In salad, stew, sauce, or cake, carrots are a staple of every kitchen! Plant them in light soil and you'll have no trouble at all.
Common name : Carrots
Scientific name : Daucus carota
Family : Apiaceae
Category : Veggies
Type of plant : Perennial
Carrots are biennial and contain edible taproot and greens, though it's the underground bit that's usually consumed. They make themselves at home in fresh, deep sandy soil, entrenched in sunlight. Provided you have sandy soil, or at least soil that has been deeply decompacted and doesn't contain too many stones, your carrots should turn up well.
Although carrots produce pretty white flower umbels, they should be harvested before they reach this stage.
Dacus carota are annually cultivated perennials with compound foliage. Each foliole is divided up into many points. It flowers with white umbels during the summer. Rabbits are crazy for them, but even your kids will want to come to the vegetable garden with you — washed with water, they're fresh, crisp and packed with vitamins... Yum!
Sow my carrots
Carrots can be sown in rows starting in April and throughout the summer. Plant in open soil, where the earth is deep, cool, sandy and exposed to the sun. Water after sowing. You may seed starting at the end of February/beginning of March under a greenhouse tent or cold frame for an early harvest.
Quick note! Carrot seeds are very small... Mix them with a bit of sand to help sow them more evenly.
Another thing! Mix in some radish seeds too! The radishes will grow more quickly, giving the young carrot sprouts a little shade and then leaving them space one they're harvested!. They'll also keep red spiders away!
Thin out my carrots
Thin out your seedlings! Make two separate passes, keeping one plant every 3 cm when the little plants are 3 cm high, then keep one every 8 cm once your carrots each have three leaves. They should be the size of a little finger.
Mulch my carrots
After thinning your carrots, mulch them to limit weeding and watering.
Water my carrots
Outside of sowing time, watering isn't needed, with the except of periods of prolonged drought!
Water the seeds with a fine mist to avoid overly dispersing the seeds or damaging the plants.
Watering at the height of summer may prove necessary in case of serious heat — water seldom but heavily, this will stop the roots from growing "crossed'.
Check on my carrots
Two parasites to look out for — first, carrot flys, whose larvae dig and tunnel into the roots. Keep them away by seeding your carrots near onions, garlic or other Alliaceae. During humid periods, fungual alternariosis may attack the foliage and cause it to rot. Treat with Bordeaux mixture.
Harvesting my carrots
Harvest your carrots as you need them, before flowering. Use a gardening spade so you don't break them.
Remove my carrots
Your carrots were all harvested and you harvested the seeds? Now you can tear them up to make room for a new crop, if needed!
Otherwise, leave them in the ground until next season.