Carrots are the most consumed vegetable both for their rich sweet taste and for the large number of beneficial properties it has for our health. But if you have an urban garden or a small piece of land in your home to plant vegetables, it is also very interesting, as it offers a good yield and is relatively easy to grow.
More and more people are encouraged to grow their own vegetables at home. We are no longer talking about those who have a house with a small piece of land, but also about those who take advantage of space on their patio or on their terrace, where they can set up an urban garden and enjoy domestic agriculture.
Precisely, among the main recommendations for this type of crop is the carrot plant. A vegetable that is very resistant and does not require great care during its growth. So planting carrots at home is a good idea to get started in this world comfortably or take advantage of that space. If you are not sure how to grow carrots or want to know more about them, we answer all your questions.
What Is Carrot?
The first thing we should know is that the carrot is a herbaceous plant, with trimmed leaves and a pointed root. Curiously, it is a plant in which the root develops considerably more than the upper part, the latter part being generally discarded when consuming it.
There are around 60 varieties, which vary both in size and in shape, more or less pointed. There is also a difference between the eastern carrot, which is more purple or yellow in color, compared to the western carrot, which has the traditional orange color.
How To Plant Carrots
Getting into the matter, the recommended method for growing carrots is direct sowing. In general, it is not usually necessary to previously germinate carrot seeds in a seedbed, but rather the process is carried out directly on the ground.
The reason is that, if we choose to plant carrots in a seedbed, the root wraps around the alveolus and causes a deformed and poor-quality result. Something similar happens in the event that we intend to use carrot seedlings, whose results would not be adequate either.
Regarding the precise way in which carrots are planted, it can be done by broadcasting, although its best is to make a furrow 1 centimeter deep and plant 4 or 5 seeds together. Between each set of seeds, there should be about an inch. If you are wondering how many carrots come out of a plant, the truth is that it bears a single fruit, so to speak. So this is why multiple seeds are sown together.
Regarding how to sow carrots correctly, it is recommended that we cover the seeds with about 5 millimeters of soil and give them a first watering with a watering can, to keep the substrate moist. However, it is key not to exceed the quantity. Let’s think that this seed requires a lot of moisture, so water in this phase is key, but if we wash the soil we will eliminate the nutrients that the carrot needs to grow.
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Once we have managed to germinate the carrots, it is time to thin them out. Something key for the carrot plantation to work correctly. The idea is to remove those weaker plants that are close to each other because they have grown from the same batch of seeds.
The ideal is that between plants we have a distance of 10 to 15 centimeters so that there is space for the roots to grow without disturbing each other. In fact, the traditional image of the classic carrot patch reflects this separation.
The exception is the baby carrot plants, which require less distance. In this case, there is no problem to reduce the distance between them. However, we must take into account the collection time, so that they do not exceed the desired size and do not end up bothering them.
Another key aspect of carrot cultivation is the soil. It is true that this vegetable is not very demanding in this regard, but this does not mean that just anyone will do. This soil should be loamy, loose, and slightly clayey. In this case, using a hoe to remove it helps improve results.
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Regarding the cultivation of carrots in urban gardens, the idea is to create an environment in three layers. At the bottom, we will place gravel or a porous material, with a height of 3 or 4 centimeters. This would be the drainage layer.
On it, we place a planting substrate with 10% washed river sand and the same amount of clay or field soil. Its height should be about 15 centimeters, at most. Finally, in the upper area, we place a substrate for indoor plants or for seedbeds. This layer should be 3 to 4 centimeters and its objective is to retain moisture during the germination phase.
When Are Carrots Planted?
If you don’t know when to plant carrots, we will tell you that the traditional planting date is from April to July. However, given that these plants can germinate from 5 degrees of temperature and considering the mild climate of Spain, these dates are extended. If you need to, you can use small plastic tunnels on the ground, to increase the chances of success when temperatures are low or to prevent frost.