Carrots are root vegetables. They vary from purple to red in color but most commonly found are bright orange ones. The orange color of carrot is due to its high content of beta-carotene. This helps suffice our body with necessary levels of vitamin A, which is required for proper functioning of our immune system.
Yes, we can grow carrots all year round! Also, you may grow it anywhere, even in our small kitchen garden or as a potted plant.
You must know how to grow and harvest carrot before you start the procedure of producing carrots yourself. I conducted various kinds of research including reading online resources and talking to farmers in my town before going ahead with carrots plantation. This is so because carrots are a low-acid plant and can catch contamination easily, which may make it inappropriate for human consumption.
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When can we Grow Carrots?
Carrots are biennial plants that are they grow twice in a season. However, the seeds and flowers grow only in cold season. They take ten to twelve weeks to reach their full growth. They can be sowed in spring just before two weeks of the last frost date.
In cold climate, we can continue to plant them every three weeks till mid-summer. Then again they can be sowed in summer for winter products that are due in next ten to twelve weeks.
Preparing the soil
First, you need to judge the solid where you want to plant your carrots. If the soil is sandy or clay soil, then it is not appropriate for growing carrots. Sandy soil and clay soil cannot retain nutrients and lacks good soil structure, which makes them inappropriate for growing carrots. Salty and loam soil is the best kind of soil for growing any vegetables. There is another variety of soil that is chalky soil. This is also not appropriate for growing carrots due to its alkaline nature.
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Before sowing carrots, you need to dig in the soil well to about twelve to fifteen inches. Once done, you can introduce some earthworms and crawling critters who make the soil appropriate for growing carrots.
Earthworms consume the organics from the soil and then scatter it throughout the soil to make the soil more fertile. Similarly, crawling critters would keep the bugs and insects away from the soil from harming the crop. You should be cautious about using chemicals to kill insects as they also take away the good part of the soil. Always organic gardening is recommended for the growth of any crop as organic gardening improves soil, its overall structure and gets it ready for next cycle as well.
- You can sow your carrot seeds into the sowing beds created three inches apart.
- The carrot seeds are very small so to distribute them evenly; you can mix them up with the sand and then sprinkle them into the sowing
- Cover the field with some warm blanket or a shield to avoid the tiny creatures from ruining your crop.
- This should be kept covered for at least three weeks to let the healthy growth of the crop.
While you decide to plant carrots, you should also be aware of how a carrot sprout looks like to differentiate it from other sprouts or just weed. The sprout is breaking out of the soil may be of cabbage or potato or some grass. Well, then how does carrot sprouts look like? You can very easily identify them. From the perspective of their appearance, they look like ferns or palm leaves.
Well if that’s not all for you, then you can take the leave in your palm and crush it with your nails. Now smell the crush, and it will be like one of carrot. That’s how you can very easily identify the carrot sprouts from other growing vegetables and weeds in your kitchen garden.
You can judge the growth of the carrots by looking at their roots. The size of the roots is a good indicator of the growth of your carrots. You can pull them out in three weeks to enjoy baby carrots of wait for next ten to twelve weeks for fully grown carrots.
Now is the question of how to store carrots for prolonged use. You can seal the carrots in a polythene bag and store them in the coolest part of your refrigerator. One should never wash carrots until they need to be used as added moisture ruins carrot structure earlier. You can also store carrot in a box and cover it with a layer of sand. This will also help you preserve carrots for long.
You can very well enjoy your garden-fresh carrots all year round once you know how to sow and harvest them. You can use them in a variety of ways in your kitchen like caramelize then with sugar syrup or bake a carrot cheesecake or eat them raw as part your daily salads.
We have a lot of questions making rounds by our readers; therefore, in case, you have any further questions on how to grow carrots, or anything related to sowing or harvesting or storing them, then please comment below.