7 secrets for planting and growing carrots in your garden
Carrot is one of the most important and nutritious vegetables that we can grow in our garden, as it is rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Famous for the sweet, crunchy and aromatic taste of its fleshy root, carrot is a favorite food for young and old. In addition to the well-known orange carrot, there are many varieties to plant with yellow, purple and white, as well as various root shapes. The most well-known carrot varieties are the Nantis variety, which yields sweet and crunchy long-fruited fruits about 15 cm long, as well as the Aegina variety with a large conical orange root, ideal for use in salads and cooking. And if we don’t have garden space available, we can grow carrots in pots on our balcony or yard with great results.
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What conditions do we need for planting and growing carrots?
A deep, fertile, fluffy and well-worked soil is ideal for growing carrots, so we need to pay close attention to soil preparation. The reason; But of course the part of the carrot we consume grows in the soil and is directly affected by it. Before planting, it is good to incorporate compost and manure into the soil to improve its natural characteristics. The carrot needs relatively cool conditions to grow and thrive, as well as being relatively resistant to winter frosts.
What are the appropriate planting distances for carrots?
Carrots can be planted either with seed or with ready-made plants that we procure from a nursery. For seed planting, sow the carrots from early autumn to late spring and avoid summer planting due to high temperatures. Due to the small size of the seeds, it is good to mix them with river sand before planting. In this way we avoid dense planting of plants and the process of thinning plants. Dense planting contributes to the development of diseases due to poor ventilation, while at the same time making it difficult to remove the weeds that grow. Suitable planting distances for carrots are 5-10 cm between plants and 30-40 cm between planting lines.
What are the needs for watering and fertilizing carrots?
Carrots have a hard time with sudden changes in soil moisture and need constant watering. In case the soil dries out, we gradually restore the soil moisture so as not to shock the plant. We need to know that carrots need fresh, but not too moist soil that degrades the quality of the fruit, both in color and shape. For the fertilization of carrots we prefer the incorporation of organic matter, which improves the properties of the soil. In addition, the addition of potassium-rich organic fertilizer, once a month, improves the quantity and quality of production. Excessive nitrogen fertilization should be avoided, as it can cause deformities of the fruit of the carrot.
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Which insects and diseases infect the carrot?
In conditions of relative humidity and poor ventilation, carrots are affected by several fungal diseases such as downy mildew, alternaria, sclerotinia, rhizocytes and botrytis that infect the foliage and root of the carrot. Carrots are also affected by the insects of the meligra, the thrips and the fly of the carrot that infects its root causing a characteristic browning. To prevent diseases and caries of carrots in an ecological way, we spray with a solution of copper, as well as with salts of fatty acid salts that can be obtained from agricultural stores. At the same time, we avoid growing carrots in the same place for consecutive years in order to prevent the development of diseases.
When is the right time to harvest carrots?
The carrot grows and develops without us seeing it and that is why it often seems difficult for us to understand the right time to harvest it. Usually, the upper part of the carrot root comes out of the ground. When its diameter exceeds 3 cm, then we are ready for harvest. The time required from sowing to harvesting the carrot is about 4 months. However, if we take out the carrots a little earlier, it is not a particular problem, as they will be a little more tender. To avoid injury to the fruit, it is advisable to water our carrots one day before harvest.
And one last secret about growing carrots
Planting carrots is ideally combined with other vegetables in the garden and can be grown together with leeks, onions, garlic, lettuce and parsley.
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