Guide to growing Carrots
This guide takes you through the stages of growing Carrots. If you have already planted your Carrots and are ready to harvest go here for advice. Carrots must be one of the more popular root vegetables, their versatility also being packed with nutrients, such as Vitamin A, Calcium and Phosphorus also being full of flavour – especially when home grown, helps them achieve this standing.
- Don’t use manure – fresh or rotted, on the plot before you plant your seeds. This can cause carrots to fork sending out side roots.
- Carrots need to be able to push through so make sure you have tilled the soil and that there are no blockages like stones.
- Aim to get your seeds in the ground about a month before the last spring frost.
- Set out rows at least a foot apart.
- Then plant the seeds roughly 3-4 inches apart in rows.
What to do when the seeds are in the ground
- 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.
- It takes around 2 ½ months for Carrots to mature, at this stage they are about ½ inch in diameter.
- You may harvest any time after this or when they have reached the desired maturity.
- If the ground is not likely to freeze you can store the mature carrots by leaving them in the soil.
- You can store your carrots in damp sand in a container for later use.
- To store freshly harvested carrots
- After harvesting remove the tops off by twisting them off.
- Remove any soil – just scrub it off under cold running water.
- Allow the carrots to dry.
- Use an airtight plastic bag to seal in the freshness.
- Place them in the refrigerator
- Carrots can be stored in tubs of moist sand for use later in the year.