Updated: Oct 1
Carrots are one of those vegetables that either thrive or...die. I am a lazy gardener, I love mulch, I love that it keeps weeds down, that it keeps moisture in, that it adds nutrients to the soil, but carrots are always a hard one for me. I don't water enough, and I have learned from talking to other farmers that I should tarp them for a few weeks during germination time, as well as planting a few radish seeds at the edge of the carrot bed and removing the tarp when they start sprouting. They grow a little bit faster than carrots and should show up within a few weeks. They look sort of like young grass but slightly thicker i find and have a v shape. Next year my focus will be perfecting the growing of carrots. They store well for a winter storage crop, they are sweet and crunchy and we love them! Here re a few planting tips to get you started with carrots. You can find so many varieties of carrots and colours. Yellow, white, orange, red, purple, short and fat, long and skinny. Take a look at different seed catalogus and find a carrot best suited for your growing season, purpose and taste preference.
60-80 days or 45-50 days for baby carrots
Carrots grow quite well in most soil types and come in a variety of shapes and colours! But you must keep your garden bed free of weeds. Especially in the beginning when the carrot shoots are so young and can’t compete with vigorous growing weeds. If you have a heavy clay soil opt for a shorter variety of carrots and a longer variety for sandier soil.
Carrots grow best in a rock free, well drained soil. A soil rich in Potassium or wood ash can help with the flavor of your carrots resulting in a sweeter taste.
Make Furrows approximately 18 inches wide and plant your seeds about ½ inch – 1 inch apart. If you are planting your carrot seeds by hand try mixing the seeds with sand to avoid over sowing seeds. Keep soil moist but not overly wet. You want to help the seeds break through the surface not drown them.
Keep beds weed free and thin when the greens are ½ inch high, thin the seeds to about 3 inches apart.
Carrots can fork, this sometimes happens from soil that is too compact, too wet or too rich in fertilizer. But they will still be tasty!
When carrots are beginning to colour and about ½ in in diameter pull them as needed. Grab the green tops right at the base of the root and tug gently while twisting. They should pull right out.
In late fall, harvest your carrots and brush off most of the soil. Store them in a plastic bag with a few air wholes in a cool dark humid place. (Basement, cellar, fridge…)
Carrots can tolerate a light frost and can be kept in the ground until needed for much longer than most vegetables.
Blanch and freeze carrots; by cutting or harvesting at ½ - 2 ½ lengths or pieces. Boil carrots for about 2 minutes, and then place in ice water to stop from cooking further. Once they have cooled, freeze them (you may want to strain any excess water)