Tips for Cultivating Carrots

Carrots are one of the most nutritious garden vegetables. One carrot packs a whopping dose of antioxidants, plus Vitamins A and C.  Carrots can also be one of the most difficult vegetables to grow. Here are a few tips for better carrot cultivation:

Anyone who has planted carrots knows their seeds are very small. If you plant them in a soil that crusts over easily, they won’t come up. Carrot seedlings are very weak and need regular watering. Also, thin out the seedlings so they aren’t crowded, or you will end up with big tops and tiny roots.

In order for a carrot’s taproot (the part we eat) to develop into a nice, long root, you need loose, crumbly soil. If you live in an area with loose or sandy soil, you can plant varieties that are long with the pointed ends. With heavy, compacted soils, the short and fat varieties produce better. Stoney soil or fresh manure will result in forked roots.

The secret to tender, flavorful carrots, parsnips, and beets is to keep them growing. It is best to push them into rapid growth by keeping them watered and fertilized. Slow growth favors woodiness and bitter flavor.

Check with your local Stockdale’s for a great selection of carrot seeds plus other garden vegetables.