Happy May everyone! This month we are answering the question “I want to grow carrots again this year but my carrots always turn out very small. How do I prevent this? “
Many people get turned off by growing carrots because they think of them as being tricky to grow. The taste of a carrot fresh out of the garden is like no other! If you want to grow big carrots I have a few tips that should help!
Ideally, you’ll want your soil to have dried & warmed up a bit after the long wet winter. It’s best to always sow your carrot seeds directly where they will grow. Make sure the soil has good drainage and carrots benefit from sandier soil. If the soil is too rich, the carrot will be encouraged to grow forked roots which we want to avoid. Carrots are best grown in full sun. It’s best to plant the seeds in trenches about one cm deep, and each trench should be 25 cm apart from each other. To make it easier to plant the very tiny carrot seeds, you can mix them with some sand then pour it on the trenches and just lightly bury them.
I like to plant my carrots in pots using sand mixed with potting mix 50/50. By planting them in something raised, they are less likely to have pest problems. The taller the pot, the safer it is from carrot root flies and other flying insects. Slugs are another pest that might come and nibble on your carrots. To deal with these guys, I make little slug traps using a small dish and some beer. They’ll be attracted to it and won’t be able to get out but you’ll want to empty these daily. Be sure to also thin the plants when they reach 4 inches tall. Look for the smallest and scrawniest plants to remove from the garden and the ones that are growing on top of each other. You want to thin the plants to about a thumb’s-width apart.
Your carrots will be ready to harvest about 2 months after sowing them. Dig around the base to see if they are ready to harvest. If the crown at the top is a nice size you will know it’s ready. To harvest them, just push down on the root and give it a little twist. The larger and longer roots may need to be eased up with a fork. If the top of the carrot is greenish in color, make sure you bury them to avoid this. Hopefully, with this info, you’ll be able to grow the biggest carrots this year!
If you would like me to answer one of your questions next month you can send your question to me at [email protected] attention Ask Anna.
I hope everyone has a fantastic month and be sure to stop by Harvest Market on the corner of Vincent Massey and Powerdam and say hi!