By Kathee Mierzejewski
If you are wondering how to grow carrots (Daucus carota), you should know they grow best in cool temperatures like those that occur in early spring and late fall. The night temperature should be dropping to about 55 F. (13 C.) and the daytime temperatures should be averaging 75 F. (24 C.) for optimum growth. Carrots grow in small gardens and even flower beds, and can accept a little bit of shade as well.
Tips on How to Grow Carrots
When you grow carrots, soil surfaces should be cleared of trash, rocks and large pieces of bark. Finer pieces of plant material can be mixed down into the soil for enrichment.
Start out with soil that will help your carrots grow. When you grow carrots, soil should be a sandy, well-drained loam. Heavy soils cause the carrots to mature slowly and the roots will end up unattractive and rough. Remember that when you grow carrots, rocky soil leads to poor quality roots.
Till or dig up the area where carrots will be planted. Make sure the soil is tilled up to soften and aerate the ground to make it easier to grow carrots long and straight. Fertilize the soil with one cup of 10-20-10 for every 10 feet of row you plant. You can use a rake to mix the soil and fertilizer.
Plant your carrots in rows that are 1 to 2 feet apart is the best way how to grow carrots. Seeds should be planted about a ½ inch deep and 1 to 2 inches apart.
When growing carrots in the garden, you’ll wait for your carrot plants to appear. When the plants are 4 inches high, thin the plants to 2 inches apart. You may find that some of the carrots are actually large enough to eat. Thin the carrots regularly to 4 inches apart.
When growing carrots in the garden, make sure to plant, per person, five to ten feet of row to have enough carrots for table use. You will get about one pound of carrots in a one foot row.
You want to keep your carrots free of weeds when growing carrots in the garden. This is never more so than when they are small. The weeds will take nutrients away from the carrots. This will cause poor carrot development.
When Do Carrots Grow?
They grow continuously after you plant them. They also don’t take too long to mature. You can start the first crop in mid spring after threat of frost has passed and continue to plant new seeds every two weeks for continuous harvest through the fall.
How Do You Harvest Carrots?
Harvesting of the carrots can begin when they are finger size. However, you can allow them to stay in the soil until winter if you mulch the garden well.
To check the size of your carrots, gently remove some dirt from the top of the root and check the size of the root. To harvest, gently lift the carrot from the soil.