Carrots are a cool weather crop available in a variety of colors and do best when sown directly outdoors in loose, well-prepared soil. Homegrown carrots are also higher in vitamins A and B, calcium, and phosphorus than store-bought–and they are significantly tastier!
How to Grow Carrots:
- Carrots need loose soil that has been deeply tilled before planting. Also be sure there are no stones in the soil. The roots will branch out and cause forked carrots.
- Plant outdoors as soon as the soil can be worked or about 3-5 weeks before your last spring frost.
- Don’t use manure where you plant to put your carrots.
- Space 3-4″ apart in rows spaced 12″ apart in a warm, sunny area of your garden and plant at a depth of 4x the seed (about 1/4″) .
- Carrots are pretty versatile in that you can harvest them anytime you want, although the best time is when they’re about 1/2″ in diameter.
- TIP: Soak the ground before harvesting carrots to make pulling them from the soil easier and faster.
- Twist off tops and scrub clean under cold water. Let dry and seal in airtight plastic bags, and refrigerate. Fresh carrots will go limp within a few hours if put straight into the refrigerator.
- If you plan to store the carrots in a root cellar be sure to clean off all the soil and that the area will keep a consistent cooler temperature.
- Thin out your carrots once they get about 1 inches tall. Do this by snipping with scissors so you don’t disturb the growing root system.
- Apply mulch around the tops of the plants to retain moisture and to protect the root. Covering it will help the entire root mature and avoid green top.
Pests to Watch For:
- Flea Beetles
- Leaf Hoppers
- Mexican Bean Beetles