The carrot knows how to make itself indispensable in the kitchen and it is generally appreciated by young and old alike, raw, cooked, in juice and even in cake! To taste good carrots and enjoy its many benefits, just grow it in the garden. It’s easy and it’s really nice to be able to bite into this root vegetable with a good taste quality as of July. Here is everything you need to know to sow, grow, care for and harvest carrots.
Care must be taken not to sow the carrots early because they will not rise. We therefore wait for the ground either sufficiently warmed up in order to reach a temperature at least equal to 10 ° C but on condition that the risk of frost is removed. The sowing period can therefore vary from one region to another depending on the climate.
In order to obtain a continuous harvest, we can space the sowings by ten days until July 15 at most.
The carrot particularly appreciates the full sun. She hates shallow, heavy soils, clay or clay soils that retain water, stony or stony soils because it distorts them. On the contrary she likes the soils rich in humus, deep, well draining and light, a little sandy and without stones. But be careful: do not spread manure or bury it before planting because this attracts the carrot worm. Must therefore dig the same day to a depth of 30 to 35 cm and then mix the humus with the soil.
This vegetable loving enough deep soils, it is necessary to form mounds at least 25 cm if this is not the case. Carrot seeds are very small, so you need to be careful not to drop them in bunches. The sowing takes place as follows.
- Dig furrows 2 to 3 cm deep,
- Space the furrows 30 cm apart,
- Place a seed every 2 cm in the center of the furrows,
- Cover them with a thin layer of loose soil or sand,
- Tamp down lightly by tapping with the head of a rake,
- Sprinkle in rain.
We maintain the watering once or twice a week. The soil should not dry out. We weed very regularly by hand in order to leave no chance for weeds to develop. About 20 days after sowing, the seeds start to germinate. You still have to wait, until each plant reaches ten centimeters in height.
It’s a root vegetable which thrives perfectly in the ground. It is therefore not recommended to grow carrots in pots except for the varieties with very short roots which one chooses preferably if one has only a small courtyard or a balcony.
However, when the young plants measure 10 cm high, it is necessary to thin the rows so as to keep in the ground only one carrot every 8 to 10 cm. For information, on a vegetable patch of 30 cm sides, there is a maximum of 16 carrot plants. Once the carrots have risen well, they should not be moved.
As soon as the rows are thinned, it is advisable to lay an insect net on the furrows to prevent, among other things, the carrot fly from depositing its eggs in the plantations. The net also prevents invasions of snails and slugs fond of young leaves.
We can use the association of friendly plants in the garden. So, near the carrot, it is beneficial to plant rosemary, radish, tomatoes, peas, beans, leek, onion, shallot and sage. On the other hand, it does not go well with dill or beetroot.
Maintaining your carrot plantations is limited to very few things.
At first, young plants need to be watered once a week as this promotes the development of their roots. Thereafter, watering is to be dispensed regularly, without excess, but must allow keep the soil moist.
Mulch is useful after the rows have been thinned out as it helps maintain freshness and limits the number of waterings. It is therefore economical and ecological.
Harvest the carrot
There are many varieties of carrots, some are harvested from july, others later until November or December.
The carrot presents a serious advantage compared to a good number of products from the vegetable garden: it can be harvest as soon as you want since it is consumed young when it is very small and tender, or later in the year. The winter carrot is therefore long and thick, but just as delicious as the summer carrot.
In any case, we know that they are ready to be tasted as soon as the top of the root emerges from the ground. You just need to pull the stems straight up to get the root vegetables out of the ground or use a spade fork with which you gently lift the plants while pulling them by the leaves with one hand.
Often there are still many carrots left in the garden when the first frosts appear. In order not to lose them, it is better to anticipate by placing a thick layer of straw on the rows.
Finally, the following year, you will have to grow your carrots in another area of the garden and so on for at least 4 years. The crop rotation is often essential for the vegetable garden to produce more and better but also to limit the invasions of parasites and prevent many diseases.