7 Tips for Growing Carrots
It’s that time of year! Last week I share with you my top 10 Vegetables to Grow in May and of course, carrots are one of them. Listen, I’m no expert gardener (not even close!) but we have had a nice garden going for the past few years and each year it gets better and better. In fact, we just added two more garden boxes which makes for a total of 5 now, and it seems like the more we grow, the more we get addicted to growing! It is so awesome to be able to walk into your back yard and grab things for meals!
So let’s talk carrots. Carrots are a delicious vegetable to munch on, whether cooked or raw. My kids LOVE to grab them right out of the garden, it’s such a treat! Carrots are also a great addition to roasts or salads, and there are many options for using them as side dishes. The seven tips for growing carrots below will help you grow your own carrots so you can enjoy them fresh from the garden.
If you are preparing to plant carrots from seeds, here are some of my top tips:
1. Plant your carrots in loose, well-used soil.
Carrots need sandy like soil in order to mature at the proper rate. Heavy soils will weigh down the plants, not allowing them to properly grow. If possible, plant the carrots in places where you have previously planted veggies like potatoes.
2. Make sure your soil is well fertilized.
Carrots need nourishing soil if you want to yield the largest crops possible. Add the fertilizer prior to planting, and make sure you mix it well using a rake. When raking, be sure to remove any large, rocky clumps of your soil.
3. Plant carrots in rows.
To get the best growth from your seeds, plant your carrots in rows that are 1-2 feet apart. The seeds should only be covered with about 1/2 inch of soil. Keep each carrot seed 1-2 inches from each other in your rows.
4. Keep your carrots thoroughly watered.
Since you aren’t planting carrot seeds very deep, the soil above them will tend to dry out in the warm weather. Watering twice a day can help keep things moist enough for your carrots to thrive. Also, a thin layer of burlap over your plants will help them retain the necessary moisture until they begin to sprout.
5. Pull weeds as soon as possible.
Weeds strip your carrot plants of the nutrients they need to grow. Because of this, you want to make sure you are removing any weeds as soon as you see them. Check daily for weeds that need to be yanked away from your carrots. If you have kiddos helping with your garden project, then this is a great chore for most ages!
6. Thin carrots as they grow.
The act of thinning involves removing the littlest plants so that others can thrive. Most carrot plants need to be thinned twice in a season. Your carrots are ready for the first thinning when their tops are 2-3 inches high. Thin your carrots to about one inch apart the first time, and to three inches apart the second. It sounds crazy, but the more you thin, the more they will thrive during the season.
7. Apply mulch to help your carrots thrive.
Mulch helps to prevent problems with weeds as well as keep the soil moist. Don’t apply the mulch until you have seedlings big enough to continue sprouting through the soil. Be sure you cover the crowns of the carrots, or they will turn green and have a bitter taste when harvested.
The funnest part, of course, about growing carrots is harvesting and eating them! If you have a successful crop, make sure to check out my Glazed Carrots with Dill recipe, it’s a favorite around here!