Some people think growing carrots is difficult since they are root vegetables. This far from the truth and growing your own carrots can be rewarding as there are many different varieties to choose from. When thinking of growing carrots you will need to choose those varieties that suit your soil. You can grow them both in spring as well as fall.
Once you have chosen the varieties of carrots that you want to plant, you must then choose an appropriate spot you want to plant them in. Carrots require a lot of sun so choose a place that gets ample sunlight. The soil needs to be worked to a depth of at least twelve inches. Work in your soil amendment until it is mixed evenly but at the same time not overworked into a fine powder which can form a crust.
Carrots prefer compost rich in phosphorus and potassium but do not do well with nitrate fertilizer. If you are planting in spring, plant the seeds about two weeks before the last frost. The ideal soil temperature is 70 to 80F but you can plant when the temperature is 60F.
The seeds need to be sown directly in the soil and spaced in rows about 12 to 18 inches apart at a depth of about half an inch. After you have placed the seeds in the ground do not compact the soil excessively. Water sparingly until the seeds sprout in about 10 days.
After the seedlings have appeared you have to thin them until they are about four inches apart. Be careful not to disturb the nearby plants. Use plenty of mulch around the sprouts so that the soil retains moisture. Weed continuously while your carrots are growing being careful not to disturb the roots.
If the top of the roots poke out through the soil, cover them with mulch.....roots exposed to sunlight will make the carrots bitter and tough. Your plants need to be well watered while they are growing but you need to cut back on the watering as they approach maturity.
Harvest your carrots according to the time frame indicated on your packet of seeds. You can harvest them a bit early if you like your carrots juicy and tender. The usual time frame for harvesting is between 70 and 80 days. When harvesting the carrots, grab the root and not the greens and wriggle it in a circular motion to loosen it before pulling it out of the soil.
When growing carrots, you can plant them in spring and also fall. Since carrots are a root vegetable they can withstand colder temperatures longer than most other vegetables and it is possible to get a crop even in late fall.