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How to Grow Carrots: Everything You Need to Know about Them

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Nabeel is a senior content writer and editor at first move digital, he loves writing about health and health care systems.

Carrots are native to the hilly regions of Afghanistan, appearing in Europe around the 12th century. At that time, carrots had various colors like red, yellow, orange, purple and white. Carrots are a kind of umbelliferae, same as parsley, celery, parsnips and fennel. No matter in the ground, or planter box, or garden pot, as long as the soil is properly treated before planting, Carrots can survive in any climate condition. Follow below steps to get pretty and juicy carrots.

Choose Varieties

Here introduce five main categories:

Chantenay carrots. Chantenay carrots can grow to 5 to 6 inches long in soil and can be grown in most types of soil, but they are more suitable for rich, sticky soils.

Ball-Type carrots. Also known as "Thumbelina", ball-type carrots are very similar to Chantynay carrots, but don't grow as long.

Danvers carrots. Danvers carrots are very large carrots that require heavy, fertile soil to survive. But the soil doesn't need to be too deep.

Nantes carrots. The Nantes carrots, native to France, are round and cylindrical in shape. It can grow to 6 to 9 inches. Like Danvers carrots, Nantes carrots are grown in fertile, shallow soil.

Imperator carrots. This supermarket carrot needs to be planted in deep, fluffy soil. Imperator carrots are characterized by very slender roots that grow on the rhizomes. The soil used to grow these carrots is very particular, so make sure your soil is rich, fluffy, deep enough, and pay attention to good drainage before planting this carrot.

Choose seed types. Carrot seeds are available unprocessed, coated with bentonite, or treated with fungicides. Bentonite-coated seeds retain moisture better during germination than uncoated seeds. If you want to increase seed survival and make the germination process easier, choose coated seeds. Also, coated seeds are easier to handle, and you have more control over planting intervals with coated seeds than uncoated seeds. Planting at precise intervals eliminates later thinning.

Prepare Work

Choose an area full of partial sun. While full sun is the best, a little shade is okay, as carrots are a cool-climate crop.

Dig. The most important factor is to ensure the soil is fluffy. Using a shovel to loosen the soil thoroughly when planting carrots. Pick out rocks or hard, caked soil in these areas. You can use a rake to pick out all the small tones. The soil you want should be fluffy instead of hard or clumpy. You may need to make a nursery to grow carrots. Since carrots are demanding on soil conditions, it is better to plant them in a new area in an existing area. Use a nursery made of cedar wood to grow carrots, as it won't mold in wet conditions.

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Soil tester. Carrots prefer a slightly acidic soil environment with a pH between 5.8 and 6.8. The local agricultural extension department should have soil testing modalities, test kits and guidelines.

Fertilize the soil with manure, compost, or any other organic fertilizer. Mix organic fertilizer 4 inches below the soil. This will help the seeds to germinate and grow in the soil.

Plant Carrots

You can start to seed some carrots at the time of last night's frost, and then plant carrots per week in the next two or three weeks. Carrot likes cold climates, if you are planting in a USDA Hardiness VILL zone or warmer area, it should be planted in the fall or winter. Make sure the soil is loosened again before planting. You can also plant carrots in grow bags or raised beds. Growing carrots in grow pots is similar to growing them in the ground or in a planter box. Just make sure the container is deep enough to accommodate the carrots that grow and allow their roots to grow. You can sow seeds at will in rows. If the seeds are planted in rows, the seeds should be planted in pits 1.2 to 2 inches deep, with a spacing of approximately 4 inches from pit to pit. For fluffy soil, make a hole with your fingers. Put six seeds in each pit.

Cover the seeds with 0.5 inch loam. You can use compost, a planting soil mix, or even mix in some sand, especially in warmer regions. Sand helps support emerging seedlings.

Monitor growing seedlings. Seeds will germinate in about one to three weeks depending on the soil temperature. In cool soils, it may take seeds longer to sprout. Water carefully after planting and also you need a raised bed for them to grow quickly.. The seeds are light and fragile, and can be easily washed away if watered too much or too hard.

Rake the soil. About a week after planting carrots, you can gently rake the soil to prevent weeds from growing. This will destroy those weeds that have taken root. Rake lightly and in a direction perpendicular to the rows of carrots. This will not affect the growth of carrot seeds.

Take Care of Carrots

Always keep soil moist. If you are in a hot climate area, you should water carrots every day, but make sure won't wash off the seeds or damage seedlings by excessive watering pressure.

Place some mulch nearby seedlings, such as several inches of leaves, barks or hay to keep moisture from evaporating away. Pull out weeds sprouted from mulch gently by hand, without effect to the roots of carrots; Cover the carrots seedlings grown out from mulch, especially the crown part, unless it will be tasted bitly.

Spacing seedlings. You need to space between carrot seedlings when the leaves grow up to 2 inches high, that is, pick up the small seedlings and make the distance between the rest of the seedlings 1 inches far away. Reduce crowding so that each carrots and their roots can get enough growth room. After two weeks, carrots may grow up several inches high, and you need space between them again and let them be 3 to 4 inches far away. Otherwise, carrots may not grow straight even if they cannot grow fully.

Harvest carrots. The longer and bigger the carrots grow, the more sweet and juicy they are. It takes about two to three month from sow to harvest, so you can pull carrots out when they grow big enough. When the crown starts to expose in the air, its diameter about 0.8 inch, it's the signal that the carrots are ripe. Pull up carrots from the bottom of leaves by hand, avoiding damage to roots. Just grip the bottom of leaves and shake outward. Please note, water carrots before harvest and make the soil loose, so you can pull carrots wholly and intactly.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Nabeel

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