Grow your own carrots – it’s a household staple.
We pass hundreds of things throughout the year.
They’re good straight from the ground, raw, and add a wonderful nutrient to any meal – carrots are a great source of beta-carotene, fiber, vitamin K1, potassium and antioxidants.
Green tops can also be used – they taste great in salads, can make delicious pesto, and can be sautéed in salted butter to eat on toast.
The carrots we grow are the heirloom ‘Nantes 2’ and ‘Chantonnay’ varieties. (Heirloom varieties are a must if you plan to salvage your seed—more on that later—as well as it tastes better.)
Carrot sowing and cultivation
Carrot seeds have a poor germination rate, moreover it can take up to 14-21 days to germinate. Sowing should be done directly outside because carrots do not do well when transplanting – this will result in poor growth and stunted growth.
Carrots grow best in cooler temperatures: ideally, nighttime temperatures should be no more than 13°C (55°F) with average daytime highs less than 24°C (75°F) – but, as it is Always , try things Find out what your area/soil/conditions allow you to get away with.
We have very hot summers here in Portugal, and carrots simply don’t grow in 40+°C (104+F) heat (I’ve tried it). However, we are lucky enough to get a file very Long growing season. We can achieve a carrot harvest in the year: the first we sow in early February (after the danger of frost has passed) and be ready by late spring, the second plant in late summer (once the heat subsides) and is ready in November.
Because carrots are fast growing and ripening, one option is to rotate seeds about every two weeks until fall for a continuous fresh harvest.
Carrots require well-drained, loose and fertile soil. If you try to grow in heavy, rocky soil, the carrots will be small, stunted and uneven in shape.
We plant the carrots in rows 20-25 cm (8-10 in) apart.
Seeds are sown thinly along the rows, then covered with a modest layer of compost and watered in it.
A line of organic mulch is prepared next to the bed, ready to be hauled around the plants once they reach about 10 cm (4 in) in height. Note: Carrot seeds will suffocate and will not germinate if a thick layer of mulch is added too soon.
Another job to do when the plants are 10 cm (4 in) tall is to thin.
While keeping some plants close together is a good idea – the largest ones you can harvest early and allow others to grow – it is a good idea to give the plants enough room to form fat, healthy roots: 2.5-5 cm (1-2 in) space between plants / small groups of Plants are enough.
It is especially important when the carrots are young to keep the patch clear of weeds. Unwanted plants that appear in the carrot bed will absorb important nutrients and water, resulting in poor root growth.
A good layer of mulch will help in this job (Note: Be careful when weeding and loosening not to disturb the carrot tops, as the smell will attract carrot fly. Covering the spot with wool may be necessary if these pests are particularly prominent in your area).
Depending on your variety and growing conditions, carrots will take 2 to 4 months to mature.
Choose as soon as it is large enough to use. Don’t target the largest roots, or you’ll sacrifice flavor.
Tip: Carrots taste best after being touched by frost.
Gently lift the carrots out of the soil by hand as much as possible.
If they do not appear easily, loosen them around the roots with a hand fork to avoid any damage – any cracked or cracked carrots should be eaten first as they will not store well.
One simple option is to leave the carrots in the ground during the winter to harvest them when needed.
The winter cold will kill the green carrots, but the roots will stay well underground.
This option is possible where in winter temperatures do not drop much, but in regions where individual Deep freeze tested, you can protect carrots with a thick layer of mulch.
However, harvesting the entire crop for storage indoors is often your best bet.
Note: If you spend the winter in carrots outdoors, be sure to harvest them early the next season, before they sprout new tops as this will cause the roots to become woody and inedible. Also, carrots that have been overwintered will not store well, and should be eaten quickly.
Leaving the carrot tops stuck to them will draw moisture and flavor from the roots and won’t stay long, so be sure to remove them before storing.
Also, clean up any excess soil but Don’t wash them Because dirt will act as protection from bacteria.
If you search online, you’ll find many very complex ways to store carrots, but the best option we’ve found is also by far the simplest: we store our roots in relatively stacked (with good air circulation) boxes or bins. Cool and dark spot.
For us this is in our insulated “slab hut” (also known as a shed). The temperature there is fairly constant, especially during the cooler months – this is the only time we want to store carrots for an extended period of time as a late spring harvest will easily last for short (though admittedly intense) summer weeks without to die.
We’ve looked in root cellars, sandboxes, etc., but storing carrots using this simple method works great, and completely slag-free – as always, look for the simplest option.
Trying to make Electroverse more my work I will occasionally suggest products that I consider essential additions to your preparation arsenal – these will only be items that I have personally purchased and found useful, during my preparation, and will come in the form of paid links (As an Amazon Partner, I earn from eligible purchases).
Heirloom seeds, like these garden seeds survivalGreat place to start.
Legumes are old favorites that produce plants with the same traits that grow after planting, season after season, generation after generation—some heirloom seeds date back hundreds of years, or more.
Save seeds from a hybrid Variety – like what you buy at most garden centers – means that the second generation you grow is not guaranteed to produce the same “true type” plant.
So, if saving seeds is your goal – which should be given to the uncertain times we enter where gardening stores cannot be guaranteed to stay stocked/open – then build your own inherited seed vault (sometimes called heritage) essential.
To learn more about it, see: