The Daucus carota sativus , worldwide known as carrot, is one of the most consumed vegetables in the cuisines of much of the globe. The carrot we know, however, is in a domesticated form. The original wild carrot, typical of Europe and Asia, has a notably smaller and less flavorful root.
It is a biennial plant that is grown to consume its root, very rich in potassium, phosphorus and carotenes, which the body transforms into Vitamin A. In this article we will see how to plant carrots and when to do it , as well as maintenance basic of the cultivation of carrots to be able to enjoy our own vegetables, which will taste better than ever.
When to plant carrots
To begin to locate ourselves in the cultivation of carrots , we explain when is the best time to place the seeds of this vegetable in the soil of our garden.
Carrot seeds are not complicated to sow, and although in other climates you have to pay close attention to the sowing time, in the Mediterranean area you can sow carrots almost all year round . On the other hand, in colder or drier climates, it is recommended to sow between the months of April to July .
How to sow carrot seeds
The sowing of the carrot can be done directly in the desired terrain, either an orchard or outdoor garden or in an indoor pot. After deciding this, follow these guidelines on how to sow carrot seeds .
- Planting potted carrots will require containers at least 12 to 14 inches deep so that the roots can develop properly. In colder areas or if you prefer to ensure proper germination of the seeds, it is also common to sow carrots in the seedbed , and then transplant them to their final location.
- It is recommended to soak the seeds before planting them, since the carrot is a plant that requires a lot of humidity. You can choose here to either leave them in water for up to two hours before sowing them, or leave them on damp paper or cloth for up to 48 hours before being planted.
- It is also important to prepare a suitable soil or substrate, preferably clay, and aerate and moisten it before placing the seeds, whether it is soil, pot or seedbed.
- Carrots tend not to germinate usually, or some grow very small, so it is also recommended to enrich the soil with worm humus or organic fertilizer , which will maximize the possibilities of our plants.
- When sowing, make small 1 centimeter deep holes about 2.5 cm apart, depositing one in each.
- Don’t worry if it takes a few days before you start to see the first sprouts, as carrots take their time.
How to plant carrots: transplant the seedling
When the plant already shows at least two leaves and is a few centimeters high, if we had planted it in a seedbed, it is time to transplant it. Transplanting the carrot plant is very simple:
- Prepare the soil for what will be its final location by aerating it, moistening it and enriching it with compost or humus.
- Dig up the carrot carefully, also picking up the surrounding soil, approximately three centimeters from the sprout.
- Prepare a hole deep enough so that the entire root is buried, and place the seedling in it.
How to grow carrots: basic care
The most important point to keep in mind with carrots is that they require the soil or substrate to be always moist . The plants will appreciate having a constant humidity to be able to develop as large as possible. Of course, humidity should not be confused with waterlogging. Always avoid the latter, which could bring diseases to the plants. When it comes to light, carrots really appreciate being somewhere where they get sunlight throughout the day . Only if you live in a particularly hot climate or with very strong sun should you place them in semi-shade.
Finally, it is possible that this plant is attacked by the carrot fly . By planting garlic cloves near them, you can prevent your carrots from being damaged by this pest.
When are carrots picked
In about three months after planting , the carrots will begin to be ready to be harvested.
However, the plant can be harvested throughout its first year of life, allowing it to grow longer and thus allowing you to enjoy fresh carrots for longer. On the other hand, if what you want is that your carrots give seeds to be able to sow them again, you will have to wait for the following year. This is a biennial plant, which accumulates strength and nutrients during its first year of life and then reproduces in the second.