Tips and Tricks:
- We've had very good success with scattering the seed on the soil surface and then lightly raking the soil surface with our fingers.
- Keep the seeds moist during germination, but don't flood the area lest you wash all the seeds into one area and get poor seed distribution.
- Carrot seeds take 2-3 week to germinate, so don't get concerned when they aren't up as quickly as other seeds.
- After the plants are 2" high, thin the plants until there is 1-2" of space around each plant.
- Carrots really are fairly pest free, but in previous years we have experienced carrot rust fly maggots eating the roots, armyworms eating the foliage, and a box turtle chowing down on the foliage. With the carrot rust fly maggots, we just harvested everything right then before they could do more damage. We handpicked the armyworms off with good effect, but if it had become a major problem we would have also treated with Bacillus thuringiensis. Since going to a doubly raised bed, box turtles haven't been a problem.
- Carrots will taste the sweetest if harvested between the first light frost of the year and the first killing frost of the year (usually early October here).
- One of the joys of home growing carrots is that they come in more than just the typical orange. Yellow, red, purple, and white are also available. Have fun with it!
Putting up the harvest:
- Pull them up when the soil is dry and leave them in the sun for a couple of days to cure. Clean the dirt off and cut the greenery back to an inch. Make holes in ziptop plastic baggies and store the carrots in them in a dark drawer of the refrigerator. They will keep up to two months this way.
- A second option is to store them in the ground. Mulch them heavily with straw before the first hard freeze. Then as you need them, pull away the straw and harvest through the winter. This may only work when the carrots are grown in ground. We haven't tried this with the extra tall raised bed. It may get cold enough in the winter to freeze the soil in this exposed bed, and if so the carrots will be mush.