So, you’ve decided to plant a vegetable garden and carrots are going to take pride of place.
Here are four tips to ensure that your carrots grow to be big and strong and make you the envy of all your neighbors.
- Don’t plant your carrots in soil that has a lot of weeds. Try to turn the soil as much as possible and use weedkiller to get rid of the weeds. Ideally, you should use organic weedkiller if you can get your hands on some. Unfortunately, once the carrots start to grow, it becomes increasingly difficult to weed them.
- Sow the seeds sparingly on top of the soil and cover with about 5mm of top soil. Mulching with straw or hay will help to keep the seeds moist, and this will also make it easier to water without disturbing the seeds. The plants need little other attention during their growth period, although the plants should be kept well watered – too little water results in coarse, woody roots.
- Carrots love light, well-drained, fertile soils. A stone-free environment is ideal. Carrots are pretty finicky growers. Perfect soil for growing carrots is typically rich, with well-rotted organic material in it.
- Start sowing the seeds 2-3 weeks before the last frost. One week before sowing your seeds, rake in a light dressing of general fertiliser. The temperature of the soil can be vital to the carrots, as they are cool-weather vegetables. They will almost certainly not germinate at temperatures below 5 degrees Celsius. Germination will occur in around 10 days if the soil temperature is 10 degrees celsius.
From June to July onwards, start harvesting your carrots as soon as they’re big enough to eat. It’s best to harvest them in the evening to avoid attracting carrot fly. Many people are starting to grow their own fruit and vegetables in these tough economic times. With proper care and attention, your carrot harvest should yield a crop that you can be proud of.
Ian Basford is a keen vegetable gardener. Download his FREE ebook “Foolproof Vegetable Garden” from his blog at http://foolproof-vegetable-garden.blogspot.com