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How to Grow Carrots

by on April 20, 2012

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When it comes to staple foods in the kitchen, it doesn’t get much more basic than carrots.
They are versatile, delicious and packed with nutrition, and they are easy to grow, prepare and preserve as well.
AT A GLANCE: CARROTS
Temp Range: 50-70 degrees
Seed to Plate: 65 days +/-
Light Needs: 6 hours of full sun per day
How Much to Grow Per Person: 3-4 per person per week
Average Space Needs: 16 carrots / square foot
Water Needs: keep moist
Soil pH: 6.0 – 6.8

How to Grow Carrots from Seed

Carrots can be directly sown in the ground as early as 2-3 weeks before the last frost date in your area.

It is important to prepare the soil ahead of time and to work it as deeply as you can to ensure that the soil is loose and free of rocks, sticks and any other debris that can impede the growth of your carrots.

If you are planting using the square foot methods that we strongly recommend in small, urban gardens, plant 16 carrot seeds to a depth of 1/4”, evenly spaced in a single square foot. Water the seeds well and apply a layer of straw or other mulch to protect them and help the soil retain moisture while the seeds germinate – a process that can take up to 3 weeks depending on the variety you are growing. You will want to watch your maturing plants for signs of crowing as well. That’s when you can see the top of the orange root breaking through the soil. If this happens, simply add a bit of soil or extra mulch to cover the root, otherwise it will begin to turn green due to sun exposure.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

John April 20, 2012 at 8:24 AM

I really like your planting method, just sowing an exact number of seeds. When I grow carrots, I usually just sprinkle the seeds as lightly as I can in a row, but then when they start growing I have to thin them out – and it always seems like such a waste of good healthy carrot plants! I have some seeds not sown yet, so I’ll definitely try your square foot method.

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Michael Nolan April 20, 2012 at 8:37 AM

Thanks, John. It saves a lot of seed and a lot of time thinning.

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Carol April 20, 2012 at 10:11 AM

It makes it much easier, doesn’t it 🙂 Thanks for your comment.

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