Let's talk about planting and growing carrots. David's Garden Seeds® has purple carrot seeds that are heirloom.
This page talks about planting and growing carrots. It is based on David's experiences. Carrots come in a number of colors, shapes and sizes. They can be from 2 inches long to 8 inches long. Size will depend on your soil. They come in orange, purple, yellow and white. The standard carrot you find in the store is orange but the purple carrot is the best healthwise since it contains lots of anthocyanin but many people will not eat them because they are purple and they think something is wrong with them. That is why you only find orange in the store. Here at David's Garden Seeds®, over time, we will have more of the "off color" vegetables to sell. We will have to pickle or can them to preserve them.
When planting and growing carrots, the first thing when growing carrots is to prepare the soil. You will want a good garden medium that is at least 12 inches deep if you want your carrots to grow to eight inches long. Most nurseries have some sort of garden soil if you live in a rocky place and need to add raised beds to have a good garden.
There are many aids out there to help you plant the seeds. You will need to choose one that you think will work for you. We have tried several but always go back to planting by hand. Our garden medium is sand and it is hard for the planters to get traction so that they work correctly. Also they are not very good for short distances. Make sure you do not use any thing that has large twigs or bark in it as this will impede or keep the carrots from growing straight. One year I tilled in the mulch I had used which was mainly cypress and planted carrots. They were all disfigured from not being able to grow straight.
Planting And Growing Carrots
Dig a furrow about 1/4 inch deep by one inch wide.
Next water it. If you have time, water it and let it sit for a few weeks and then pull any weeds that may come up. I am experimenting with corn meal gluten which is supposed to be an organic per-emergent weed killer.
Choose your carrots seeds. Carrot seeds are really small and a bit difficult to plant. But some carrot seeds are pelleted and will make planting easier. At David's we do not sell the pelleted seeds since their shelf life is very short but we do plant them in the garden.
Unless you are doing a long row and using a planting tool, the best way to plant the seeds is with a bowl and tweezers, one at a time. This may take some time in the beginning but will save time thinning in the long run. Plant them about 1 to 2 inches apart, 1/4 inch deep with furrows six inches apart for four furrows. Then space the set of four furrows 24 to 36" apart. Next, water. Make sure you use a gentle spray or you could dislodge the seeds. If the seeds are dislodged once they start germinating, they will die.
The carrot seeds will germinate and emerge in about three weeks depending on the weather. If two are growing side by side, take a pair of scissors and cut one of them down. Don't pull it or you may pull up the one you want to keep as well. If you do not thin, the carrots will not grow right and will be all twisted around each other.
More on Planting and Growing Carrots
Yes, we have heirloom carrot seeds that grow yellow! White, purple, and red, too!
When the carrot tops are six inches tall, apply a watered down organic fertilizer. Don't use at full strength. When they are eight inches tall, apply fertilizer at full strength. Apply every two weeks or according to manufacturer instructions. You can over-fertilize and kill your plants.
Weed and check for insect and/or disease damage. I have never had any problems with carrots except when I allowed them to stay in a moist ground too long. (They then get moldy.)
Harvest them when they are at the size the supplier calls for.
One advantage that carrots have is they can be grown throughout the winter as long as the ground does not freeze. This means planting and growing carrots can be done year-round here in Texas.
Carrots will last for many months in the refrigerator. They can be canned or pickled. There are other ways to preserve them as well. You can find articles on YouTube on how to do this.
You can save seeds from carrots but it is a two year process. You will need to use an open pollinated type and can only plant one type of carrot for two years. There are many articles about this on YouTube and the web.
And before you start to plant, you may want to do a soil test to make sure you soil has a pH of 6.0 to 6.8.