Carrots are one of the easiest veggies you can grow in your kitchen garden. With the right garden tools, you can easily grow carrots and enjoy them fresh from the soil. The taste is much better than the packaged variety and gives you immense satisfaction too if you love gardening.
The Sowing Season
Carrot seeds are sown outdoors during the March to July season and harvested during summer up to autumn. Depending on the variety, some can be sown even in February in greenhouses or under cloches.
Where to Sow the Seeds
Carrots require good sunshine and loose, fertile soil. Before you sow the seeds, add enough organic matter to enrich the soil. However, prepare the beds in advance as carrots don’t grow well in freshly prepared soil. Do keep in mind that carrots should not be grown in greenhouses during spring and summer as they grow best in cool temperatures.
Sowing the Seeds
Before sowing the seeds, remove all weeds and dig the soil loose to break up any lumps. Make holes up to a depth of 1cm using bamboo canes or a trowel. Leave gaps of about 12” between each hole.
Sprinkle the seeds thinly around. Sowing them too close won’t leave enough space for thinning later on. Cover the seeds with soil and water them gently so that the seeds stay in position. Keep the soil moist until the seeds germinate, which should take approximately 10 to 20 days.
Thinning out the Seedlings
Once the seedlings have grown in size, you need to thin them out so that each carrot can develop well. This is done in stages for best results. For the first stage, re-plant each seedling about 2 to 4 cm apart. About a month later, re-plant again leaving a gap of 10cm between each growing plant. If you want baby carrots or finger carrots, leave a space of 5cm between each plant.
Caring for the Growing Seedlings
Carrots develop well in moist soil – not wet; so water only when the soil feels dry. Remove all weeds around the seedlings while you are gardening. In case the tops peek out from the soil, cover them lightly with soil again to prevent the tops from turning green.
Depending on the variety, some carrots can be harvested after nine weeks while others take about eleven weeks to mature fully. It’s best to pull out a few during your daily gardening routine just to check how well they are growing.