Plant carrots in the garden for a delicious harvest.
image by bekahboo42: morguefile.com
A big, fat orange carrot pulled from a garden plot is something of which to be proud. Carrots are a vegetable that most gardeners have success growing. They prefer a sandy soil and grow most readily during the spring and fall season when temperatures are cooler. Plant carrots in long rows in the spring. In warm areas, a second fall planting is possible. Harvest carrots between 70 and 80 days later.
Prepare the planting area when the soil is warm enough to work in the spring. Work the soil between 8 and 12 inches deep with the garden fork. Break up any large clumps of dirt and remove rocks and other debris as you work the soil.
Sprinkle 1 cup of granular fertilizer over every 10 feet of planting area. Mix the fertilizer down approximately four inches into the soil with the rake.
Rake the soil smooth and make long, elevated ridges for the carrot rows with the rake. The ridges should be between 1 and 2 feet apart and approximately 2 inches high. Drag the handle of the hoe down the center of the ridge to make a row with a 1/2-inch depth.
Sprinkle approximately 20 seeds per each foot of the rows. Sprinkle a light layer of soil over the seeds and water lightly with a fine spray. Keep the carrot seeds moist to encourage germination.
Watch for the seedlings to sprout within 2 to 3 weeks. When the carrot seedlings are 4 inches tall, thin the seedlings so that they are 2 inches apart. As the carrot seedlings continue to grow, thin them so that 4 inches separate each plant.
Control the weeds around the carrots carefully because allowing weeds to grow around carrots will reduce carrot quality. Keep the soil watered down to approximately 3 inches for adequate moisture.
Fertilize the carrots again when the carrots are 4 inches tall. Sprinkle 2 tbsp. of granular fertilizer for each 10 feet of carrots. Repeat the fertilization process when the carrots are approximately 8 inches tall.
Harvest the carrots approximately 80 days after sowing. Check the carrot diameters. When they appear to be approximately 1.5 inches wide, the carrots are ready to pull. Carefully loosen the soil around the carrots with a garden trowel and pull the carrots up by the greens. Cut off the carrot greens immediately to keep the carrots from shriveling.