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Growing Carrots

Grow Your Own Carrots

Fact: Carrots used to be purple!

There is nothing more satisfying than knowing that the carrots you're eating are ones you've grown yourself. Not only is vegetable gardening fun, but it can be quick, easy and cheaper than buying too.

Carrots as a companion plant - The carrot is a useful companion plant for gardeners. There is evidence that when grown intercropped with tomatoes there is an increase in tomato production.

If one or two carrots are left to flower, the flowers attract predatory wasps, that kill many garden pests.

While any carrot can be harvested before reaching its full size as a more tender "baby" carrot, some fast-maturing cultivars have been bred to produce smaller roots, some of which are ball shaped!

When to sow carrot seeds: March - July

When to harvest carrots: June - October

Where to plant carrots: Outdoors in friable garden soil that has not been recently fertilized, built up soil beds or large deep containers.

Tools for the job:

1. Carrot seeds. 2. Trowel and fork. 3. Liquid feed. 4. Watering can.

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Grow Your Own Carrots

What to do to grow carrots:

1. Firstly, you'll need to plant the seeds in rows about 1cm deep (fig.1). The rows need to be roughly 20cm apart. Push the seeds directly into the soil and then give them a good drink of water.

2. Carrots need room to grow. Once the seedlings have grown to about 4cm high, they need to be roughly 7cm apart. Pull out any that are too close together by hand (fig.2). Don't forget, you can't transplant carrot seedlings successfully; so, add them to your compost heap or feed them to pet rabbits or guinea pigs!

3. Keep on top of weeds by hoeing or pulling them out, using your trowel to loosen up any large weeds.

4. Only water your carrots enough to keep the ground damp, and around once a week ad some liquid plant feed to the water.

5. If you sowed in March; from June onwards, your carrots should be ready to be enjoyed. The edible part of a carrot is a taproot. If the soil is quite tight when pulling your carrots, loosen it gently with a garden fork (fig.3).

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