Carrots are amongst the most popular vegetables to grow in the organic home vegetable garden. Carrots are perhaps so popular because of how easy they are to grow and the versatility they provide in the kitchen. Carrots can be used for Juicing, Boiling, Steaming, In Casseroles, Stews and Soups, Grated in Cakes, rissoles, on sandwiches, in salads or simply on their own as delicious carrot sticks.
Soil preparation is the most important factor when growing carrots. As deep-rooted vegetables they require soft loamy soil that does not have any rocks, lumps or foreign materials in as these may cause misshapen carrots or stunted growth.
Organically grown Carrots are beneficial to the soil as they can help to build a soil as they grow. Even with stunted growth the soil is being broken up as the roots of the carrot grow.
A rotary hoe is an ideal tool for preparing the soil for planting carrots. It will help break up the soil creating a quality medium suitable for the growth of carrots. If you do not have a rotary hoe you can still use traditional digging methods but dig in ample amounts of quality organic compost and manures.
After preparing the soil it should be raked over level and small rows scribed in the soil about 2cm (about an inch) deep. Each row should be at least 20cm apart – 30cm would be better to allow for weeding and harvesting. Sticks should be placed at each end of the rows to mark where each row is. Otherwise you will not know where the seeds are until they begin to shoot.
Carrot seed is about 1mm wide and approx 2 or 3 mm long. Sow seeds by pinching several seeds between the thumb and finger and sprinkling across each row. When each row has been sown gently push the soil over the hole before moving on to the next row. I will occasionally using a mixture of potting mix and coco peat (50:50 mix) to back fill the rows depending on the coarseness of the soil they are sown in.
After all rows have been planted water in well. If you have dogs, cats or problems with wild birds, you may want to consider a bird netting frame over the garden bed until the seeds have sprouted. Animals have a magical sense of discovering exactly where you do not want them to scratch.
If your soil is well prepared and contains ample organic matter you will not need to add any nutrient until the plants have fully emerged. After this a weekly watering with diluted liquid rabbit manure or liquid worm castings will provide most of the required nutrient.
The carrots should be thinned out and used as they grow. This will leave room for the rest to develop to their full size and will prevent strangling from being too close.
Regular watering is also essential during dry weather.
Eric J Smith describes himself as being “Passionate about Organics”. He is committed to Educating people on the importance reducing the chemical load on our bodies and the Environment. Eric is Married and has 2 Children. Eric and his wife Narelle represent Miessence Certified Organic Skin Care, Cosmetics, Home & Nutritional Products. www.buy-organic-products.com.