Everyone enjoys a sweet, crunchy carrot, but many people find the planting process a bit complicated. Their reputation for being difficult to cultivate becomes stronger in heavy and compacted soils. However, with a little effort, you can grow beautiful carrots. With our tips for planting carrots in the garden and in containers, you can get an incredible harvest easier than you think.
Carrots are cool season and are grown in spring. They are served cooked or raw and are an excellent source of vitamin A, adding a beautiful color to meals. This vegetable has a natural sweetness, but this flavor is even more delicious when grown at home, as the sugar that gives it its sweetness begins to be replaced by fiber as it ages in grocery stores.
How to plant carrots?
Carrots prefer sunny places with a period of 6 to 10 hours of sunshine. The soil itself should be free draining, this is one of the few crops that actively benefits from sandier soils. You also don’t want your soil to be too rich. If your garden is made of hard, clay soil, it is best to grow carrots in containers, as we will show you below. To complete your garden, you can also plant one lettuce from another.
When to plant carrots?
Carrot seeds can be sown 2 to 3 weeks before the last spring frost date. Ideally, the soil should dry out and warm up a bit after winter. In this case, seeds germinate after the soil temperature is at least 5° and germinate best at 18°, without exceeding 24 °C, as high summer temperatures reduce growth, reduce quality and cause the development of bitter or unpleasant flavors.
Method of planting
Prepare the site by tilling to a depth of 25 centimeters and make sure there are no rocks or even large clods of earth. Supplement the soil with compost and 25 inches of sandy soil if your soil is not loose and aerated. We recommend sowing seeds directly in the garden instead of transplanting them. Carrots do not like to be disturbed by roots.
Sow at a depth of 1 cm, approximately 8 cm apart in rows 30 cm apart. Try to distribute the seeds evenly so that they do not grow together. These seeds are quite small, and it is very easy to sow them too close together, if you don’t have a steady hand, then mix the seeds with fine sand, to spread them out.
Keep the soil moist with frequent surface watering. For carrot seeds to germinate, the soil should not form a hard crust on top, cover with a layer of fine sand or compost to prevent a crust from forming. Carrots sometimes take time to germinate, so be patient and wait 14 to 21 days to emerge.
Planting Carrots in Containers
Growing carrots in pots is an excellent way to perfect the growing medium and avoid pests such as carrot fly. An excellent mix is one part sand to one part potting mix. Make sure the pot is at least 30 cm deep and as wide as possible, and fill it with the growing medium.
Sow seeds over the top of a full pot and then cover them with a little more of the mixture. Water well, label and place in a sunny spot. Keep everything moist, as, unlike those in the ground, these carrots will be completely dependent on you.