Carrots are a rich source of vitamin A. it is a source of calcium and other trace elements. It also provides the digestive system with the considerable amount of fiber. Main crop variety takes up to three months to mature. Growing of carrots, whether at home or the field, is not a rigorous activity. Growing carrots can be daunting since you cannot tell with precision what is going on until the harvesting period. It may prove more challenging especially if you are a newbie in the sector. If you are a beginner, fret not. The following steps will help you grow your carrots at home.
Choose on your best variety to grow
The first thing you do is researching on the type of carrots assortment you may wish to grow in your home backyard. A favored assortment while growing them at home include the radish formed, smaller than usual Chantenary. This selection is based on the fact that these carrots have a considerable length of the taproot.
Carrots are the easiest vegetables to grow in a climate that is cool. Get the soil conditions right before you decide to entrust the soil with your carrots seeds. This is an important factor in the plant’s growth. Incorrect soil condition misshapen the carrots. Carrots require very fine soil, loose and well drained. Rocks and clumps make them split and deform in the course of growth. Grow the carrots in a raised seedbed. Carrots perform poorly in acidic soils. A soil PH of around neutrality is recommended.
Sowing the seeds
Direct seeding is preferred as opposed to transplanting. Sow the carrots as close as possible, in the fine soil condition. Sow them in light soil. Avoid sowing the carrots seeds in a recently manure added soil. Keep the carrot seedbed weed-free a few weeks after sowing. Carrot seed may take up to 15 days to germinate. Maintain the moist condition of the soil until the seedlings appear. Do not go overboard with nitrogenous fertilizers since these are root crops. Keep in mind that carrots are inferior competitors for nutrients. Therefore, do a keep the bed as weed-free as possible.
Growing carrots in the containers
The well-drained loose soil is maintained even when the carrots are grown in containers. If grown in compacted soils inside the container, the carrots may fork and deform. Growing carrots in container reduce the rate of forking as opposed to doing it in the field. The shorter varieties are the ideal variety for containers.
Avoiding root fly
One of the trickiest parts of the growth of carrots is how to manage the root fly. It is attracted to the carrots by the scent of the foliage. It is one of the most annoying pests with persistence capabilities. They burrow the flesh of the carrots leaving behind the unattractive look. They make tunnels on the carrots predisposing the carrots to conditions of fast to rot. One of the means to avoid it is by planting sowing a bit late to avoid the first generation of the fly.
Routine management practices
After seeding the carrots, ensure you water the bed with plenty of water. Use the available organic (leaves) or inorganic materials to mulch the seeds this criterion helps to conserve the soil moisture. The soil temperature is also kept at a required level.
Covering the crops with a bio-net or ‘enviromesh’ cover, specially designed to curb carrot fly is necessary. Keep thinning to a minimum.
Make sure you keep you field pest free. Prevent pests like rust fly by spraying the field with recommended insecticide. One means of foiling pest is by rotating your field each year with crops from the different family. You can also decide to grow the carrots under row covers.
The question of when to harvest carrots depends on the variety you are growing. The average period when the carrots are ready for harvesting is between 50-80 days from seeding period. Harvesting is done by twisting and pulling or digging. Once you have harvested, remove the leaves. If left to continue staying intact to the carrots, the leaves continue taking in some moisture and energy from the roots. This leaves the roots with limp, causing a loss in taste for your carrots.