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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Daucus carota sativa

Carrots have been around a long time. They have their roots in ancient Greece, were no corsage was complete without the carrots delicate foliage.

Carrot seeds are small, to help make it easier to plant, mix the seeds with clean, dry sand. Using about a teacup full of sand for every quarter ounce of seeds. After thoroughly mixing, spread through your trench. You can also sprout them for about four days between two sheets of wet paper. They do not fare well if planted, then transplanted.

Carrots can get along well in just about any type of soil. But you need to try to get rid of all the rocks, and pulverize the soil well. Hummus from your compost heap can do wonders when growing carrots.

They are weather hardy, as P~ recently discovered. Wintering your carrots are great, you can plant up until the first week of August. First plantings can begin as soon as your soil is workable.

If you have loose light soil, the seeds should be covered without 1/2 inch of dirt, less if your soil is heavier.

Weed carefully, and wait until the first hard frost to dig them out for storage. While you are waiting, thin them to about 2 inches apart, eating the very young carrots.

You can can, store in a barrel covered with hay and earth or just go ahead and eat them. nummy carrot cake, which is one of the great things to make right before your stored carrots turn rubbery.

Carrots come in all types of colors. We are planting white, red, purple and orange this year. All are wonderful in nutrional value, but the oraganer the carrot the more beta carotine.

Good luck with your carrots.


The Unusually Unusual Farmchick said...

I read somewhere that to collect seed from carrots, you must leave them in the ground and they go to seed the second year. Am I confusing this with another root crop? I would like to save seed from our carrots but was not sure how to go about it. Not many books cover seed saving on all the different veggies.(mmm. white carrots.. That is the color along with red I hope to get in next years order.)

Gina said...

Tammie-you are right about the second year for seeds. The are biannuals and use the sugars stored in their roots (i.e. carrots) for seed production the following year.

Sorry Phelan, for answering yur question-you probably have more information! Oddly enough, with all I have planted, I have only tried carrots once and did not have too much success. I plan to try them again this year.

Thanks for the great info!

John said...

They actually orginated in Afghanistan. Loads more about carrots and their colours in the World Carrot Museum -

Anita said...

I like the sand idea... I hadn't heard that before!

Phelan said...

Tammi, you and Gina are correct.

Gina, no problem.

John, thank you for the comment. I have heard and read that carrots have orginated in several places, that is why I decided to go with a stupid pun and a little antidoetal trivia about using the leafy stuff. I had no idea that there was a carrot museum. Thank you.

Anita, sand makes things so much easier, and in this Kansas wind, you lose less seed that way.

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