Successful Steps for Growing Baby Carrots
Article by theMallorys (6,869 pts
Edited & published by BStone (38,197 pts
Read more: http://www.brighthub.com/diy/lawn-garden/articles/77583.aspx#ixzz1ApFczU2n
Growing baby carrots can lead to an early harvest in your gardening efforts. Learn the steps to effectively grow these delicious and nutritious treats.
Whether you’re growing baby carrots in containers or in the ground, you’ll enjoy the fact that these small root veggies grow so quickly. You can grow them for snacks or to add to your favorite stews or salads. It can be disappointing to pull carrots from the dirt, to find nothing but roots or a misshapen carrot. There are simple steps you can take to make sure that your baby carrots don’t end up a disaster.
Image Credit: Bryan Medders
Step #1: Grow Carrots in Containers
Some gardeners have done well growing carrots directly in garden beds and raised bed gardens. Growing in containers will give you the best results. Choose clay or wood pots with drainage holes for water. You can drill them yourself, and you need at least four holes to ensure proper drainage. The size of the container should be 10 inches wide and 10 inches deep.
Step #2: Pick the Right Potting Soil
Avoid using garden soil, which is compact and will make growing carrots difficult at best and a failure at worst. The roots won’t be able to expand, and you’ll end up with great looking greens on top, but no carrot at the bottom when it’s time to harvest. The soil should be loamy or sandy and you should add compost that has rotted for some time. You should be aware that some gardeners have expressed concerns for the asbestos content of vermiculite, which is often recommended for helping to keep the soil loose. Do your research before adding any to your soil mix, especially if you want to grow organic carrots. The total soil amount that you’ll need is two and a half .
Step #3: Sow Seeds and Water
Plant seeds about 1/4 inch deep in the soil. When they grow 2 inches high, thin them. The seedlings should be one inch apart when you’re done. The thinning gives the carrots enough room to grow underground.
Step #4: Companion Planting with Radishes
Maximize your efforts and container gardening space by growing radishes among the carrots. Radishes grow fast, and you can harvest them long before you need to thin out carrot seedlings. You’ll also grow more food, and get the satisfaction of immediate growing success, which will encourage you as you wait for the baby carrots to grow.
Step #5: Do the Popsicle Stick Test for Watering
Growing baby carrots successfully requires you to water them at the right time and in the correct amounts. If you water them too much, you’ll rid the soil of much-needed nutrients. If you underwater them, the carrots won’t grow at all. Try the Popsicle stick test before you water. If soil sticks to the Popsicle stick when you place it in, then you don’t add water. It’s also a to add mulch to the top layer of the soil, to keep water from evaporating and reducing your need to water.
The different varieties of baby carrots are ready to harvest in 55 to 65 days after planting. Pull them out of the ground when they’re about 1/2 inch in diameter. You can also just pull one out to see if it’s the size you want. Know that you know how to grow baby carrots in containers, try expanding your indoor veggie garden!