How to Grow Carrots at home
Carrots are a vegetable staple but what if instead of buy bags upon bags each week you could grow your own at home? Not only is it easy but 2,000 carrot seeds will set you back just $3.00. Plus, nothing beats the crunch and flavor of homegrown carrots. Here’s everything you need to know about growing carrots.
Most popular in North America, as the name suggests baby carrots are shorter carrots with an extra sweet flavour that grow quickly.
Cultivated carrots were originally a dark purple until the 17th century. Purple carrots are making a comeback as they are believed to be more nutritionally rich than orange carrots.
Lucky for us carrots can be grown in all climatic zones throughout Australia year-round.
Carrots will thrive in a sunny spot in your garden.
How to grow carrots
Not sure where to start and wondering how to plant carrots? The only thing that they can be difficult about is soil. They like clean soft well-drained soil (which has a pH of between 5.8 and 6.5) that doesn’t have any rocks, stones or hard pieces so they can grow nice and straight.
Gardening expert, Roger Fox explains that “carrots are always best grown from seed, sown directly into the garden bed. The reason is that they hate being transplanted – after transplanting, they often produce multiple shoots (called ‘forking’) instead of the one main root.”
Sow seeds in a neat row 5cm apart and 0.5cm deep and water well. The seeds are so small you might need to use a pair of tweezers or if spacing isn’t your strength try carrot seed tape which does the hard work for you.
It is possible to grow carrots in pots just make sure your pot is deep enough and that you leave enough space between carrot seeds.
You can also grow carrots using a hydroponic system but this is a bit more finicky.
How to grow carrots from tops
This is one of the biggest misconceptions, you cannot grow more carrots from carrot tops. What you can grow is green foliage that looks great and is a fun experiment for the kids. All you need to do is place your carrot top in a shallow dish of water in a sunny spot and watch as green foliage comes out of the top!
When to harvest carrots
It will take around four weeks for carrots to fully mature. You will start to see orange tops appearing. Pull one out as a test before harvesting the whole crop. For an ongoing supply sow new crops every 4-5 weeks.
Care & Troubleshooting
Most carrots in Australia are relatively hardy and disease resistant. The main thing you need to worry about is soft soil and plenty of water.
Make sure you water carrots regularly, you can also give them liquid fertiliser but it isn’t a must.
As carrots grow both under and above ground they aren’t great companion plants. Between crops tomatoes and potatoes are great vegetables to grow.
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