How To Grow Carrots

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Carrots are one of the most versatile vegetables you can find. They go great in salads, stews, casseroles and many other delicious meals. They can be prepared steamed, grilled, sautéed, baked, stir-fried, or eaten raw as a superb snack.How to Grow Carrots

Carrots are known for their nutritional value since they are high in beta carotene and vitamin A, but low in calories. Many herbs and spices can enhance the flavor of carrots including, dill, fennel, mint and ginger. Carrots can also come in many different colors.

For small gardens, containers, or where the soil cannot be worked deeply, try ‘Kinko’ or ‘Round Romeo’ cultivars. The Kinko variety grows to about 4” long and is ready to harvest in 50-55 days. The Round Romeo is a ball-shaped cultivar that reaches 1-1½” in diameter.

For medium sized carrots, you can plant ‘Danvers Half Long’ or ‘Scarlet Nantes’, which produce carrots that are 4’5” long and very sweet. For long cultivars try ‘Japanese Imperial Long’ or ‘Yellowstone’, which can reach a length of 12”.
I personally grow the ‘Scarlet Nantes’ cultivar in my garden because of their sweet taste and ease in growing.

How to Plant & Care for Carrots

When growing carrots, choose a sunny location with loose, fertile soil. To achieve the best results, work the soil as deep as possible and remove any stones or debris. Direct sow carrot seeds in rows 12” apart 2-4 weeks after the last frost date.

Carrot seeds need to be planted ¼” deep and as close as 1” apart. Wet the soil before planting to keep the seeds from blowing away while sowing. Carrots should always be sowed directly to the garden; they do not do well transplanted.Growing Carrots

Keep seeds evenly moist to ensure germination, which can take up to 3 weeks. If the soil dries between waterings, cover the rows with burlap to help retain moisture until the seeds germinate; water right through the burlap.

Thin seedlings to about 3” apart; sow more seeds if necessary to fill in gaps in rows. Weed carefully by hand to remove competition for moisture and nutrients.

How to Harvest Carrots

Harvesting CarrotsBegin pulling carrots as soon as they are full of color. This is also a good way to give the remaining carrots a chance to grow larger.

In northern areas, wait until after the ground has begun to freeze before digging the rest of the carrots; the cold weather will increase the sweetness.

Carrots can also be overwintered in the ground. Cut off the green tops to about 1” and mulch heavily.

Pests & Diseases of Carrots

There are no significant pests or diseases for carrots in the home garden. Another great reason to include carrots in the garden!

Growing carrots in your vegetable garden can be very challenging, but the sweet roots of the plant are well worth the extra effort. Carrots are a good vegetable to get your children involved in growing, as some cultivars are very easy to grow – like the ‘Round Romeo’.

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Comments

  1. Although some people think they are boring to cook with, I can’t help but love carrots. I have some in my garden myself and they are not high maintenance at all. And as you said, my kids love to get involved!

  2. I hate to disagree with one part of this article, but this is the second year we have grown carrots and we live in Bucks County PA. If i can remember correctly, last year we did the Scarlets, and when we started to pull then they were a little on the small side (2-3 in) because i had planted some too close together. That was a carrot beginners boo boo, but after pulling some they began to grow larger, which made me quite happy when i saw them while i was pulling them with out too much thought. Well, with in about 3 minutes i pulled a nice sized carrot out, but it looked…dry and felt rather light. When i spun it around there were tunnels, about 4 ruined carrots later i saw the thing! it wasn’t a typical grub or a weevil or rust fly larva, this thing looked like a cross between an earwig and a centipede and it was quick. But the tunnels looked VERY similar to what a carrot weevil would to do to a carrot. I still can’t find a picture of it but it’s not a rust fly or weevil so I’m at a loss. This year we got a mushroom soil delivery but our tomato plants grew incredibly large from it and crowded out the carrots a bit and they haven’t gotten much sun this year and have taken about 3 months to grow and are again about 2-3 inches but no grubs or creepy crawleys at least! But again there ARE some nasty pests out there that can just decimate your carrot crop! and if anyone has seen this thing I’m talking about please let me know, it was pretty gross looking.

  3. jim thompson says:

    i’m having trouble with my peppers an chilli’s, they are very slow growing
    this year, i might have used to much water or it could be a lack of sunshine?

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