Growing Carrots

Latest Update 26th December 2018.

Carrots
  • Carrots are propagated by directly sowing them into moist fertile soil.
  • They grow slowly and can be harvested when required directly from the soil, pulling them out in clusters to be cooked and eaten right away.
  • You will not find sweeter carrots than those grown organically in your own garden, and they are a great source of dietary fibre and micronutrients. 
  • I have grown carrots for many years in my garden without significant pest problems.
Details.
  • Binomial Name:                                        Daucus carota.
  • Family group:                                           Apiaceae. 
  • Variety:                                                    Nantes.
  • Crop rotation group:                                  Light feeders.
  • Garden bed type:                                      Garden Ecobed.
  • Minimum sun per day:                              5 hours.
  • Plant spacing:                                          In drills, thinned as required.
  • Weeks to harvest:                                    12 - 18 weeks.
  • Good companions:                                   Pea. radish. lettuce. sage. onion. leek.
  • Climate:                                                   Warm temperate.
  • Geography:                                              Southern hemisphere.
Nutrition.
  • This food is very low in saturated fat and cholesterol. 
  • It is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, iron, potassium and copper, and a very good source of dietary fibre, vitamin A, vitamin K and manganese. 
  • More from nutrition data.self.com.
Maintaining Ecobed Productivity.  
  • Check out my blogpage which explains how I maintain productivity in my Ecobeds.  It describes how soil is prepared prior to planting, the importance of rainwater in Ecobeds, how to regulate the sun's intensity and how to feed plants through their leaves.
Propagation Plan.
  • Check out my blogpage which tells you when to sow seeds.
Growing Instructions.
  • Propagate Carrots by directly sowing them into moist fertile soil. 
  • Prepare a drill in rich moist soil not recently fertilised with compost.
  • Mix the seed with course garden sand to ensure their even distribution.  
  • Sprinkle them into the drill and lightly cover them with finely sieved compost.
  • Firmed the ground before watering lightly with dilute seaweed extract. 
  • Carrot seed is very small and will dry out and perish if neglected.  I am currently using a piece of 9 mm hardwood ply placed over the drill to keep moisture levels high until the carrot seeds begin to shoot.  As soon as they get their roots down into the soil, the cover is removed.     
Harvesting and Storage.
  • Start harvesting them in small bunches as needed from one end of the bed, and cover any exposed roots with soil or compost.
  • If you have planted the right quantity, you will finish harvesting them just as they reach peak size and quality.
  • Harvest your carrots by grasping the foliage as close to their roots as possible and carefully pull them out of the soil.  Fill the hole left behind with soil.
  • I don't peel carrots fresh from the garden, I cook them in their skins after removing soil with a vegetable brush.  
  • To store carrots, clean and blanch them in boiling water for 2 minute.  After cooling and drying them, store them in a freezer in resealable bags.  Alternatively, if your climate allows, grow them all year round and store them in the soil until needed.
Organic Pest Control.
  • Carrots, like most vegetables, are vulnerable to attack from certain pests in my garden.  My blog on "Controlling Garden Pests" explains a little about these pests and what to do to protect plants from them.  For details click on the appropriate link below.
  • Slugs and snails.
  • Carrot fly. 
  • Birds.

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