Written by Mike the Gardener
Carrots Are Easy to Grow at Home
Carrots are a very popular vegetable to grow in most homes gardens. You can eat carrots raw, steam them, and add them to stews and soups and so much more.
Even though I would not classify carrots as being ideal for someone with limited space, since one carrot seed produces one carrot, I would classify them as easy to grow, and can be grown just about anywhere. Growing carrots is easy because they are one of just a few plants that can grow well even when they are mismanaged or under managed with their care.
Set Up the Area:
The best place to begin when growing carrots is making sure the area where they are going to grow is ideal. That means plenty of compost mixed with something that makes the soil friable.
This is very important because if the soil gets too compacted, you will get thick, short and stubby carrots. While those carrots are still edible, what you really want are nice long and thick carrots.
I like to use peat or coir with my compost to make sure the soil is very loose. The soil should crumble through fingers when you pick it up.
There is no need to start your seeds indoors. Carrots grow best when they are direct sowed into your garden bed.
Make sure, when planting your carrot seeds, that you space them out eight to twelve inches. You may be able to get away with less, but if you want carrots that are large, thick and healthy, give them some room.
As mentioned earlier, carrots do very well even when they receive very little care. If you want great carrots though, show them a little love. Make sure to keep their soil moist, not saturated and free of weeds. I like to feed my carrots every two weeks with some compost tea.
This to me is the million dollar question. How do you know when they are ready to harvest since you can’t actually see the carrot?
Most carrot varieties reach full maturity in 60 days. That does not mean if you pick your carrots before that time they will be bad or even less tasty, it just means they should reach a good size at that time.
But in all honesty, you can pick carrots as soon as 30 days. They will be a bit smaller, and with some varieties like little finger and tenderswseet, they will have a nice sweet flavor to them. Almost like candy!
Final Notes About Growing Carrots:
Here are a couple of final notes before you race out there and start planting and growing carrots.
- Make sure you plant them in an area that receives a lot of sunlight.
- Also, make sure your soil is friable. I mentioned that earlier but it doesn’t hurt to mention that again.
- Deer, rabbits and other rodents love eating your fresh carrots, so make sure you protect your garden beds.
- Because carrots are a root crop you can fully encase your carrots in a cage and they will grow fine. Carrots also grow great in cold frames which comes in handy for those areas that experience frost.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike is a member of the Garden Writers Association and you can listen to him each week on the Vegetable Gardening Show where he interviews gardening industry experts.