It's not just Bugs Bunny who likes to eat carrots. Apparently the British consume more carrots than any other nation. Despite being a root vegetable carrots are quite fussy vegetables. They want soil that is deep, fertile and sandy. If the soil is heavy or stony you should only grow the shorter varieties. If your ground has been manured over the past 12 months it is not a good idea to plant carrots in it.
Carrots like sunny positions and it is well worthwhile preparing the ground well in advance. Dig the area of ground in Autumn adding peat if necessary. Sow the seeds thinly in rows to prevent the need to thin out the seedlings later - which could attract the dreaded Carrot fly as they are attracted to the smell of bruised foliage - keeping the rows at least 6" apart. If you do need to thin your crop at a later date ensure that you either bury or burn any unwanted plants.
Plants should be approximately 2-3 inches apart. Remove all weeds from in-between the plants. Water during periods of drought to avoid root splitting.
Carrots can be harvested from June onwards. Lift any left over carrots in October for storage.
Carrots come in three different varieties:
- Short-Rooted - Early Nantes are early, tender and good for freezing
- Intermediate-Rooted - Nantes Tip Top are a popular choice for showing
- Long-Rooted - New Red Intermediate has good keeping qualities.
- Ensure that any unwanted plants are buried or burnt to keep away the carrot fly
- Do not plant carrots in ground that has been manured in the past 12 months
- Add sand or fine peat to the seeds to prevent sowing too thickly
Last Modified on: 05-12-2018