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Successful Steps for Growing Baby Carrots-Easy

Successful Steps for Growing Baby Carrots


Article by  theMallorys (6,869 pts )
Edited & published by
BStone (38,197 pts ) on Jul 14, 2010

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Growing baby carrots can lead to an early harvest in your gardening efforts. Learn the steps to effectively grow these delicious and nutritious treats.


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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 gallons.


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 gardening 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 good idea 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!


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Growing Spinach - advice on how to grow Spinach - EASY

Growing Spinach - advice on how to grow Spinach

Spinach is relatively easy to grow in cool climates and it is packed with nutrients such as iron, protein, vitamin A and chlorophyll.

Whether raw in salads or lightly steamed spinach is a suitable accompanyment to a wide range of dishes.




Germination of spinach seeds can take anything between a week and 2 weeks.

Dig the soil to around 30cm depth as this is how far the plants tap root can develop. Work some organic compost or manure into the soil to help provide the necessary nutrients for growth.

Because of the benefit of organic matter cover crops and green manure crops are beneficial prior to planting spinach.

Check the soils PH and if necessary add lime.




You can plant spinach in early spring. To stagger your crop over summer you can plant part rows every few weeks. The last planting should be about 50-60 days before the first frosts.

Sow your seedlings / seeds around 7cm apart in rows about 30-40cm apart.




Position your spinach plants in a position that does not experience high temperatures. Spinach grows well in partial to full sun.


Soil type


Spinach likes a moist but not waterlogged soil. Using a mulch of straw or grass clippings can help to retain moisture levels in the soil.

The soil should contain a good amount of organic matter to provide the spinach with the nutrients it requires.

Spinach doesn't like acidic soils, a good PH is around 6.3 -6.8. Add the appropriate amount of lime to the soil if necessary.




Make sure the soil is moist. An inch of water per week is adequate when there is little rainfall. Thin out your spinach seedlings as required but try not to damage the roots of the plants you leave in the soil.

Effects of an over acidic soil can be seen in the yellowing of the edges of seedling leaves, low germination rates and slow growth.




Spinach is ready to harvest at about 40-50 days after planting.

The spinach leaves can be harvested whenever they look big enough and ready for your salads etc. Make sure to start picking leaves on the outside of the plant, the inner leaves will then continue to grow and produce a new crop. Alternatively you can harvest the whole plant.

You should aim to eat the spinach straight after picking and washing in cool water. You can store the washed leaves in the fridge for a few days but the taste and nutrient content is best after picking.




Slow bolting varieties are varieties that take longer to develop a seed stalk and thus focus more growth towards the leaves. Short days and cool temperatures result in better crop yield as bolting is deterred whereas long days and higher temperatures encourage bolting.














Anyone Can Grow Arugula-Easy!

How to Grow Arugula


Arugula is a leafy green vegetable that is prized for its strong, peppery flavor. Like most lettuces, it is very easy to grow.


Step 1: Purchase the Seeds


Arugula is a spring or fall green that is typically grown from seed. Often called rocket, the leafy vegetable is prized for its strong, peppery flavor. There are two basic types of arugula: cultivated and wild. The wild varieties have a more pungent taste. Popular varieties include Rocket and Wild Italian Rocket.


Step 2: Prepare the Site


Arugula likes cool temperatures, a fair amount of sun and plenty of moisture. With a garden fork, work some high-nitrogen fertilizer into the top 5" or 6" of soil. Partition the garden bed into small sections using pebbles or other materials. These areas make it easy to plant successive crops for a longer harvest of tender greens.



Step 3: Plant the Arugula


In early spring, when soil temperatures are 40 and 65 degrees, it is safe to plant the seeds. Scatter the seeds across the soil in one section of the garden bed. It is fine if seeds overlap as the seedlings will be thinned later on. Cover the seeds with 1/4" of fine garden soil and gently water them in. Keep the bed moist until the seeds germinate.



Step 4: Thin the Seedlings


The arugula seeds should germinate in about a week. When the seedlings are 1" tall, thin them so that the plants are spaced 3" to 4" apart. To remove them, simply snip the plants at the soil line with a pair of scissors.



Step 5: Provide Shade


Many gardeners use shade tents to give arugula a bit of protection from the hot summer sun. Consider using floating row covers suspended by wire hoops. Secure the corners with bricks or rocks to prevent them blowing away.



Step 6: Harvest the Arugula


Arugula is typically ready for harvest between 35 and 45 days after sowing. To harvest, simply pull the outer leaves off near the base of the plant, leaving the inner leaves to continue to grow. Many gardeners prefer to harvest the entire plant by pulling it from the ground, roots and all.





10 Good Reasons to Grow Your Own Food

10 Good Reasons to Grow Your Own Food:


1. Great tasting, fresh, and nutritious food right outside your door.


There is no doubt about it, home grown food tastes better and is more nutritious than imported foods. In fact, the nutritional content of fruits and vegetables begins to decline the moment they are harvested. Considering the typical weeks or months it takes for much produce to get form the field to our plate, it is no wonder that both taste and nutritional content have highly declined.


2. Practice good economy.


Both economy and ecology come from the same Greek word oikos meaning “household.” When we grow some of our own food, we are beginning to bring together both the ecology and the economics of our household. Many urban dwellers find that they are able to save a substantial amount of money every year by growing some of their own food. The value of one apple tree producing bushels of fresh, organic apples year after year cannot be underestimated. Such a practice also reduces many of the “hidden” environmental costs (use of fossil fuels, water, pesticides, soil erosion) of the food that we eat. Furthermore, much of the food we import is grown by underpaid workers in difficult conditions on land that is much more needed to sustain their local populations.


3. Nurture your physical, emotional and spiritual health.


The therapeutic benefits of gardening are many. The physical activity involved in regular gardening activities contributes to general health and well-being. The pride and satisfaction that comes from harvesting one’s own produce is hard to match. Growing and consuming our own food, however, goes one step further – it connects us to the earth in a fundamental way that has been lost for most of us. Thomas Berry says that “Gardening connects us to the deepest mysteries of the universe” and many gardeners find that this is so.


4. Create beautiful, aesthetically pleasing spaces.


Gardening is a very creative activity and growing your own food is no exception. Developing a landscape with diverse food producing trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals adds tremendous colour, texture, smells and tastes to the local environment and in turn attracts many insects, birds, butterflies and other creatures. Such a beautiful landscape nourishes both the body and the soul.


5. Conserve wilderness, natural areas, and bio-diversity.


As world population and consumption increases, the pressures on our little remaining wilderness and natural areas builds. When we grow some of our own food, we help to reduce the pressure on yet uncultivated lands. This is particularly critical as the available agricultural land on the planet is finite and is degrading at a very alarming rate. Our own gardens can contribute to supporting bio-diversity both by decreasing pressure on wilderness areas and by providing additional habitat for local flora and fauna.


6. Connect with your own bio-region.


One cannot help but learn about their own ecosystem when actively gardening. Gardeners, and particularly food gardeners, are invariably more attentive to the seasons, the weather, the water cycle, and the local flora and fauna. Our gardens and we ourselves, become active participants in the bio-region in which we live.


7. Learn and preserve endangered wisdom and essential knowledge for living.


While most of us are the descendants of small farmers, there are relatively few people who now know and practice the essential human activity of growing food. With close to half of the world’s population now living in cities, it will become increasingly important for urbanites to play a role in learning and passing on this critical wisdom. From Africa to Asia to Latin America, city dwellers in the Southern hemisphere are leading the way in developing intensive urban agriculture. Many cities in North America are beginning to rise to this challenge.


8. Contribute to world food security.


Most of us depend on others, usually “far away others” for all of our food. When food production is far removed from where we live, we are vulnerable to events or circumstances that could interrupt this flow of food. The inevitable decline in the availability of fossil fuels will spell great changes for world food production and distribution in the coming years. It will be in all of our interests to invest in local food production – from our own yards, to our communities, to the farms that surround our cities.


9. Help to preserve diverse seed stocks.


The diversity of world seed stocks have been rapidly declining over the past 100 years. As more and more agriculture is controlled by transnational corporations whose primary agenda is to exert control over food production for profit, fewer and fewer strains of many fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes are now available. The development of genetically modified crops further threatens the integrity of our food supply. By planting and collecting diverse seeds, you are helping to protect our common heritage created by countless generations of small farmers over the past five thousand years. (For information on seed conservation in Canada go to Seeds of Diversity).


10. Reduce climate change.


Growing our own food is a tremendous way to reduce our impact on climate change (see The Earth Policy Institute). Most large scale, conventional farming uses tremendous inputs of fossil fuel in the form of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, fuel for machinery, and other indirect means. Fruits or vegetables grown thousands of kilometers away must be refrigerated and shipped from the field to our community. Much of the food (some estimates are as high as 50%) never gets eaten as it is lost due to spoilage at various stages of the production and distribution chain.


When we choose to develop a yard lush with fruit trees, shrubs, vines, and diverse annuals and perennials, we are reducing our own use of fossil fuels and are also contributing to the absorption of CO2. This very simple act can be a major step in redirecting our path towards a more sustainable future.




For the original article, please click the link http://www.sodahead.com/living/10-good-reasons-to-grow-your-own-food/blog-273363/


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