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verified for correctness. Some of the information contained herein is hearsay and may not
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Because they are easy to grow and a wonderful source of Vitamin A, carrots are an
excellent crop in the home garden. The new varieties are easy to grow and make a great
addition to children's gardens.
Choosing a variety depends upon your preference and your soil type. Shorter types such
as Red-Cored Chantenay and Short and Sweet are better suited for heavy soils. Other
varieties include Nantes Half-long, Danvers Half-long, Pioneer and Spartan Bonus. Gourmet
varieties such as Little Finger are also excellent in container gardens. Below are some
varieties and their characteristics.
- Red-Cored Chantenany - 6 inch roots, grow well in heavy clay soils, crisp and tender,
red-orange color to the core.
- Danvers Half Long - Tapered roots average 6-1/2 to 7-inches long, heavy yields and good
- Little Finger - 3 to 5 inches long and 1/2 inch across, exceptionally high sugar
content, performs well in heavy soils.
- Thumberline - 2-inch golf ball sized round carrot, excellent for heavy clay soils.
The carrot is a hardy, cool season crop that can be planted in the garden as soon as
the soil can be prepared in the spring. Carrots require relatively large amounts of
moisture and are not tolerant of drought. Prolonged hot weather in the later stages of
development may not only retard growth but result in an undesirable strong flavor and
coarseness in the roots. At the other extreme, prolonged temperatures below 55 degrees F
tend to make the roots longer, more slender and paler in color than expected. The best
temperature for highest quality roots is between 60 and 70 degrees F.
Carrot plants thrive in deep, loose, well-drained soil. Avoid stony, cloddy or
trash-laden soils as they increase the incidence of root defects. Because raised-beds
usually have loose soil and receive little compaction from foot traffic, they are an ideal
location to grow carrots. Carrots grown on heavy soils may produce considerable leaf
growth and forked roots. Carrot plants do not grow well in strongly acid soils; therefore,
a pH range of 6.0 to 6.8 should be maintained for best results.
Fertilizers and lime are best applied to soils for carrot production using soil test
results as a guide. Arrangements for soil testing can be made through your local Extension
office. Carrots require large amounts of plant nutrient elements, particularly potassium,
for good production. A fertilizer with the ratio of 1-2-2 such as a 5-10-10 analysis would
be appropriate at the time of seeding and again when tops are three to four inches tall
and six to eight inches tall. Too much manure and fertilizer applied just before seeding
can result in forked roots.
Direct seed carrots into a well-prepared soil early in the spring. Suggested planting
depth is 1/4 inch deep in rows spaced 12 to 18 inches or more apart depending on the
method of cultivation used. It is important to avoid crusting of the soil around the
seed-bed. Covering the seed with vermiculite or fine compost and keeping the soil evenly
moist until the seedlings have emerged will help prevent this problem.
After the seedlings have emerged, thin them to one inch apart. When the tops of the
carrots grow thicker, thin them to about two to three inches apart. Some seed companies
are now offering pelletized seed, making the seeds easier to plant and thin.
After plants are established, applied mulches will help conserve moisture and suppress
weed growth. Cultivation, if necessary, should be shallow in order to avoid root injury.
Carrots require an evenly-distributed and plentiful soil moisture supply throughout the
growing season. However, avoid too much moisture towards the end of the season as this
will cause roots to crack.
Watch for the appearance of orange crowns at the soil level as the plants mature. If
this occurs, mulch with soil or compost as the sunlight will turn them green. Potential
pest problems include leafhoppers, wireworms, carrot rust worm larvae, aster yellow, leaf
spot and soft rot. Contact your local Extension office for current control
Harvest can begin when carrots are finger size. In general, the smaller carrots are
juicier and more tender. You do not have to harvest the entire crop at once. They can
remain in the soil until you are ready to use them. Carrots will last until winter in the
soil if mulched well. Carrots are best stored at temperatures near freezing in a moist
||If you are interested in any of the titles below, click on the title
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Seed Starter : A Guide to Growing Flower, Vegetable, and Herb Seeds Indoors and
Outdoors - by Maureen Heffernan - Publication Date: January 1, 1997 - List: $19.95 A
complete, easy-to-use gardening manual covering the basics of starting plants from seed.
Discusses indoor and outdoor cultivation, how to purchase seed, seed viability, gardening
equipment, planting charts and light requirements, planting dates, and other valuable
Processing and Germinating Seeds of Wildland Plants - by Cheryl Young, James A. Young
- Publication Date: October 1, 1986 - List: $24.95
Seeds : Native American Agriculture and Wild Plant Conservation - by Gary Paul Nabhan
- Publication Date: April 1, 1991 - List: $14.00
- From Seed
to Plant - by Gail Gibbons - Publication Date: March 1, 1991 - List: $15.95 Explores
the intricate relationship between seeds and the plants which they produce.
Gardening : A Kid's Guide to Messing Around in the Dirt/With Seeds - by Kevin Raftery,
Kim Gilbert Raftery, Jim M'Guinness - Publication Date: May 1, 1989 - List: $13.95
Now young readers will know from whence those carrots came. This full-color
extravaganza contains nearly a hundred pages of wipe-clean cardstock, hundreds of
illustrations, dozens of growing activities, plus 15 varieties of vegetable, flower, and
of Seed Science and Technology - by Larry O. Copeland, Miller B. McDonald, Lawrence O.
Copeland - Publication Date: March 1, 1995 - List: $74.95
Seeds : The Gardener's Guide to Growing and Storing Vegetable and Flower Seeds - by
Marc Rogers, Polly Alexander (Illustrator) - Publication Date: March 1991 - List: $12.95
- Seed to
Seed - by Suzanne Ashworth - Publication Date: January 1, 1995 - List: $20.00
: The Definitive Guide to Growing, History, and Lore - by H. Peter Loewer, Peter Loewer -
Publication Date: April 1, 1996 - List: $25.00
Loewer examines the vast and often surprisingly complex world of seeds in an
unparalleled thoroughness. In addition to the how-to of growing all kinds of plants and
vegetables from seed, the book also considers the role of seeds in history, literature,
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- Seeds and
Propagation (Smith & Hawken--The Hands-On Gardener) - by Susan McClure, Jim
Anderson (Illustrator) - Publication Date: June 1, 1997 - List: $10.95
- The New
Seed Starter's Handbook - by Nancy Bubel - Publication Date: April 1, 1988 - List:
- Gardening In Deer Country - by Vincent
Drzewucki - Publication Date: January, 1998 - List: $9.95
- 200 Tips for Growing Vegetables in the Northeast - by
Miranda Smith - Publication Date: February 1996 - List: $7.95
- 200 Tips for Growing Vegetables in the Pacific Northwest -
by Maggie Stuckey - Publication Date: February 1996 - List: $7.95
- Building Your
Own Greenhouse (Greenhouse Basics) - by Mark
Freeman, Heather Bellanca (Illustrator) - Publication Date: April 1997 - List: $18.95
- Burpee : The
Complete Vegetable & Herb Gardener : A Guide to Growing Your Garden
Organically - by Karan Davis Cutler, Cavagnarok David
(Photographer), Barbara W. Ellis - Publication Date: November 1997 - List: $29.95
A companion to Burpee Complete Gardener, this book focuses on all aspects of growing
organic vegetables and edible herbs in the home garden. Planting techniques and tools,
garden design, and more than 90 individual plant portraits are included. 300 full-color
Gardens : From Garden to Palate - by Susan McClure
- Publication Date: September 1997 - List: $37.95
Acres and Independence: A Handbook for Small Farm Management - by Maurice Grenville
Kains, Maurice G. Kain - Publication Date: March 1978 - List: $7.95
Harvest : How to Harvest Fresh Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long
- by Eliot Coleman, Kathy Bary (Illustrator) - Publication Date: October
1992 - List: $19.95
Booknews, Inc. , 01/01/93:
Everyone who grows vegetables must know Coleman. He's the organic methods expert--the one
who knows how to maximize both garden yield and gardening pleasure, year round. Annotation
copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.
Under Cover : A Northwest Guide to Solar Greenhouses, Cold Frames, and Cloches
- by William Head - Publication Date: November 1989 - List: $10.95
This is a complete guide to gardening with protective shelters that encourages both
beginning and experienced gardeners to add months of gardening pleasure at small expense.
With a little under-cover gardening know-how, Pacific Northwest gardeners can take
advantage of our mild climate to produce flowers, herbs, and vegetables throughout the
- Grow It :
The Beginner's Complete In-Harmony-With-Nature Small Farm Guide-From Vegetable and Grain
Growing to Livestock Care - by Richard W. Langer, Susan
McNeill (Illustrator) - Publication Date: January 1994 - List: $12.00
An indispensable guide to small-scale organic farming that features advice on everything
from building and stocking a pond to planting an orchard or making cheese. This extremely
practical and easy-to-use guide, first published in 1972, is for full-time or part-time
- Growing Great
Garlic : The Definitive Guide for Organic Gardeners and Small Farmers -
by Ron L. Engeland - Publication Date: July 1995 - List: $14.95
Vegetable Gardening : A Master Gardener's Guide to Planting, Growing, Seed Saving, and
Cultural History - by William Woys Weaver - Publication
Date: June 1997 - List: $45.00
Weaver focuses on 280 varieties of 37 vegetables in this encyclopedic guide to the history
and cultivation of some of America's most treasured heirloom vegetables. 100+ color
photos. 240 line drawings.
- A Dyer's
Garden : From Plant to Pot Growing Dyes for Natural Fibers - by
Rita Buchanan - Publication Date: August 1995 - List: $9.95
- A Produce
Reference Guide to Fruits and Vegetables from Around the World : Nature's Harvest
- by Donald D. Heaton - Publication Date: April 1997 - List: $29.95
- Growing Plants
from Seed : A Comprehensive Beginners Handbook for Vegetables, Flowers, Herbs and More
- by George Abraham, Katy Abraham, Doc Abraham - Publication Date: January
1992 - List: $13.95
A guide for first-time seed growers addresses soil mixtures, lighting, types of seed,
seed-starting kits, and more to help any gardener experience the rewarding feeling of
growing flowers and vegetables from seed. Original.
- Peppers : The Domesticated Capsicums - by
Jean Andrews - Publication Date: October 1995 - List: $65.00
Booknews, Inc. , 04/01/96:
An updated edition (first, 1984) of an elegantly produced, scholarly reference on
peppers--their history and dispersion, biology, taxonomy, cultivation, and medicinal,
economic, and gastronomic uses. Illustrated with the author's botanically accurate,
aesthetically pleasing paintings that show the blossoms, buds, young peppers, and mature
specimens of 34 cultivars. A review of the literature, a photo glossary, and an extensive
bibliography add to the volume's reference value. 9x12" Annotation c. by Book News,
Inc., Portland, Or.
- Peppers of the
World : An Identification Guide - by Dave Dewitt,
Paul W. Bosland - Publication Date: January 1997 - List: $19.95
Propagation : Principles and Practices - by Hudson
Thomas Hartmann (Editor), Dale E. Kester, Fred T., Jr. Davies - Publication Date: January
1997 - List: $86.00
The publisher, Prentice-Hall Career & Technology :
Hallmarked as the most successful text of its kind, this remarkably thorough text covers
all aspects of the propagation of plants - both sexual and asexual - with considerable
attention given to human (vs natural) efforts to increase plant numbers.
Gardening : Cultivating an Edible Landscape - by
Robert A. De J. Hart - Publication Date: September 1996 - List: $17.95
- Handbook of Organic Food Processing and Production -
by Simon Wright (Editor) - Publication Date: October 1994 - List: $119.00
- Introduction to Permaculture - by Bill
Mollison, Reny Mia Slay - Publication Date: November 1997 - List: $16.95
- Profitable Organic Farming - by Jon Newton - Publication
Date: June 1995 - List: $36.95
- The New
Organic Grower : A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market
Gardener - by Eliot Coleman, Sheri Amsel (Illustrator), Molly Cook Field
(Illustrator) - Publication Date: October 1995 - List: $24.95
Booknews, Inc. , 05/01/96:
This expansion of a now-classic guide originally published in 1989 is intended for the
serious gardener or small-scale market farmer. It describes practical and sustainable ways
of growing superb organic vegetables, with detailed coverage of scale and capital,
marketing, livestock, the winter garden, soil fertility, weeds, and many other topics.
Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
- The Art of the Kitchen Garden - by Jan Gertley,
Michael Gertley - Publication Date: January 1999 - List
This page was last updated on November 16, 2002