Carrots are a cool growing crop, can be planted both in the spring and in the fall. For spring planting, plant 2 to 4 weeks before the last expected frost. For fall planting, plant 13 weeks before first frost. Carrots should be sown 1/4 inch deep, in rows about 2 inches apart. The rows should be 12 inches apart. Make sure the soil is free of rocks or clumps of dirt. These will stunt the carrots growth. Heavy soil will make your carrots mis-shapen.Carrots like sun and even moisture (about 1-inch water per week), so don't let the soil dry out. For continuous carrot production, plant one row of seeds, then plant the successive rows when the previous row is up and growing. This will give you carrots continuously throughout the growing season.
Carrots taste best when they are picked small. They should be firm, tender and about 1-inch to 1-1/2 inches in diameter. Fall carrots actually taste better than spring carrots and if you live in a cool winter climate you can actually store the carrots in the ground, digging them up as you need them.
Pests and Diseases
- Leafhoppers are present when leaves, stems and buds are pierced. They suck the sap and chlorophyll out of the plant. Leafhoppers are 1/4-1/3 inch long and are green, wedged shape insects. Apply insecticidal soap to control of serious infestations.
- Weevils are present if the leaves are are chewed to the stem. They are 1/2 inch long, gray to brownish in color with a long snout. They feed at night.
- Leaf Blight causes white spots on seedling leaves, they become brown and look like they are water-soaked. The roots may also have lesions, dark spots or craters. This cannot be cured. To help prevent leaf blight thin seedlings and keep garden soil well cultivated.
Of course we all love eating carrots raw but here are some recipes to use your garden fresh carrots in.
Nutrients in Carrots
- Vitamins A, B6, C and K