Planting carrots in your garden is just the beginning of the journey. Now it is time to care for your carrots so they will grow. Here are some tips on what you do next.
Tips to successfully grow carrots
This next step is as important in the care of your little seeds as planting. Because a carrot seed is so small it takes a lot of energy to get it pushed out of the ground to get started. This step is probably what people fail to do and thus the little seeds wither and die.
In the “Tips for Planting Carrots” post we talked about how to plant the carrot seeds and how deep they should go. Once that little carrot seed starts to grow it is very important you keep it moist. It is hard for me to tell you how often to water your carrots, and how much water to give them because there are so many things that determine this.
- The type of soil you have in your garden. Is it sandy, sandy loam, or more clay. Does it hold the water or does the water just drain right through because it is mostly sand.
- Weather conditions will also be a factor in determining how often you water it. Is it windy, cooler, hot and dry, lots of moisture like rain or even snow?
How often do you water your carrots?
You will have to determine how often you need to water and it could vary from day-to-day. It is important however you keep your carrot seeds moist. We water our carrots many times a day using a spray nozzle that is on more of a mist. We wet them down until it may even puddle slightly because our soil is a sandy loam and will dry out quickly.
When you see you’re carrots starting to poke through the ground with the little green shoots, keep it moist for a few more days. The carrot doesn’t have a deep root system to get the water that has gone deeper into the soil, so keep them wet.
The plant will begin to get a little bigger and the root system will go a little deeper. This is when you can cut back watering. As they continue to grow, cut back even more. We allow the top of the soil to dry out if the roots are down into the ground deep enough. We take a knife and flip-up a little dirt to see how deep the moisture is.
Since a carrot is a root crop you don’t want your carrots sitting in water, they will rot.
Many people go through and thin their carrot plants as they begin to grow. If you plant them as I did in my Post “Tips to Plant Carrots” I don’t thin them. They seem to grow just fine because they are not in one straight row so they don’t seem to grow together and crowd each other out.
Other methods to keep your soil moist
Here are other methods gardeners may use to keep the soil moist while they are sprouting the carrots.
- Drip system
- Some may put a board on top to keep the soil moist.
- Newspaper on top to keep the soil moist.
- Cardboard on top to keep the soil moist.
They take these off as they start to grow and turn the drip system down. I have even heard of some covering with straw but with this method I think you would get weed seeds in your rows.
None of these methods are wrong, just choose whatever way works best for you to keep your carrots moist.
Also remember one year of weeds means seven years of seeds.
By keeping your garden weeded you are not only making it easier to find your vegetables this year, you will make weeding a little easier next year.
When weeding, take extra care at pulling the weeds out so you don’t up-root any of your carrots.
I hope you like my post. Share your comments and ideas with all of us, just leave them below. Feel free to share this post with others.