Carrot is one of the most popular vegetables because it is seen and eaten in every corner of the world. Growing carrots is easy but growing it at home is alot more easier than people might think. To grow carrots at home, here is how to do it!.
Get a good land at home that is rich in organic matter. Prepare it and sow the carrot seeds. When they germinate, take care of them till they mature.
You see?, growing carrots at home is alot more easier than you might think, that’s why I took time to make this piece of content in order to tutor you on how to go about with farming/cultivating carrots at home.
Carrot is a biennial crop and it tolerates both warm weather and cold weather, in fact it do prefer cold weather to warm weather, but it needs good amount of sunlight to thrive.
It gets energy from the sunlight which it Store. During the spring it use that stored energy to grow up a tall umbel of white flowers, looking strikingly similar to Queen Anne’s Lace to which they are closely related to.
And in the cold, it send some of it’s stored starches to the roots which makes the roots to become sweet.
Carrot is a yellow, orange, red, purple, black etc, colored vegetable which grows an edible roots (carrots). It is 7cm and 13cm in height and the roots (carrots) is about 3cm up to 8cm.
It contains numerous number of minerals such as vitamin A carotenoid etc which makes it one of the most soughted vegetables in the world.
Now let’s dive into the main topic – How to grow carrots at home.
VARIETIES OF CARROTS TO GROW AT HOME
It is very important that I first of all explain the different varieties of carrots that you could grow at home before going into the full details and tutor on how to grow carrots at home.
This is to help enlighten you on the various Varieties of carrots which will help you to select the most suitable Variety to grow at home. Some of them are:
Touch on: Thus carrot takes about 65 days to mature and it’s roots could be
up to 6 inches in length.
It is very sweet and tender and best in salad. It is very low in fiber.
Short And Sweet: It has little roots and is very easy to grow. It is filled with vitamins and has roots if about 4 inches and could be matured within 68 days on an average.
This variety of carrot is very great for growing in a small environment, such as growing in a box or pot or even a smaller garden, so it is a good variety to grow at home.
Another good thing about this variety is it doesn’t require much soil nutrient, so it does not select soil at all and can thrive in any soil condition.
This carrot has a very tiny seeds.
Tender Sweet: This carrot as the name implies is really tender and sweet due to the fact that it is very sweet and nice. It dates back to 1930s .
It is very great for juice and could stay a very long time in storage, that is why it is very great for canning and it freezes far more better than the others, so it could be enjoyed all year round, due to it’s long lasting Storage nature.
Tendersweet carrot seeds produce tapered, 7 inch roots and it matures around 75 days. This variety thrives with full sun in Zones 3-9, and it does best in sandy, well-drained soil with good organic matter.
Sun Yellow: This Variety is best for cool season planting and could be grown in sun or in partial shade. It requires about 60 days to mature and be ready for harvest. Narrow, pale yellow roots max out at about 7 inches in length.
This carrot is very beautiful due to the color, it makes a very good and beautiful dish and it is one of the ancient heirlooms
It is very sweet when eaten, especially when eaten raw. This crunchy, juicy, and sweet carrot is definitely worth a grow!
Thumbelina: This awesome heirloom does not require peeling before it could be eaten, as it is always ready to be eaten.
It is another all American selection winner that received the honor in 1992.
It is one of the best varieties to be grown at home, wether in the garden or in a container because it doesn’t require much land mass to grow it.
Also it produces roots that are 1 to 2 inches in length.
Deep Purple Hybrid: Like the name sounds, this variety of carrot is purple through out! it display a great and irresistible color in foods such as salads,
This variety is very awesome when eaten raw, such as on salad or just taking it raw alone, due to the fact that it displays it’s color in full and when cooked, it’s beautiful color will have to fade a little bit.
This variety of carrot do grow up to 7 to 8 inches when it matures, it has tall fronds that can reach a height of 24 inches. This variety of carrot is ready to harvest in about 75 to 80 days.
Imperator 58: This variety of carrot was the winner of the all American selections award for carrots in 1933, it remains very popular and the favorite of many people up till this day. Although the name of this variety ( imperator) is very queer, but is it a classical heirloom variety, and an excellent all rounder.
This Variety ( Imperator 58) is large and has a good amount of flavor, maxing out at around 9 inches, and it is much like the common type that you will find in the store.
The ‘Imperator 58’ seeds needs to be sown in a loose soil for best results. It normally reaches it’s maturity stage and harvest in about 68 days.
Kaleidoscope: This variety is a mixture of about 5 beautiful colors which are cosmic purple, solar yellow,lunar white, atomic red, Bambino.
This Variety is one of my favorites because I love the numerous number of colors
This variety of carrot takes between 70 to 80 days to mature and be ready for a harvest
Little Fingers: This variety of carrot is one of the quickest, it matures very quick, and it is ready for a harvest at about 55 days or a little bit more.
Although it looks small ( it’s carrot/root), but it is one of the sweetest type and it could be grown in a densley and it still produce a good and large harvest.
Thus variety is very great for for growing in small space such as growing in a pot or box at home.
This Variety of carrot does great with full sun in USDA Hardiness Zones 3-9, and does best in sandy, well-drained soil with good organic matter.
Lunar White: As the name suggests, this Variety ‘ lunar White produce long, and white roots that reach a maximum of up to 6 inches in length and it takes about 65 to 80 days to mature and become harvestable.
It tastes like a sweet orange root, it is sweet and tender and has heirloom looks like a sparsnip. It is a descendant of ancient Variety of wild carrot.
This Variety of carrot do grow in a sandy and we’ll drained good quality soil, in USDA Hardiness Zones 3-12, and does great in slightly acidic soil (pH-6-7).
Parisian Heirloom: This variety produces roots that are round and stumpy rather than long and thin, making it best for growing in a compacted, heavy, or rocky soil, or for growing in shallow pots and boxes.
This Variety loves sunlight and it does well in USDA Hardiness zone 3-9.
One of the greatest thing about this Variety is it is quick to mature, which is around 60 days.
it has a unique shape which is round,tender texture and sweet taste also.
Purple Dragon: It is a deep rich purple colored variety with a sunshine orange center.
It looks very great and a treat for the eyes.
Purple Dragon’ requires about 65 to 70 days to mature and be ready for harvest, with short tops reaching the height of 4 to 8 inches, and 6 inches roots ( carrots)
Red: This Variety does great in a well drained and good quality sandy soil. It is red in color which makes it very beautiful and it is very sweet.
It’s roots is about 6 inches in length and it requires about 65 to 80 days to mature and be ready for a harvest.
It loves sun and does well in full sun.
If exposed to a good storage system and is a good environment, this carrot seeds might remain good for up to four years, so purchase a big package to plant in advance for future harvests or share with the neighbors.
SITING A GOOD HOME GARDEN
Before thinking of growing this vegetable plant at home, there are some preparations which are to be put in place. which the site or location is among and very important.
Although siting the garden in anywhere around the home is great, but that is not the issue! the issue here is siting it where the home Garden meets all the required conditions for carrot plants to thrive.
When locating the locating the place where carrots will be grown at home, the first thing to check and note is the soil pH of the garden.
Carrot does very well on a sandy loamy soil with pH of 5.8 to 6.8 and anything below or above this is not suitable for carrot plant, so this is very important to check when locating your carrot home Garden.
Carrot is both cold and warmth tolerant, but a place should be selected where the temperature is not very hot, but there should be a good amount of sunshine ( at least 3 to 4 hours a day).
Make sure the home garden where you intend to grow the carrots does not have any atom of both erosion and wind, for this two factors are very disturbing and harmful to this vegetable plant.
Carrot does not thrive very well on a hard surface ( land), so the garden should not poses a hard land, instead it should have a soft sandy loamy soil.
PREPARATION FOR GROWING CARROTS AT HOME
After siting a good and qualified land to grow carrots at home, the next step is to prepare and get the land in a good condition for the carrot farming.
First clear the home Garden and burn every rubbish in it. The best time to do this is after the rainy season, that’s between September and October.
After clearing the garden, rake the soil and remove any hard substances such as stones, bottles, nylons, tins etc, because carrot does not dwell on hard land nor anything hard.
After raking, herbicide and insecticide could be applied to the empty land, in order to curtail the future growth of weed and insects which might harm the plants. ( This is strictly optional).
If the soil is not very fertile, organic manure such as animal dungs should be applied and allow to be absorbed by the soil before sowing the carrot seeds, or Fertilizers such as see weed could also be applied, to improve the soil before sowing the carrot seeds.
Then make small holes of 1 cm and give a space interval of about 10 to 15cm. ( this is where the carrot seeds will be sown).
Although home Garden is not the only method to grow carrots at home!. It could also be grown inside the house with the help of flower pots and big boxes/pots.
To prepare the boxes or pots for carrots farming in the home/house,get good flower pots or boxes, depending on the size you like. The boxes or pots should have some tiny openings on the bottom ( I will explain why later). Get good quality loamy soil with a pH of 5.8 to 6.8 and pour it into the pots or boxes.
The best place to keep them is at the window sill or any place in the home where the sunlight could be able to penetrate and get to them for at least 3 or 4 hours a day.
Now make small holes of about 1cm in the soil and give a space of at least 8cm interval, depending on the size of the boxes or pots.
NOTE – before getting the soil to grow carrots with in a pot, make sure the soil is very fertile, or it could be improved with manures or Fertilizers such as the seaweed etc.
PLANTING/SOWING OF CARROT SEEDS AT HOME
When you are through with the preparation, either in the home garden or in boxes etc, the next phase is to sow or plant the carrots.
You must have to get the seeds to sow!. Get the seeds of the Variety of carrot that best suit your environment.
To get the carrot seeds, order/buy them at seed stores. HERE IS MY RECOMMEND SEED STORE
It is very important to order your seeds from a reputable seed store because the seeds will be in a very good farming condition and in great quality.
When the seeds have arrived, take them to the garden or to the boxes and sow them in those tiny holes you made.
Sow them at least 2 seeds per hole and cover them with earth. In a container, I will advise you to sow 1 seed per hole, depending on the size of the container involved.
After sowing, it is very necessary that they are watered frequently in order to germinate. On an average, they could take about 2 to 3 weeks to germinate and sprout. Carrot seed takes between 2 to 7°C to germinate.
CARE OF CARROT PLANTS AT HOME
After successfully sowing carrot seeds at home, wether in containers or at home garden, you can’t just go and sit down, waiting for them to sprout and start growing, then you will harvest them, No! it’s not done that way!.
After sowing of the seeds, there are some works to do in order to help the plants survive and do their best in terms of yields.
Some of the cares to give to carrot crops are:
Watering/Irrigation: Water is one of the most important things needed by carrot plant in order to germinate and survive.
It does not matter where ever it is planted, to help the carrot seeds to germinate, immediately after sowing the seeds, water should be applied on the earth surface where the seeds are down on a daily basis.
Apart from helping the seeds to germinate, even when they have sprouted and growing, they still need water to sustain themselves, more especially during the dry season carrot farming.
To help the seeds germinate, half glass of water should be applied per each seed a day and at least a liter or a 1 liter and half when they grow bigger.
If you are growing with containers, Here is why I advised to get a box or pot with small openings at the bottom where excess water will pass out from and help the soil to drain because carrot plants does like a well drained soil.
Exposing to sunlight: Sun is one of the most important factors much needed by this vegetable plant to survive, like I mentioned earlier, carrot plants does tolerate both cold and warm temperature, so it does need sunlight at least 3 or 4 hours everyday.
When growing carrots at home with containers, they should be kept in a place where there is full access to the sun or they should be brought out to the sun every day.
Sunlight does alot, more than you could imagine for carrot plants, so starve your carrot plants of sunlight at your own risk!.
Weeding: Weed is a great disturbing factor this vegetable plant could encounter.
It does alot of damages to carrot plants, far more than you could imagine. It has the tendency to breed all manner of diseases which could destroy the whole plants, deter their growth and yield output etc.
Apart from the home garden, weed do not or could hardly grow on containers where carrots are planted at home.
When the plant are grown in the home garden, in about 3 weeks or a month, depending on the weather and the soil, weed will start sprouting from different angles in the home garden and they need to be removed in order to give the plants a chance to grow.
There are two ways which weed could be controlled in carrot garden, they are, the manual method and the chemical method.
The manual Method of controlling weed in carrot garden involves the use of tools such as weeding hoe, rake and wheelbarrow to remove the weeds.
Use the weeding hoe to uproot the weeds, use the rake to gather them together, then use spade to load them in a wheelbarrow and dispose off!.
This manual method takes time and energy.
To control weed with chemicals, chemical like herbicide is highly needed to kill them an give the carrot plants the chance to grow normal.
Earlier in this article, I made mention of applying herbicide on the empty home garden soil before sowing the seeds.
This goes a long way to curtail and Control the weed in totality from ever growing up in the garden, even up till the carrots mature and are harvested!.
This is by far the best and easiest method to deal with weed and help the plants, or you could prefer to use it apply it when the weed have started growing, any of the time you choose to apply it is good, although I choose to apply before sowing and it have helped me alot in m farms.
Manure/Fertilizer: Carrot plants do require manure and Fertilizers in order for them to grow huge yields, and huge yields involves more profit.
I normally do recommend organic manure such as animal dungs and green composts.
Spray good amount of organic manure on the empty home garden after or before clearing it and before the rain stops, so that it could integrate them into the soil or you could use irrigation to integrate the manure in the soil if the rain have stopped by spraying large amount of water on the empty garden.
This method will keep the soil fertile throughout that season and will give the plants the early boost to thrive.
If using containers, the manure could be mixed with the soil before putting in the containers.
Apart from organic manure, fertilizers such as seaweed could be applied when they have sprouted and have started growing.
To apply fertilizers, make round small holes with your finger around the plants and add the fertilizer in them, then cover slightly with earth.
A handful of fertilizer is enough for about 6 to 8 carrot plants. There shouldn’t be any need to apply nitrogen as carrot is self sufficient in that, but if the need arises, small amount of it should be applied!. ( there are many Fertilizers that contains nitrogen, so don’t ask me where to get nitrogen).
Mulch: Mulch is sometimes neglected in carrot cultivation, but it is very necessary to apply, in order to protect the plant from pest and excessive sun heat from drying up the land and water.
To apply mulch on carrot plants, I always recommend green leaves ( compost). Get them in a larger number, use them to cover the bottom of the plants, and leave them there till they decay.
This is specifically for carrot plants grown in the garden and does not in anyway relate to those grown in containers.
PEST AND DISEASE CONTROL OF CARROT PLANTS AT HOME
Carrot is not free from pests and diseases, some of them are:
Carrot Rust Fly: This pest lays its eggs at the base of the growing carrots.
The larva chews through the carrot there by making it bad for consumption.
The good news is I is very hard to infest the carrot being grown in containers in the home.
To control this pest, use pesticide
Wireworm: These are the larva of click beetles. They are about an inch and a half long, slender and reddish brown. They chew holes through the roots, making the carrots bad for consumption.
Wireworms love damp soil, so draining the soil and the avoidance of over irrigation could keep this pest off!. Interplanting with mustard leaf is an excellent way to discourage wireworm damage.
Pesticides could control this pest too.
On an average, it takes about 2 or 3 months for carrots to mature and be ready for harvest.
Although carrot could be harvested at any stage, once the roots are big enough, but it is best to harvest when they are matured ( 2-3 months) in order to get the best flavor and big harvest.
When they mature, the leave normally turn yellow and the roots grow bigger and huge.
To harvest, tools such as garden shovel is needed!. Use the shovel to dig around the plant, then uproot the plants and cut out the edible roots ( carrots).
After harvesting, they could be stored in the refrigerator, in a room with 0°C temperature etc.
USES/IMPORTANCE OF GROWING CARROT AT HOME
Some of the importance of carrot and growing it at home are:
Growing carrots at home makes it easier to be taken proper care of and easier to get when needed.
Carrot has many nutritional values which helps the body.
Growing carrots at home saves the time and money on transportation etc.
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