THE ESSENTIAL VEGETABLE. CARROT CULTIVATION
The carrot cultivation in your organic garden complements the dose of vitamin A that we need. The carrots from the supermarket are good, yes, but nothing comparable with the ones you can see grow through your efforts and these tips that we give you. Don’t let more time go by and catch up on the care of this umbelliferous.
Growing carrots is a difficult task for many gardeners. We confirm that this difficulty is apparent and we will not allow it to discourage us. If at some point we cross the line of discouragement, here we have a motivation about what a garden can bring us , and in general cultivate. After this brief introduction we move on to our business.
THE RIGHT CLIMATE IN CARROT CULTIVATION
This plant has a preference for temperate climates , although as there are many varieties, it is a matter of choosing the one that best suits your conditions.
Temperature: The minimum temperature for the carrot to grow is from 10º C or a little less, being the ideal between 15 and 20 ºC.
Below 9 ºC, the aerial part can suffer some problems, but the root, where the fruit grows, is able to withstand freezing temperatures below zero.
Undoubtedly, the first thing we have to be clear about is that carrots are an all-terrain crop that adapts to a wide variety of climates (although it is always recommended that they be temperate).
Its cultivation can be started in spring , in order to have the optimal temperatures that we have mentioned above. The seeds take between 10 and 15 days to germinate (2 weeks on average), and usually have a lot of plants with good associations (with the exception of those of the same family, the Umbelliferae).
THE TYPE OF SOIL IN THE CARROT CROP
Being a crop that grows in the subsoil we need (as in leeks) soft or spongy soils , and where there is a good amount of organic matter. As for the pH of the soil , it would be between acid and little acid. (5.5-7), levels that can perfectly have with the payment of the compost .
You can also take advantage of green manures but leave the land uncultivated for at least 1 month. In general, also soils that retain moisture without generating puddles, such as clay and sandy soils. Because you know the type of soil in your garden, right?
We have talked about compost but we have to suggest something, so that later you don’t blame us 🙂
The compost has to be mature and decomposed. Fresh, fresh organic matter causes rotting and split root growth, which often engulf the carrot.
Land with a good content of decomposed organic matter.
These roots that form around the skin of the carrot, negatively affect the organoleptic qualities of the fruit and make it unappetizing to the eye. This condition of maturation of organic matter is important.
One of the most important things when choosing the place for the carrot cultivation is to have a substrate without treading and always soft.
For harder, compacted or stony soils, it is even advisable not to plant carrots (many will come out with fruits of low caliber or deformed) or to choose dwarf varieties.
Also keep in mind that the greater mechanical resistance the fruit finds when growing and having caliber, the more lignified (greater hardness) the skin will have and therefore, it will be a challenge to put it in the mouth once we harvest it.
In the maintenance of a small garden, the continuous contribution of organic matter based on compost, manure or another type is enough to manage a crop with excellent productions.
As we have commented previously, the only requirement that is requested with this type of organic matter is that it is already decomposed before we plant the carrot.
On the other hand, we can also help ourselves with conventional fertilizers (some of them also allowed in organic farming). In large proportions , it is usually produced between 60 and 70 t / ha.
This, extrapolated to a small orchard of 10 square meters, we would be talking about 60-70 kg of production. Not a negligible figure, right?
Let’s see the needs in fertilizer units for carrot crops, for one hectare.
- Nitrogen fertilizer units: 170-210
- Phosphorus Fertilizer Units: 70-85
- Potassium fertilizer units: 300-450
And for 10 square meters:
- Nitrogen fertilizer units: 0.17-0.21
- Phosphorus Fertilizer Units: 0.070-0.085
- Potassium Fertilizer Units: 0.300-0.450
By providing these fertilizer units, with conventional fertilizers:
- Ammonium nitrate (34.5): 0.18-0.20 kg (discounting the nitrogen contributions from the rest of the fertilizers.
- Monoammonium phosphate (12-61-0): 0.115 kg – 0.14 kg
- Potassium nitrate (13-0-46): 0.65 kg – 1 kg
HOW TO WATER CARROTS
As the plant grows, it requires constant watering, preventing the soil from drying out (and hardening the carrot skin). Above all you have to be constant with watering (in frequency not in quantity) during sowing and germination, when very small plants come out.
SOWING IN THE CARROT CROP, THE MOST DIFFICULT PROCESS
We have to find the optimum depth for the emergence to be correct (0.5 cm). We make sure that until their emergence, after 10 or 15 days they always have humidity. The planting frame can be 15 x 20 cm, if you have little space, and 25 x 30 cm in general conditions.
There is a trick to achieve a higher germination percentage that consists of soaking the seeds prior to sowing and then placing them in cotton, paper or damp cloths until they are born. Once the process is done, they are sown as we have mentioned before.
Today, you can enjoy a wide variety of carrot seeds , for all tastes. Not always choosing the one in orange is the most suitable for everyone.
WHEN TO CULTIVATE?
The carrot growing season runs from March to October, but it can practically be extended to the whole year.
The first starts with the carrot crop can be done at the end of March or the beginning of April (at the beginning of spring), where we will sow the seeds, almost by broadcast (because of how small they are), we will carry out a subsequent pecking once they germinate ( 10-15 days), and we will leave a final planting frame.
Ah, which plantation frame is the right one? It depends on the variety, but it is around 10 × 10 cm or 15 × 15 cm, depending on the needs.
ASSOCIATIONS IN CARROT CULTIVATION
Practically, the carrot gets along with almost all plants . It can be grown together with all the vegetable families, be it garlic, leeks, chard, tomatoes, peppers, etc.
If we can choose, we must bear in mind that it is better not to associate the carrot with plants of the same family. Can we give you some examples?
We have it written down on our planting calendar . The carrot is usually harvested 120 days from its sowing, which is about 4 months. The dates of the sowing calendar are recommended, but we have already said that it can be cultivated 365 days.
VARIETIES OF CARROTS
They can be classified into 3 types in carrot cultivation, based on size: large carrots, fine carrot and bundled carrot. Here we put the most used varieties:
- Nandrin: smooth and cylindrical root.
- Nelson: good productions in summer as main crop.
- Pluto: for cultivation in spring and summer and light soils.
- Tempo: early variety, ideal for sandy soils.
- Bolero: elongated carrot for growing in cold areas.
- Antares: for summer and autumn crops. It is resistant to breakage.
Any experience to tell us with the carrot crop? Here the experts are you!