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Carrots are among the healthiest vegetables you can eat both raw and as an ingredient in a plethora of recipes and dishes.
If you want to learn about the effective cultivation of carrots, you’ve come to the right place. The information and growing tips below will help you get the richest and healthiest carrot harvest possible.
Planting, growing, and harvesting carrots are done following a series of general rules. The purpose of these rules is to teach you how to increase the efficiency of your crops.
About Growing Carrots
Carrots originate from a spontaneous species found in several centers in Southwest Asia, but the best known is Afghanistan (purple and white carrots can still be found spontaneously in Afghanistan and are used in the preparation of an alcoholic beverage).
Carrots entered Europe in the 12th and 14th centuries, where people began growing them for their taste as well as health benefits. Rich in vitamins and antioxidants, carrot is a vegetable that can be eaten raw, cooked, in fresh salads, and pickled as well.
Below, we list all the basic carrot growing facts in a table, followed by tips and FAQs.
Quick Carrots Growing Information
|How much light is needed:||At least 6 hours of sunlight is suggested.|
|How much water is needed:||Carrots require around 1 inch of water each week.|
|Is it best to start with seeds or plants:||It is best to start with seeds.|
|The best month to plant:||For the most successful cultivation of carrots, sew seeds in the months of March, April, May, and June, depending on the chosen variety.|
|Preferred climate/temperature:||Carrots prefer temperatures between approximately 59°F and 75.5°F.|
|Is indoor or outdoor growing better:||Indoor and outdoor growing are both suitable, though outdoors makes much more sense as the carrots may grow as deep as they need to.|
|Do indoor plants need to be pollinated:||No.|
|Level of difficulty to grow:||Medium.|
|Plant height:||6 inches to 12 inches (up to 3 feet when they are flowering and seeding).|
|Time from planting to harvest:||Between 90 and more than 140 days, depending on species.|
Tips for Growing Carrots
1. Pick a Great Location
Whether or not your carrots grow successfully or not depends primarily on the choice of soil you plant them in. Carrots prefer sandy or loamy-type soil that drains extremely well. There also needs to be plenty of sunlight (at least 6 hours).
If you rotate crops, to preserve soil health, try planting carrots where you grew pumpkins, cucumbers, cabbage, peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, beans, or peas last year.
Because the part we eat from these particular veggies grows underground, it is important that the soil be rich in nutrients and generally healthy. Otherwise, the carrots will be small, stunted, deformed, moldy, or too hard to eat.
2. Give the Soil TLC
The soil you plant these orange root vegetables in needs to be healthy and worked over. It must be well-draining and loose when you go to plant. The recommended option is sandy and loamy soil. The pH of the soil will be between 5.8-7 if you want the optimal results (big tasty carrots).
If you are cultivating it in the garden, then dig up the seedbed by hand (with a hand shovel or hoe). Take your time, as compacted earth is the enemy of young and developing carrots.
You can apply fertilizer in the fall, so nutrients can fertilize the soil throughout the winter. The fertilizer will then be mixed with the soil during digging. Do not forget to rake the ground to facilitate the development of the vegetable.
3. Sew Carrot Seeds Carefully
Planting carrots from seeds is a trickier task than growing many garden variety plants from seed. The seeds are so small, and each hole needs more than one seed. But, too many seeds in one hole means a bunch of small plants rather than one or two big ones.
Take your time when sewing carrot seeds. Mark a straight line with fishing line and string, and poke holes every few inches. Go back over your holes with small pinches of seeds between your finger and thumb, dropping a few into each one.
In addition, be careful when choosing the varieties you want to grow. Early carrot crops use early and semi-early varieties, with a vegetation period of between 80 and 130 days. Late crops will use semi-late and late varieties, with a vegetation period of between 130 and 200 days.
Carrots Growing FAQs
Is carrot growth affected by the sunlight?
If carrots break through the surface of the soil they are growing in, the sun’s direct rays can damage both its color and taste. That’s why you need to be careful and protect the vegetables by placing soil on the exposed area as they surface. For this reason, it is best practice to check on your carrots every few days, or when you water and add organic compost to the exposed areas each time.
What is the lowest and highest temperatures carrot plants can grow in?
The minimum temperature that these root veggies can grow in is 36°F, the maximum temperature carrots tolerate is approximately 90°F. That means that carrots can handle temperatures in the garden for most of the year (excluding freezing winter weather).
Do carrots need vernalization?
In order for it to flower, and grow into the tasty orange carrots that you know and love, the plant needs to undergo a vernalization period. (the plant goes through a period of lower temperatures). That means the plant needs 30 to 40 days at temperatures of 41°F to 50°F in order to develop flowering stems.
Suggested Reading: How to Grow Onions: Gardening Guide
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