Harvesting and Planting Carrots

I finally got around to harvesting the carrots.  Planting involved a few seeds in the spring because I’ve never had good luck growing carrots in the south.

After a good three years of working these raised beds with intense fertilizing the soil was ready to try again.  You need soft light soil with sand for carrots to grow properly.

This year I planted in one of the covered raised beds and for the most part they look pretty good.

Harvesting

It’s been very dry due to lack of rain; after an early watering it seemed like a good time to pull up carrots.  It didn’t take long and I got quite the selection.

I did plant more than this harvest offered; our spring rain washed away most of those seeds.

Harvesting and sorting through fresh vegetables takes place at the garden table.  I don’t want this mess in the house so I wash them off outdoors.

The table is in a shaded area so at 7:30 am I found this activity to be relaxing before the heat of the day arrived.

Clean Up Outdoors

After removing the green stems and cutting off the carrot root tips I peeled off the outer layer of skin. My grandma would say this is where all the vitamins are.  I would agree but what can I say, I like peeled carrots.

The clean harvested carrots get washed off again and taken indoors to get sliced in smaller pieces.  I think I might make stew later today.  Not sure why that sounds good when it’s 100+ degrees outside.

The Carrot Remains

The remains are direct composted right back into the garden.  Carrots consume a lot of nutrients from the soil so it’s important to amend that soil right away.

This pile of mess filled up 4 good holes in the raised bed.  If you don’t direct compost then simply add the remains to your compost bin.

Keeping the mess outside means less clean up in the kitchen, this makes me a happy camper. Do you try and keep your harvesting and clean up outdoors?

Planting Tips

Carrots are easy to grow and probably one of the most popular vegetables gardeners plant.  If you live in the south you can incorporate two planting seasons and they’re easy to keep growing after frost arrives.

Carrots also come in a variety of colors, me I just like to keep things simple and plant traditional orange.  Take a look at the following tips for a successful harvest.

  • Direct Sunlight – Full sun is important; make sure to account for enough daytime sunlight.
  • Sandy Fertilized Soil – Well fertilized sandy soil is best to grow healthy long carrots.  If you’re using any kind of animal fertilizer let it sit in the soil at least 4 weeks before planting seeds.
  • Plant Spacing – Plant seeds 3-4 inches apart in rows that are spaced at 1 foot between each other.  You can also lay down sand in the row before adding the seeds.  It will help keep the seeds from moving.  Cover with the soil and water daily during germination.
  • Prior to Frost – Cover with mulch or take a thick layer of leaves to protect from hard frost, this will preserve your carrot crop.
  •  Weeds and Bugs – The biggest threat would be wire worms and Flea Beetles. Deplete bugs by implementing rotational planting.  Weeding is also important, pull weeds after you water or when it rains, it’s a lot easier.
  • Saving Seeds – Carrots are biennial plants. If you like to harvest seeds leave a few carrots in the ground until the green tops flower. The flower produces seeds the second year.  When the seed cluster turns brown clip it off and let it dry indoors.  Crush dried flowers on a tray to gather the seeds, remember carrots seeds are tiny.
I have to ask, “What is your favorite carrot variety and what planting tips would you like to share?”

Harvesting and Planting tips for Carrots

 

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