Originally, carrots were white, so similar to parsnips that you couldn’t distinguish between them. After carrots turned orange in the 17th century, they became one of the most consumed vegetables in the world. They are available today in many varieties, white, yellow, red … and are appreciated in raw vegetables as in more substantial dishes. Some varieties are sown for a spring harvest, others for the winter. Learn how to grow your carrots while preventing them from disease!
Latin name: Daucus carotta
Type of plant: biennial plant
Sowing: March – July
Harvest: July – November
Exposure: full sun
Soil: fresh and loose
Watering: regular the month after sowing, if it does not rain
Hardiness: Very hardy
The right conditions for growing carrots
Carrots love the sun. In partial shade, they grow, but more slowly.
- Install them in cool, humus-rich, well-drained, loose soil so that the roots grow straight.
- Remove pebbles if necessary.
- Sandy and light soil are perfect.
- Provide well-decomposed manure when preparing the soil.
Leafy vegetables: head or Savoy cabbage, winter or spring spinach, lettuce. Green manure that does not belong to the Fabaceae family: rye, phacelia …
How to sow carrots
As the emergence is slow and irregular, it is better to sow fairly dense, even if it means thinning out later, to be sure of obtaining a good row of vegetables.
- Choose varieties suitable for the two main sowing periods, the latter having to be kept for several months.
- Sow on a ground where you will have removed the weeds, deep, without stones.
- For the culture to force, sow at the end of February underframe or in the open air, then thin out the plants to 3 cm in the rows, this spaced 15 cm apart.
- For the summer harvest and the culture intended for conservation, sow from March in rays 25 cm apart.
- Scatter the seeds in wide rows, close the furrows and keep cool. Do not sow in May, in order to limit attacks by the carrot fly.
- When the plants have 4 or 5 leaves, thin out to 8 cm in the row so that in the end, only one carrot every 8-10 cm.
- For summer crops, sow in March-April. Operate from May for a later harvest. Space the rows 30 cm apart, sow lightly and thin out the young plants in two batches, keeping the most beautiful, every 8 to 10 cm. Water, hoe and mulch in June. Bring the soil near the snares so that they do not turn green in the light.
- Pro tip: sowing seeds is always too thick. To limit thinning, mix the seeds with radish seeds, sand, or even coffee grounds. By harvesting the radishes 3-4 weeks after sowing the carrots will gain some space.
How to water the carrot
If it is not raining, water often during the month following sowing. From April, protect the rows with an insect net. Butter lightly, hoe and weed regularly.
How to maintain your vegetables?
Water regularly in hot weather, hoe, mulch.
How to fight carrot diseases and pests
- Keep the carrot fly away by cultivating fragrant plants next to it, but also by laying insect netting. Close the base so that flies do not pass through it.
- The carrots forked s are due at too late of manure badly decomposed bring earlier or at a broken stage. The shape can be related to the pebbles in the ground: prefer half-long varieties.
- The red spider devouring seedlings after emergence. Water lightly, but often; they don’t like humidity.
Harvest and store carrots
- Count two to three months after sowing for early vegetables and five to six months for storage carrots.
- Pull out the early carrots as and when needed from July to September.
- Harvest those for conservation on a beautiful November day before the first frosts.
- Let them dry on the floor, without washing them.
- Cut the tops.
- Store in a cellar or silo, in dry sand.
- In regions with a mild climate, protect them to continue harvesting until December.