How to Grow Carrots
Growing Carrots In Your Backyard or Garden
Do you have carrots growing in your garden? Rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene, this vegetable is easy to grow and tastes sweet and delicious when garden fresh. You can grow carrots in short, medium or long rooted varieties depending on your soil type. Seeds can be sown directly in the garden, in raised beds and even in containers. At Southern States®, our gardening experts have advice for growing tasty carrots.
Carrots are not difficult to grow, but the condition of the soil will impact their ability to thrive. In order for carrots to develop long, straight roots, they need to be planted in deep, loose, sandy soil without any stones. If your soil is compact or rocky, plant this root vegetable in raised beds or containers. Make sure your container is deep enough - 12 inches or deeper is recommended. The biggest challenge to container gardening is watering. Keep your carrots watered and don't let your containers dry out.
For best results, follow these steps:
Step One: Supplies
Choose carrot seeds with the right root size and shape to suit your soil. If your soil is heavy or rocky, grow short rooted carrot varieties. Other supplies you may need include: compost, sand, rake, organic mulch, deep containers and a garden trowel.
Step Two: Prepare Your Soil
Take the time to prepare your soil before planting and you will be rewarded with an abundance of delicious carrots. Work the top 8 inches of dirt with compost and sand to create rich, loose soil. Some gardeners recommend adding a little wood ash to the soil because it contains soluble potassium which is a great nutrient for vegetables.
Step Three: Sowing Seeds
Carrot seeds are tiny and can be difficult to space. Sow your seeds in the ground, in a raised bed or in a container about 1/4 inch deep in the soil. Sow several seeds together about 2 inches apart. Provide ample space (12 - 18 inches) between rows. Keep the soil moist until the seeds germinate.
Step Four: Thinning
As your carrots grow, you will need to thin out your plants. Thinning provides carrots ample room to grow underground. Thin out tender plants once the carrot leaves are two to three inches high (about 25 days old). Thin the seedlings so the young plants are about two inches apart, depending on the variety's mature size. Next, apply a thin layer of organic mulch to help the soil retain moisture.
Step Five: Harvesting and Storing
Most carrot varieties take approximately 65 to 75 days from sowing to harvesting. When ready, grab the top of the carrot, give it a half-twist and pull. Cut off the green tops immediately to prevent moisture loss. Rinse and store in the refrigerator or other cool, dark location.
Shop Southern States for everything you need to grow carrots. We have lawn and gardening supplies in your local store and online to help you get the job done.