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Growing Information

Carrots (Dacus carota)


Plant Type Biennial When to Grow Seed Depth Light Days to Sprout Days to Harvest (young) Days to Harvest (mature) In-Row Spacing Space Between Rows SpringFall 1/8-1/4 inch Full Sun 10-15 ~70 ~100 1-2 inches 4-8 inches Carrots can be challenging to grow for one main reason the seeds are slow to germinate. However, once the seedlings have emerged, carrots are not very fussy if their minimal needs are met. Carrots are one of the most space-efficient vegetables to grow, are highly nutritious, store well, and are delicious. surface to crust over after watering, making it harder for the germinating carrots to emerge.

Fertilization
Carrots do not seem to be very picky about fertility, but do require some fertility to grow well. A medium amending of a balanced organic fertilizer or homemade, well-rotted compost will do just fine. Do not over-fertilize...heavy applications of nitrogen can cause the roots to fork.

It is important to choose the right type of carrot to match your type of soil. There are five main types of carrot:

Planting, Germination & Thinning


Carrot seed should be sown 1/4 deep in shallow furrows. We like to over-sow a bit...sowing somewhat thickly, then thinning to 2-3 space between carrots when the seedlings are ~2 tall. Carrot seed can be mixed with 5-10% radish or turnip seed before sowing. The radish/turnips germinate in a few days, breaking any soil that may have crusted over, marking your rows, and casting subtle shade to encourage the slow-germinating carrot seeds. The key to germinating carrot seed is to make sure the seed does not dry out during the germination period. Because the seeds can take 10 days or more to germinate, keeping the bed moist can be challenging. Avoid sowing carrot seed in very hot weather (above 90F), as the growing bed may need to be watered many times a day in these conditions to maintain moisture and coolness.

1. Danvers Perform well in heavier/clay soils. Thick, tapered roots. Good for storage. Popular for juicing. 2. Chantenay Conical roots with rounded tips. Good for storage. Not too picky about soils... also performs well in heavier/clay soils. 3. Nantes Cylindrical roots with rounded tips. Typically very sweet. Prefer looser/sandy soils. 4. Imperator Most widely grown - longest storage. Not as sweet due to large core. Require deep, loose, well-drained soils. 5. Mini/Planet Very small, sometimes round roots. Bred to grow in any type of soil, including the heaviest clay.

Weeding, Watering & Harvest.


Carrots do not compete well with weeds. A bed sown with carrots should be weeded often and thoroughly. Hand weed beginning a couple weeks after emergence...do not allow any competition to become established. Carrots should never completely dry out and benefit from consistent watering. Carrots can be harvested anytime! If you are growing in heavier soils, harvesting should be assisted by digging the roots with a spade or digging fork. Pulling evenly on the tops suffices for harvesting in looser soil.

Soil Preparation
Regardless of the carrot variety you choose to grow, carrots will perform best in deeply cultivated, loose garden soil. Soil high in organic matter, amended with high quality compost will grow great carrots. Remove as many rocks as possible in the growing bed to allow for un-checked growth of the roots. Some gardeners have good success growing carrots in raised beds, due to the inherent loose nature of the soil. The soil should not be over-tilled, as this may cause the soil

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