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MAIN Arrow to Home Life Home Life Arrow to GardeningGardening Arrow to Vegetables Vegetables Arrow to Carrots Carrots

home grown carrotsKnown as a rich source of vitamin A, carrots have been cultivated since ancient times for their sweet flavor, bright color and nutritional benefits.

Today, carrots can be easily grown in the backyard garden and have become a favorite kids' gardening project whether at home or in school.

The secret to carrot perfection is soil preparation that allows for a soft "landing pad" for carrots to grow straight down. A light, sandy soil -- with careful removal of any rocks or pebbles that may hinder growth - ensures an ideal place for a successful carrot crop.

Although "baby" carrot varieties such Short n' Sweet and Little Finger need only 3-4 inches of prepared soil, larger varieties such as Nantes or Danvers require soil beds prepared at least 9-10 inches in depth.

Seeds are usually sown directly into the ground in early spring, then thinned out allowing 2-3 inches between each plant.

A little patience is required as young carrot seedlings establish themselves. During this period, lightly rake the surrounding soil to keep it aerated and weed free.

Harvest as soon as the tops are bright green and the root heads are at least 1/2 inch across.

If the soil is friable enough, a pull-and-twist motion is all this is necessary to extract them from the ground. If the soil has becomes compacted, a little help with a spade may be required.

also see in Recipes -> Sweet Glazed Baby Carrots

On the Web - How to plant & grow carrots :

Growing Carrots and Other Root Vegetables in the Garden - Tips & advice on sowing, planting, weeding and troubleshooting with a list of common problems and suggested remedies.

Carrot Growing - indepth guide to growing carrots - From the UK Museum of Carrots with extensive advice and tips on carrot varieties, sowing and planting for a continuous crop throughout the year plus suggested remedies for common pests & diseases. Click around the rest of the site for a virtual tour, more on carrot history & lore, kids' projects.

Watch Your Garden Grow - Carrots - List of recommended varieties with corresponding descriptions & characteristics, site preparation & planting advice, FAQ, tips on canning & freezing, related recipes.

Growing Great Carrots - Discussion on raised bed gardening as the secret to successful growth with tips & advice on seed germination, sowing, fertilizing, and recommended varieties.

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