Fruit, Vegetable & Herb
How To Grow Carrots in Your Own Backyard
People have enjoyed the crisp, sweet taste of carrots for thousands of years. Packed with beta-carotene and antioxidants, carrots really are good for your eyes, and much of the rest of your body. Stewed, glazed, steamed or raw, carrots contribute accents to main courses, stand alone as side dishes and serve as perfect healthy snacks. Best of all, carrots are easy to grow and produce abundant crops.
Prepare the Seed Bed
Clear the way for your carrots to reach their roots deep and grow to their full potential by planting them in loose, loamy soil. Be sure to clear the bed of rocks and other debris. And it's a good idea to mix in compost or other organic matter, like Miracle Gro® Organic Choice® Garden Soil.
Plant the Seed
You plant carrots the old-fashioned way, truly sowing them by spreading them on the ground in rows. Drop carrot seeds directly on the soil 2-4 weeks before the last spring frost date. The seeds are tiny. Moistening the soil beforehand helps the seeds stick and not blow around. Or, you can mix them with sand before sowing. Cover the seeds with 1/4 inch of fine soil or compost, then water gently.
Help Them Grow
Keep your planted seeds moist to help them germinate. This may mean watering once or twice a day for about 3 weeks. Once their true leaves form, thin the carrot seedlings to about 3 inches apart. It will help, too, if you carefully remove weeds from the area by pulling or hoeing. It's easy for carrots to dry out in the summer heat. You can help them by putting a 3-inch layer of mulch down around the plants. This will help keep moisture in while discouraging weed growth.
Harvest Your Carrots
You can begin pulling your carrots when you see their shoulders poking out of the ground and their color looks ripe. This will also help thin out the crop and let the remaining carrots grow larger. Cold weather intensifies carrots' flavor, so in the North, wait until the ground begins to freeze before you dig the last of the crop.