Growing winter vegetables is not only a hobby for spending time in the winter, but also a good idea to get pesticide-free vegetables. Carrots are excellent choices for growing winter vegetables. You can get the maximum out of your effort, if you are ready to follow carrot gardening tips, and spend a little time & effort in your garden.Home grown carrots will make you surprised and satisfied, one you are dedicated in your work.Growing carrots in garden may not be well-shaped and beautiful like what we see in the supermarkets, but definitely they will have a flavour of your hardwork that you may not get from anywhere else. Carrots are famous for its nutritional value as well. It is a good choice for your hair, skin and eyes. One of the most important carrot gardening tips is to select the best type of carrot with the right root size and shape to suit your soil.Here are some carrot gardening tips to know.
1.Preparations: Carrot gardening gives much importance to preparations. Double-dig your planting area or build up a raised area to get a good yield. Loose, rock-free soil will allow growth of long slender straight carrots.
2.Properly loosened soil: Loosened soil is one of the most important carrot gardening tips. This will help you grow as large, perfect carrots. Your carrots will not reach their full size if the soil is compact because the roots will not move smoothly.
3.Sow the seeds: Sowing 12-20mm deep in rows 150mm apart will help them grow quickly. If you fail to get a fine seedbed, then you will have to try covering the seed with a mix of sand and leaf mould.
4.Watering: Water carrots regularly to promote good growth. Carrot seeds need enough moisture for germination process. Since the seeds are very close to the surface where the soil dries out quicker, watering is very important.
5.Use a burlap: One of the tricky carrot gardening tips is to cover the seedbed with a layer of burlap to hold the moisture. This makes watering necessary only in once in two days. At the first green sprout, remove the burlap and water daily.
6.Cover the root: Covering exposed roots with soil or mulch is one of the important tips to protect the carrot root shoulders from direct sunlight. Direct sunlight will cause greenish discoloration on the tops of some carrots.
7.Close planting: Planting one big wide row of carrots four feet wide and about ten feet long is a good idea. You can use a gardening template to sprinkle one or two seeds in each hole. Cover it with vermiculite.
8.Fertilisers: Phosphorus is good for growing winter vegetables. Use a healthy dose of bone meal when you dig the soil at planting time. It is an effective carrot gardening tip to water with a light fish/seaweed emulsion.
9.Companion planting: Carrots will grow alongside many plants like rosemary, sage or chives. But, remember not to plant Umbelliferae family plants like dill or coriander along with carrots due to the risk of cross pollination.
10.Pest control: Leaf hoppers can spread aster yellows, a disease caused by a tumour-forming bacterium present in soils. Grow carrots far from plants that act as host for the parasitic bacteria. Row covers can protect a crop from carrot rust flies and carrot weevils.
These are the carrot gardening tips to follow.