How to plant carrots

How to plant carrots

Daucus carota sativus

Carrot is one of the most popular vegetables in the world. The most common cultivars have orange taproots, but there are also purple, yellow, red, and white carrots. As for the shape, carrots can be cylindrical, conical, or rounded. In addition to the primary roots, which are eaten raw or are used in many types of culinary recipes, the leaves can also be consumed, although their consumption is less common, as they have a strong flavor. Probably originally from Iran and Afghanistan, the carrot was first cultivated for its aromatic leaves and seeds, later cultivars with thicker and less fibrous roots emerged. Carrots cultivated over a thousand years ago were purple or yellow, orange carrots only appeared in Holland during the 17th century and are the best-known and most cultivated today. 

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The root of the wild carrot (Daucus carota) can also be eaten, but the root is thin and only the roots of the youngest plants are palatable as they soon become woody.

Climate

Carrot grows best at temperatures between 16°C and 22°C, although there are cultivars adapted to slightly higher temperatures. The minimum temperature for planting should be 7°C, but well-developed plants can withstand low temperatures, as the roots survive even when the foliage dies, and thus the plants resprout when the temperature rises again in spring. On the other hand, temperatures above 30°C can impair plant growth and root taste. brightness Carrots grow best in bright conditions with the direct sun but will tolerate growing in partial shade as long as the light is good.

Ground

Carrots need to be grown in soil free of rocks and other debris or the roots will grow crooked and branched. Ideally, the soil should be deep, light, rich in organic matter, fertile, well-drained, and with a pH between 6.0 and 7.5. The soil does not need to be particularly nitrogen-rich. Heavy clay soils can also produce decent yields, as long as they are not compacted and do not become waterlogged during the growing season. Irrigation Irrigate as needed to keep the soil slightly moist. This plant needs a good availability of water, but the soil must not remain soaked, as excess water can favor the rotting of the roots or the appearance of diseases.

Planting

Seeds should be sown directly into the garden, as carrots generally do not tolerate transplanting well. The planting depth can be from 0.5 cm to 1 cm. Germination usually occurs between one and three weeks. Recommended spacing varies by cultivar and growing conditions, but most cultivars with cylindrical or conical roots can be grown with a spacing of 15 to 30 cm between rows and 5 to 10 cm between plants. For cultivars with rounded roots, the spacing between planting rows can be 15 to 30 cm, with 5 cm between plants.

Many carrot cultivars can be grown in pots and planters. Cultivars with rounded roots are the most suitable, but cultivars with other shapes can also be grown in pots and planters, as long as these have a height more significant than the average size of the root of the cultivar that will be planted. The soil in the container must be at least 5 cm deeper than the average size of the carrot to be harvested. Cultivate and Remove invasive plants that are competing for resources and nutrients. 

Harvest

The beginning of the harvest depends on the carrot variety grown and can occur between 60 and 120 days when grown under ideal conditions. Do not delay the crop too much, as the roots will become fibrous and have a less pleasant flavor. To get fresh carrots on an ongoing basis, plant carrots every two to three weeks. Younger leaves taste better. Leaves can be harvested as needed on already well-developed plants, but over-picking leaves can stunt root growth. The carrot is grown as an annual, but it is a biennial plant.

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