How To Grow Carrots Better
Have you ever wondered what makes those carrots found in stores so brightly colored and sweet to taste, not to mention straight? The secret is in the soil! If you are wanting to grow some carrots of your own, check out my tips on how to grow carrots better.
First off, to learn how to grow carrots better, you need to know what types there are. There are five main carrot types, Ball, Chantenay, Danvers, Nantes, and Imperator carrots. Ball-type carrots sometimes called “Thumbelina,” carrots are remarkably similar to Chantenay, although they do not grow as long, Chantenay carrots have stocky roots that become sweeter when the soil cools making them a good choice for fall planting. Danvers are blocky in shape and can handle heavy or shallow soil they are ideal for storing and make excellent juice, but slender Nantes and Imperator need deep loose soil. Nantes are fast and easy to grow and do well in many climates and soils while Imperator carrots grow long and deep, and thrive in sandy soil.
The best carrots grow in loose, rock-free soil. Raised beds are perfect for carrots because they allow you more control of soil content. Begin by loosening the soil in your carrot bed to at least 12 inches deep, removing all rocks. Next add in about one-inch deep layer of compost or better yet a half inch compost and a half inch of vermicompost. By doing so, it is one of the top steps to learning how to grow carrots better.
For spring planting, sow your seeds about two weeks before the last frost date for your area, then continue planting every 2 to 3 weeks for fall and winter carrots up until 10-12 weeks before the first fall frost date for your area.
You should sow your seeds about a quarter inch deep and 2 inches apart, in rows, spacing rows at least 8-10 inches apart. Carrot seeds take from 1 to 3 weeks to germinate depending on the warmth of the soil. Some people like to mix in a few fast-growing radish seeds to help mark the carrot rows. Once planted water gently to help avoid the seeds being washed away before they can sprout. For best germination keep the soil moist but not soaked.See learning how to grow carrots is not so hard, right!?
When the tops of your carrots are about 2 inches high, thin seedlings to 4 to 6 inches apart depending on the expected mature size of the carrots you are planting. I find it best to clip the tops off when thinning with fingernail clippers rather than pulling them up. I also use this method when weeding, as a carrots feeder roots are easy to damage, cut weeds just below soil surface. As carrots grow, you will want to make sure carrot crowns are covered with mulch when they push through the ground. If you fail to keep the crowns covered, they will become green and bitter.
Another big tip on learning hot to grow carrots is you want to keep your carrot beds from drying out. If they should become dry rehydrate over several days, too much water too fast will cause your carrots to split.
Carrots are pretty hardy to grow, however, their primary enemy is the carrot fly who lay their eggs in developing carrots. The fly larvae, once it is hatched it burrows into the root. If you are troubled with carrot flies, you may find companion planting beneficial. Chives improve growth and flavor, while onions, rosemary, and sage deter carrot flies. However avoid dill as it retards growth.
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