How to grow carrots from seeds
There are several different types of carrots, depending on their size and shape. Some are long, medium, short, rounded, or cylindrical with a flattened, conical end. There are three main types of carrots: the large ones are great to eat raw or stewed, the thin, long ones are good for canning and baby carrots are sweet and perfect to eat raw. Carrots are perfect to put in salads or as an accompaniment to many dishes. If you want to learn how to grow carrots from seed, check out the following article at OneHowTo.com.
The ideal soil and land to cultivate carrot crops is composed of a fine, sandy silt that doesn't dry too quickly. We don't recommend that you put fresh manure, because it prohibits growth of the roots. You can add compost, manure or well fertilized soil to the field about two weeks before planting the carrots, 70g per m2 (4.1 lbs. per square ft.) Place as many seeds as you need one by one in the soil in a row. Be careful not to over plant, as these seeds are very small.
If you want to plant carrots in a raised bed or nursery, you can use a hot bed, and thus sow the carrot seeds in January. However, if you have a cold bed, plant in mid-February. Plant them 1/2 an inch deep, in rows with 6 inches apart.
If you'd like to plant them in your garden at home, you should begin to plant from March until July, if you're in the northern hemisphere, and if you're in the southern hemisphere, you'll need to add 6 months. Sow the main crop in May or early June. Long carrots must be planted in the field, in May at the latest. Leave 3-4 inches between each seed, for short varieties of carrots and 10 to 12 inches for the major crop. Plant the seeds 1/2 an inch deep. If you sow the seeds without the proper distance between each one, you'll have to constantly thin the plants.
Often, you can wait to thin the plants until the roots are large enough to eat, but we recommend that you do a preliminary thinning so that the plants are 2 inches apart. Thin the carrots so that they're 2 inches apart and in rows, 1 to 2 feet apart. Do this when the plants are a decent size.
If you live in a dry place, you should water the rows well before thinning the plants. Then tamp down the soil with your foot and water it again. Don't prematurely harvest the rows of the main crop, because this can encourage carrot flies, that lay their eggs in the empty holes.
To harvest the carrots, remove the roots of the main crop in late October. With the help of a small shovel or garden fork, free the roots before pulling them up and scrub them well to clean off the soil. Cut off the green tops to 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch from the top of the carrot. Separate all damaged or cracked carrots for consumption.
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- To store carrots outdoors, arrange them in a pile with the tops facing inward (see illustration). Cover with a layer of straw and more soil. Leave a small hole in the top as a vent, to prevent the carrots from decomposing. In March, remove the earth, or they will quickly grow shoots. Scrape the shoots that may have formed and store the carrots in a drawer.
- The foliage of healthy carrots is a bright green. If it loses its freshness, it means that there are aphids or carrot flies.
- Carrot flies appear between April and June and lay their eggs near the roots. When they hatch, the larvae attacks the plant, causing the foliage to take on a reddish and then yellow tinge. We recommend that you prevent this by spraying the insecticide, BHC before planting, or spray young plants with trichlorfon insecticide. Wait 3 weeks after spraying the plants before consuming the carrots.