell that are supposedly mosquito repellant is a lie, don’t wast your money. they don’t work and they don’t flower.

        going to do blog on it in near future

        June 12, 2013 at 1:16 pm

  2. Will do that, will put some pictures of it I will make a blog on Lemon Grass from my garden later around Christmas or when ever they will be almost ready. Done deal, promise .

    June 12, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    • thank you, look forward to it. the lady across street has some great grasses, have to take photos for you. she is very ill so have to be careful not to disturb her. her kids have been caring for her gardens.

      June 12, 2013 at 1:21 pm

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