Planting a garden is a very rewarding experience. I love to get outside and play in the dirt. I enjoy that warm spring air, while working in the garden. Technically I know that summer is in full swing for most of you, but we actually froze last week. So my gardening starts a little later than most of you. Although I could have had some of the veggies in earlier, somehow time got away from me and it just didn’t happen. But on the flip side, if your carrots didn’t come up, it isn’t to late to try again.
A garden is full of trial and error. Sometimes no matter how hard you try things just don’t come up. I have found there is a technique to growing each variety of seeds. Learning these little secrets can make gardening fun and successful.
For years I tried to grow carrots. It seemed a few would come up and they would be really funny looking. My husband (a farmer) taught me the right way to plant and grow them. Since he showed me these little secrets I have enjoyed fresh carrots from my garden. They are so sweet and delicious.
The first and a very critical part of planting the carrot seeds, is the preparation of the ground. Carrots need good soil that is tilled deep to allow for the growth. If the soil is not loose and deep you will get those funny looking carrots when they hit the hard dirt below. During this step is when you would mix your compost into the dirt. When we clean the corrals and the chicken coop in the fall, the fertilizer gets dumped in my garden. By Springtime it is broken down and tills in nicely. Every year we add manure and compost to our garden and every year it gets easier to work and makes a nice, rich, fertile soil.
After the preparation of the soil, a farmer always likes nice straight rows. We take a stake and tie a string to it. You can tell we are on a farm from the green baling twine. HaHa. We measure the width of our rototiller and space our rows a little wider so we can get down the rows if we need to rototill any weeds. We then drive the stakes into the soil, one at each end of the row with the string tied to the stakes. Now we are ready to start planting.
One of the first things my husband taught me is look at the size of the seed I am planting. A carrot seed is
very tiny and does not have a lot of energy to get out of the ground compared to a pea, or corn seed that is much larger. Carrot seeds need to be planted close to the surface. With that in mind this is what we do. Now keep in mind, I am not a professional gardner. I have had many failures in my garden. But I keep working at it and learning every year. (One year my zucchini didn’t grow. That never happens. Usually there is an over abundance and you are giving it away to anyone at church that doesn’t lock their car doors.) With that said lets get back to planting carrots.
To help these little carrot seeds grow it takes care and patience. After stringing my twine to keep my rows straight, I rake my soil to get out any rocks or clods of dirt. Then it is time to start planting. I sprinkle my seeds down the row on top of the ground. Then I stand sideways on my rows and pack my seed down by walking sideways on it. I step one foot out and then bring the other foot next to it. I repeat this process all the way to the end of the row.
Then the watering begins. It is very important to keep these little seeds moist so they have the water necessary to sprout. (Some people will water and then place a board on top of the seed row to help keep it moist until they have sprouted.) After planting I watered my garden so it soaked in deep. We don’t get a lot of rain here so I depend on sprinkling the garden to help it grow. I have my sprinkler set so I turn it on several times a day to keep the top of the dirt moist so the little seeds will germinate. Then sit back and watch it grow. Remember a little weeding every day will keep that garden looking beautiful and keep the weeds from going to seed. This means a lot less weeding for next year.
Last year I had an awesome garden. This year it is all planted and I am hoping for another bumper crop. Good luck in planting those little carrot seeds. Watch for a post later on this summer on how to store your carrots and also how to preserve them.
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