Carrot is one fruit that we all love. Their orange color is just a sight to behold. Carrots that are grown in gardens are full of texture and flavor. However, there are some gardeners that still complain that the carrots they plant do not grow well.
Some say the carrots don’t come up straight, while others say theirs don’t come up well. Not to worry though, this article will show you the best way to grow carrots from seeds.
Carrots are known as root vegetables. Fortunately, they are not limited to a region. They can be planted in so many climates. Also, carrots are one long-lasting vegetable.
You can grow them in either spring or fall, however, it is better you grow them towards the cooler ends of such seasons.
The root of a carrot is loaded with sugar. It is also packed with carotene and vitamins.
Even though most of the carrots we see are orange in color, you should know that carrots can assume different colors. The colors usually range from white to purple.
Quick Tips to Grow Your Carrot
Before we proceed to how to grow carrots from seeds, it is important we clear the air on some issues some have experienced when growing carrots.
These tips will help you surmount the challenges you currently face.
- Carrots usually require a light, loose, and also an airy soil.
- Also, make sure you till the soil deep. Don’t allow your carrot to hit a soil clump. They will not grow again. Prepare carrot bed by tilling about 18 inches deep. Ensure no rocks, soil clumps, and weeds exist that can obstruct the growth of your carrot.
- You should also avoid transplanting. Make sure you seed directly into the ground. Distribute your seeds evenly. This will prevent them from growing together.
- Finally, whatever the shape of your carrot, you should be aware that it will still taste exactly the same way as those in the grocery store.
Varieties of Carrots
There are different varieties of carrots. You can grow carrots from seeds using these different varieties of carrots;
- Danvers Carrots:
These are classic heirloom carrots.
They are usually about six to eight inches long. They taper at their end and has a rich, and dark orange color.
The Danvers carrots are known to handle even heavy soils than other varieties of carrots.
- Bolero Carrot
This variety of carrots are known to resist most of the pests that affect leaves.
- Nantes Carrot
These varieties of carrots are usually about six to seven inches in length.
They are also cylindrical and not tapered. Also, they are entirely edible.
Usually medium in size, mild and sweet, and also having one crisp texture.
- Thumberlina Carrots
These varieties of carrots are round and are also very good for clay and clumpy soil.
- Little Finger Carrots
This is a small variation of the Nantes variety.
The length of this carrot is just 4 inches. It is also about an inch thick.
If you are looking for how to grow carrots in containers, then this is the variety you must use.
How to Grow Carrots from Seeds to Harvest at Home
It shouldn’t have to be a difficult task to grow carrots from seeds.
We are going to show you the various processes from planting to when to harvest carrots.
This will allow you to know how to grow carrots from seeds.
1. PLANTING – How to Plant Carrots
- Begin by preparing the seedbed for your carrots before you sow the seed.
- Allow the soil to dry before you dig.
- Plant the seeds outdoors just about 3-5 weeks before the end the date for spring frost.
- You should also plant more seeds after 3 every week so as to have numerous harvests.
- Plant the seeds in rows at about 3-4 inches apart. Your rows should also be minimum one foot apart.
- Use fine soil or sand to cover the newly planted seeds. Make sure the soil you use won’t crust over when they become dry.
- Ensure the soil is always moist.
- Frequently water the soil and ensure it is a shallow watering. For those small seeds of carrot to germinate, the soil must not crust.
- Don’t be scared if your carrots don’t grow as soon as possible.
- Sometimes, they tend to be slow to grow. It can take about 2-3 weeks to show sign of germination.
- The best way to grow your carrot is in the sunshine.
- Carrots that are planted under shade will not grow like their counterparts planted under full sunlight.
- If you plant carrot seeds in the middle of summer, you can provide shade for them. This is to prevent sunlight from heating up the soil.
Soil Preparation for Carrots Planning
If you want to grow carrots from seeds, it is extremely important to take note of the soil condition.
Follow the tips below to prepare your soil to enable you to grow carrots from seeds.
- Clear all stones away from the soil. The stones can serve as obstructions to the roots of the carrot. This can lead to a misshapen carrot or one with stunted growth.
- Properly till the soil before planting. Carrots can only grow well on a loose soil that is deeply tilled as well. Till the soil at about 18 inches deep.
- Plant on the right soil. The best soil to grow carrots from seeds is on loamy or sandy soil. You can add more sand to your soil if it is needed.
- Avoid adding manure or excess fertilizer to you to your soil. They can cause your carrots to grow “legs.”
2. CARE FOR YOUR CARROTS
How to grow carrots
- After you plant your seed, always mulch gently and ensure the soil remains moisturized.
- Mulching will also help rapid germination and prevent the sun from direct contact with the root.
- Once you notice the plants at a height of one inch, thin and make sure they are apart at about 3 inches. Use scissors to snip the plants. Do not pull them out. Scissors should only be used to protect the fragile roots of the other plants from damage.
- Ensure you add water to your plant at least once every week.
- Diligently take out the weeds. However, you must do this with care, so you’ll not disturb the roots of the carrots as you weed.
- Then you can fertilize using a balanced fertilizer at about 5 to 6 weeks after planting.
Duration of the Growth of a Carrot
To grow carrots from seeds, it depends on the region’s growing conditions and the variety of carrot. Normally, it can take about two to four months before it matures.
3. PESTS AND DISEASES THAT AFFECT CARROTS
There are some diseases and pests that can hinder how you grow carrots from seeds. Some of these pests and diseases include;
- Flea Beetles
- Aster Yellow Diseases. The aster yellow disease can cause a discolored and shortened hairy roots and carrot tops. This disease spreads by pests such as leafhoppers. They feed by going from one plant to the other. It is important you always remove weeds and also to invest in a plan to control these pests. This disease is also known to overwinter.
4. WHEN TO HARVEST CARROTS/ STORAGE
How to Harvest Carrots
- The growth of carrots usually takes about 2 to 4 months. Alternatively, when they grow to about half an inch, then they are mature. After this period, your carrots should be matured. You can harvest your carrots when you wish after your desired maturity.
- For those that grow a carrot in early summer and in the spring, you should harvest just before the daily temperature becomes hot. This is because the heat can result in the growth of fibrous in the roots of the carrot.
- The taste of your carrots will improve after some Frosts. This is simply because frost helps the plant to store sugars, which are energy, in the plant’s roots. Once the first hard frost in fall season occurs, you should cover the rows of carrot using shredded leaves with 18 inches of layers. This will help to preserve the carrots for later harvest.
5. HOW TO STORE FRESH CARROTS
There are ways through which you can store your fresh carrots. Some of these include;
- Remove the carrot’s green tops by twisting it. Thereafter, scrub the dirt using a cold and running water. Allow it to dry and then seal off in different plastic bags that are airtight. After this, place it in the refrigerator. Do not put fresh carrots in your refrigerator. If you do that, your carrots will only go limp after some hours.
- If you have no other choice, you can leave the mature carrots in the soil. However, it must only be for temporary storage. You can only do this if you know pests won’t disturb it and that the ground will also not freeze it.
- For you to effectively grow carrots from seeds, ensure the carrots are kept in tubs of sand that are moist pending the use in winter.
How To Get Carrot Seeds
Carrot seeds can easily be gotten from your local store.
However, if you prefer shopping online, you can get it from Amazon. Carrot seeds cost as little as $3.
To grow carrots from seeds to harvest doesn’t necessarily have to be a difficult process.
Follow these tips and guideline and all your questions from how to grow carrots to how to cultivate carrot will be answered.