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Carrots

HOW TO GROW CARROTS:

Kids love to grow carrots! So, planting carrots – actually, letting the kids plant carrots – is a must for any gardening-minded family with children.

SOIL PREPARATION:

One of biggest keys to success in organic gardening is the condition of the soil.  There needs to be adequate organic matter to hold moisture and nutrients.  And at the same time, the soil needs to be loose enough for good aeration and drainage, which will help promote strong root development.  And carrots love fluffy soil that is rock free!

It is easy to grow carrots if your soil has the proper nutrients. At a bare minimum, before planting anything, work in at least 2-4” of organic mulch and at least one-half inch of finished compost into your topsoil.  And if you suspect your soil is less than ideal, mix in a cup of Mega-Veggie if you feel your soil is in great condition, 2 cups if in good condition and 3 cups if in poor condition, into every 100 sq. ft. of soil.  This 100% organic soil amendment will make up for a lot of deficiencies.

Also, mulching with compost or straw will help keep the soil moist and also help to feed the plant and prevent weeds.  Don't mulch over 3-4" because this might prevent oxygen from entering the soil and could cause root rot.

PLANTING INSTRUCTIONS:

Plant seeds in full sun 1/8” to 1/4” deep, spacing them 1” apart in rows with 6” between rows.  Don’t worry if you don’t get it perfect. You can always thin them later to about 2” apart (and eat as you go!).  Then water with seaweed solution. This will help germinate the seed and promote root growth.

The Sweet Corn Secret for planting carrots is to keep them moist until they germinate. This can be hard with the wind, but the secret is cardboard or plywood.  After soaking the ground, lay your cardboard or plywood over the area you just planted. This will keep the wind from drying out the soil. Check every day if you have to and make sure the soil doesn’t dry out. As soon as you see green-white hairs on top of the soil pull the wood away and water. This can take up to 3 weeks, so don’t get discouraged.

FERTILIZING/AMENDING:

After planting, continue to feed seaweed once a week by spraying leaves, and fish emulsion every two weeks through root feeding until harvest.

If your plants are not vigorous, they are not getting enough food and your soil is in poor condition.  If so, side dress with 2 tablespoons of Mega-Veggie around the base of the plants and water in.  Continue the seaweed once a week along with fish emulsion every two weeks.  Do not let the soil dry out; soil should be moist but not soggy.

Recommended Schedule for Fertilizing and Amending Soil:

1.  Seaweed -- at planting and once a week until harvest
2.  Fish Emulsion -- every two weeks after planting until harvest
3.  Mega-Veggie -- if plant does not appear vigorous, every two weeks until harvest

ANOTHER SWEET CORN SECRET:

If you want to have carrots over the winter, every few weeks thin carrots until they are four inches apart. This way you can keep them in the ground through the winter. I have put straw bales over the top of the ground in the fall, and all winter long just move the bales and pull carrots. It keeps the ground from freezing. You can mulch after all your thinning is done and this will help with preserving the crop and will add moisture and compost to the soil.

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