Prepare the Seed Bed
Plant the Seed
Help Them Grow
Harvest Your Carrots
A Versatile Vegetable
Have you ever tasted carrots straight from the garden? They're crisp, crunchy, and much more flavorful than the ones you buy at the store. What's more, it's not hard to grow great carrots if you give some attention to soil preparation before planting.
Make it easy for your carrots to reach their roots into the soil and grow to their full potential. Plant in loose, loamy soil that's been amended with compost or other organic matter, such as Miracle-Gro® Organic Choice® Garden Soil, and cleared of rocks and other debris.
Sow carrot seeds directly on the soil 2-4 weeks before the last spring frost date. The seeds are tiny, so here are a couple of hints for easier handling: Moisten the soil beforehand, so the seeds won't blow away, or mix them with sand before sowing. Cover the seeds with 1/4 inch of fine soil or compost, then water gently.
Keep the planted seeds moist to help them germinate. This may mean watering once or twice a day for about 3 weeks. Once their true leaves form, thin the carrot seedlings to about 3 inches apart. It will help, too, if you carefully remove weeds from the area by pulling or hoeing.
You can begin pulling your carrots when you see their shoulders poking out of the ground and their color looks ripe. This will also help thin out the crop and let the remaining carrots grow larger. Cold weather increases carrots' flavor, so in the North, wait until the ground begins to freeze before you dig the last of the crop.
There are many ways to enjoy your home-grown carrots, whether cooked as a side dish, sliced in soups and salads, or served raw as a crunchy, healthy snack. Carrots can be stored in perforated plastic bags in the refrigerator for several months, so you can enjoy them during the winter months, too.
It's easy for carrots to dry out in the summer heat. You can help them by putting a 3-inch layer of mulch down around the plants. This will help keep moisture in while it discourages weeds.