Plant carrots are extremely easy as long as one follows the guidelines. Carrots are a root vegetable found in orange colour usually, but red, yellow, white, and purple cultivars exist.
Carrots have immense health benefits, including improved eye vision and aid in weight loss. They are a universally loved vegetable, eaten by all kinds of consumers. Hence, they are economically beneficial to growers.
Carrots are long-lasting and popular vegetables that can be planted in many different climates. Carrots are best planted in spring when the soil temperature is about 50 degrees Fahrenheit as seeds germinate at 55 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Planting carrots in spring and summer allows growers a continuous harvest throughout the fall.
Preparing the perfect soil for plant carrots is an essential stop. Ensure the ground does not have any rocks, stones, or lumps as it can obstruct the growth of carrot roots and cause stunted growth. Carrots do not like nitrogen, so avoid adding fertilizers or manure. The ground soil should not be in a massive clay form because carrot roots prefer a loamy and loose soil that is consistently moisturized to grow downwards quickly.
Carrots can be harvested in summer and fall. For a summer harvest, the seeds should be sown outdoors at least 1 to 5 weeks before last spring frost. For a fall harvest, sow the seeds in mid to late summer, i.e., around ten weeks before first fall frost. Carrots can tolerate shade, but it is preferable to plant them in a place with full sunlight.
As carrots do not like to have their roots disrupted, it is recommended to sow seeds directly into the ground instead of transplanting. Sow the seeds around ¼ inches deep, two to three inches apart in rows five feet apart.
To soften the hard coat of carrot seeds, remember to water often and keep the soil moist consistently for the first fourteen days. Add a thin, delicate layer of compost to avoid any crust from forming. Carrot seeds sometimes take a while to germinate, so don’t panic and wait.
- Do not let the sun hit the roots directly.
- You can conserve soil moisture by adding a layer of mulch.
- Once the plants are at least one inch tall, thin them out, so they are not crowded.
- Increase watering as roots start to grow mature.
- Remove any weeds but be careful not to disturb the carrot roots.
- Spray a fertilizer that is low in nitrogen but has high potassium and phosphate quantity.
Carrots can be harvested when they reach a preferred size and maturity. It is said that the smaller the carrots are, the better they taste. Harvest carrots before the daily temperature rise too high if it is a summer harvest. To harvest the carrots, loosen up the soil around the vegetable and pull up softly from the greens.
To store carrots, chop off most of the green tops and wash the carrots to remove soil and dirt. Let them air dry and seal in airtight plastic bags. Then keep the carrots in the refrigerator. The carrots can be left in the soil if pests and cold are not a problem.
Carrot diseases can often go unnoticed if they do not infect the tops. One might only realize the problem after harvesting the crop.
- Flea beetles
- Slugs are gastropods with soft bodies and single shelled. They leave a slimy trail on the surfaces and also cause small holes in the carrots. Slugs can kill young seedlings. To avoid this problem, treat plants with products like Bugicides.
- Flea beetles usually affect younger plants as mature plants can tolerate infestations. They cause small holes or pits in the plant leaves, which could cause the plant to die in severe cases. You can make your soap spray to kill flea beetles by using organic liquid soap with water.
- Wireworms are the larvae form of the click beetles and are a problem when grassy areas are used as plant beds. They have a thin, yellow-brown body. These insects tend to feed on lowers parts of the plant like roots and stems.
- White Mould
- Alternaria Leaf Blight
- Blackroot rot
- White Mould is caused by a fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum and affects carrots late when they are in storage. The symptoms include white mycelial growth and black, hard sclerotia on the crown of affected carrots.
- Alternaria Lead Blight is caused by pathogens, namely, Alternaria dauci and Alternaria radicina. The older leaves are more vulnerable to this disease; it causes the leaves to turn yellow and die.
- Blackroot rot is caused by Thielaviopsis basicola fungus. It is most common during hot temperatures. Symptoms include dark brown patterns on the skin.
- Provide them with enough room for growth.
- Do not let the soil dry out.
- Plant the type of carrot that is ideal to your soil and conditions.
- Plant carrots in the ideal climate, which is neither too cold nor too hot.
- Carrots like the soil to be around 6 to 6.5 in pH.
- Do not top your soil with fresh manure as it can cause damage to the roots.
- Water your soil more if it is too sandy.
- Try to use a barrier to stop insects from harming the crop.
Types Of Carrots
Amongst the various types of carrots you can grow, here is a list of few:
- Deep purple Hybrid
- Little fingers
- Lunar white
- Parisian Heirloom
- Purple dragon
- Solar Yellow Heirloom
Carrots are a delicious, crunchy, and nutritious vegetable used in many different recipes like salads or juice. They help in digestion, fight cholesterol, lower your blood pressure, and boost skin health, etc.
Carrots are easy to be grown and can be planted in different seasons; they do not require a vast starting or maintenance cost and sell quickly in the market due to the high demand; therefore, they are economically profitable.
A recent survey stated that the production price of carrots per acre is estimated to be around $10,600. It shows that carrots are quite a demanded vegetable for it’s delicious, sweet taste and crunchy texture. Carrots are used in many different ways for many different reasons all over the world. Carrots have huge benefits, whether economically, medically, or flavour-wise.