Carrots are one of the most loved and healthy vegetables all over the world. Carrot has numerous health benefits and hence it is widely cultivated as well. Carrot is a root vegetable belonging to the Umbelliferae family of plants that aregrown in the first growing season. Carrots are the greatest source of carotene and several other nutrients like calcium, fibers and sugar.
Almost anyone can grow carrots! It doesn’t matter if you live in an apartment or have super rocky soil, because these tasty root vegetables grow really well in and there is something very satisfying about growing your own carrots. Carrots thrive in containers because they prefer the loose, well-draining, rock-free potting soil and they don’t have to compete with weeds.You will be pleasantly surprised by the flavour of home grown carrots. They might not be as unblemished as those supermarket types but they have a flavour that many modern mass market carrots seem to have lost. It should be no surprise that carrots are the second most popular vegetable in England after potatoes. The average person eats 13lbs a year. Part of the fun of growing carrots is trying the different varieties available to you.
The carrots we buy from the supermarket are, like most supermarket produce, chosen for their uniform appearance and ability to be shipped long distances. And those “baby carrots?” They’re nothing more than large carrots that have been peeled and cut into smaller pieces!
Forgo the bland and the poseurs and grow your own carrots instead. Consumed both raw and cooked, carrots are available in plenty of varieties like baby carrots, small carrots, round, imperator, danvers, nantes and chantenay carrots. For people who preserve gardening as their prime hobby must be aware of growing carrots by several methods. Growing carrots from seeds and growing carrots from carrot tops are the most prime ways of farming carrots.
Growing carrots from carrot tops:
Learning how to grow carrots from carrot tops is not that hard if follow these tips. There are 2 ways to go about doing this. One way is using a dish, another way is to create a hanging basket of sorts, and we’ll go over both. Carrot tops will sprout and grow into bushy plants, but will not grow another carrot – but it’s still fun to do, here’s how:
Method 1 – In A Dish
1. Cut off the top about 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the crown. If there is any green on your carrot, cut it off
2. Fill a shallow bowl with sand, small pebbles or marbles
3. Push the carrot top into the sand, pebbles, or marbles so that the carrot end will be in the water, and fill the bowl with lukewarm water
4. Place the bowl near a sunny window and in a few days you will see the fern-like sprouts of the carrot
5. Keep the water topped off so that the carrot doesn’t dry out
6. Your carrot plant will last until it out grows it’s container. It also makes a fun table decoration
Method 2 – Make A Hanging Basket
1. Cut off the top about 2 inches (5.1 cm) from the crown. If there is any green on your carrot, cut it off
2. Carefully hollow out the cut end of the carrot about 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) creating a “bowl” and leaving the other 1/2 inch solid that is near the carrot top
3. Tie a string around base of the carrot so you can hang it near a sunny window, tie the string so that the “bowl you have created is facing upwards
4. Once hanging near a sunny window, fill the “bowl” you hollowed out with water
5. Always keep the bowl full of water
6. In a few days you will see the top growing again
7. It will continue to grow as long as you want to let it grow. Now you have a hanging carrot plant!
Growing carrots in container:
Any container will work for growing carrots. Be sure the bottoms have drainage holes and you may want to add some pebbles or stones to help drain the water. Your containers should be 30cm deep for and 33cm wide so the carrots have the room to grow. It doesn’t matter what type of pot you use as long as it is large enough for the carrot roots. A good peat style soil is best which you can purchase at your local garden supply center. You should also add some fertilizer to the soil to help with the growing process.
1. Choose a pot that has a drainage hole in the bottom and is at least 12 inches deep and 18 inches wide.
2. Water your potting soil before plantation, the lightweight mix tends to float up the first time you water, dislodging your carefully placed seeds.
3. Good carrot varieties for containers include: “Parmex,” a round, orange, ball type; “Kinbi,” a bright yellow carrot with short, tapered roots and “Nelson,” a 6-inch-long Nantes type carrot with a very sweet flavor
4. Try to space your carrot seeds about 1 inch apart in rows that are 6 inches apart. Pat the seeds into the damp potting soil to ensure good soil-to-seed contact and then cover them with a very light layer of soil.
5. The main challenge when growing carrots is keeping the seed consistently moist while you wait for the seeds to germinate-which can take up to 2 weeks if the weather is cool. To prevent the seeds from drying out, soak 3 cups of peat moss in water overnight.
6. After a week, begin checking underneath the peat moss for signs that the carrot seeds are germinating. Gently remove the peat moss as soon as you see the feathery seedlings pop out of the soil. When the seedlings are about 2 inches tall, thin them to an inch apart. To thin, simply use scissors to snip off the seedlings you don’t want at the soil line.
7. Using a slow release or complete organic fertilizer at planting will keep your vegetables fed for the whole growing season.
8. Pots and containers always require more frequent watering than plants in the ground. As the season progresses and your plants mature, their root system will expand and require even more water. Don’t wait until you see the plants wilting. Check your containers daily to judge the need for water.