Well drained fertile soil. Do not plant on soil that has been freshly manured as this could lead to rotting. If you have stony or heavy clay soils, go for the stump or round carrots not the long traditional carrot shape as the longer roots will either fork or be stunted. Grow bags for round or stump-rooted will suffice at a push or try containers with any type of carrot.
Open sunny site.
It’s traditional to grow carrots on soil that hasn’t recently been manured, but there is little evidence that it affects crops or forks and splits carrots.
|Carrot Amsterdam Forcing 3||One of the earliest varieties to mature, regular shape.|
|Autumn King 2||Traditional favourite, regular shape.|
|Carrot Bolero F1||Outstanding flavour, regular shape.|
|Chantenay Red Cored||Stump variety|
|Early Nantes||Popular variety, regular shape.|
|Adelaide AGM||Early crops, regular shape|
|Bangor||Heavy yields, fatter but regular shape|
|Eskimo||The most cold-tolerant variety, short stump shape|
|Maestro AGM||Smooth skin, uniform shape and size, regular shape.|
|Parmex AGM||Round rooted, for shallow soils/containers.|
|Purple Haze||Combines great taste and vigorous growth, regular shape, purple colour.|
|Samurai||The big ‘red’ carrot, regular shape, long roots.|
|Yellowstone||Yellow carrots, regular shape. High in Vitamin A, C, and beta carotene, tasty and easy to grow.|
|Red Intermediate||Ideal for exhibition. A very long, pointed carrot. Excellent for winter storage and exhibition.|
|Flyaway||Maincrop, medium length, regular shape. Good resistance to carrot root fly.|
|St. Valery||Very reliable. Reliable maincrop variety producing long, tapering roots; excellent for winter storage.|
|Nelson||Excellent when young. This superb Nantes type variety produces smooth skinned cylindrical roots of excellent quality.|
Seeds should be sown thinly, in drills 1cm (½ inch), rows 15cm (6 inch) apart.
Sow thinly to avoid thinning later on. Thinning will leave a scent for the carrot root fly.
If the soil is dry, water the drill and allow it to drain before sowing the seed.
Carrots are generally drought resistant and like hot weather, seldom needing water, especially if you have a good water retentive soil. If they wilt and go grey, a thorough soak every 10-14 days will be needed.
Hoe weeds in between rows and hand weed close to the plant to avoid damaging the carrot root. Thin to 5cm (2 inch) between plants and use thinnings as baby carrots.
Cover or surround(like a fence) the crop with a barrier of fleece, fine mesh or polythene to protect from carrot root fly during late Spring and Summer.
Carrot Root Fly
Carrot Root Fly are low flying insects that are attracted by the smell of the carrots and will lay their eggs next to the plants. The larvae tunnel into and eat the carrot.
Avoid touching the carrot tops or sowing seed thickly, as you will have to touch the plants to thin them out. Cover or surround(like a fence) the crop with a barrier of fleece, fine mesh or polythene to protect from carrot root fly during late Spring and Summer.
Plants are ready to harvest 12-16 weeks after sowing. You can pull them early for baby carrots with a sweeter taste or leave longer for larger roots and for storage. If pulling doesn’t lift the roots easily then lift as you would Onions or Garlic, with a fork.
Best kept in the soil. Remove the foliage in late Autumn and cover with a few inches of straw or thick layer of cardboard, keeping out of the rain with polythene.
Carrots can be lifted in the Winter if your soil is prone to waterlogging and stored in a box of sand.
Carrot is one of the richest food in beta-carotene. Beta-carotene gives the orange color of the carrots and our body transforms it into vitamin A.
The carotene has an antioxidant property which may reduce the risk of certain cancer and aging disease.
You don’t need to peel carrots, a lott of the nutrients are in the skin, just scrub them clean for maximum benefit.
Carrots help you have;
- healthy skin
- good night vision
- regulate transit in our intestines due to the fibre and cellulose
- the pectin they contain helps us in case of diarrohea
- the fibre has a protective effect against colon cancer
- may boost your immune system
- lower the risk of lung cancer
- carrots may lower blood cholesterol levels
- may increase lactation
Apparently, the molecule responsible for the red color in tomatoes enhances the body’s absorption of beta-carotene. Try to combine them together in a salad or in a casserole.
Too many carrots can make your skin turn yellow-orange!! It is a reversible condition, your skin will return to normal if you stop eating carrots. It may take a couple of weeks though.
People like to eat carrots to prepare themselves to sun exposure. Be careful, it does not preserve from sunburns.
|Nutrient||Units||Value per 100g Raw||Value per 100g cooked, drained(without salt)|
|Fibre, total dietary|
|Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid|
|Vitamin A, IU|
|Vitamin A, RAE|
|Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)|
|Vitamin K (phylloquinone)|
|Lutein + zeaxanthin|
Carrots stored out of the ground will lose flavour and texture. They are suitable for freezing.
Raw carrots have the most flavour, steamed have the next most flavour and boiling them reduces flavour and health benefits even more.
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