If you are starting your garden, and you are thinking about planting carrots, one of the questions you might have is how many carrot seeds should you plant per hole? We will answer this, and many more questions, below:
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Make Sure You Have the Right Conditions
Before you plant your carrots, you must make sure that you have the right conditions. First, you want to know when the best time is to plant carrots. You can plant them as soon as the last frost has occurred.
If there is a light frost following this, odds are good that the carrots will survive. You just don’t want to let them go through a hard frost.
You also want to make sure that the soil temperature is correct. Since carrots are grown under the soil, unlike other veggies, the right temp is important when it comes to quality. You can buy a monitoring tool to check.
The best temperature for carrots is about 65 degrees (18.3°C). If the temp is too hot or cold, the carrots might not grow correctly. They also might not taste very good.
Check the pH
Another thing to consider when you plant carrots is the pH of your soil. For carrots, it’s 6.5. If you have soil that is overly acidic, your carrots might not grow.
The same can be said if you have too much nitrogen in the soil. If you use a fertilizer with too much nitrogen, your carrots might split into two or more, which is not ideal.
The Texture of the Soil
When you plant carrots, you should make sure that the soil drains well, and that the texture is consistent. Soil that is rocky or compact can stop the development of the roots, and it can cause your carrots to look deformed.
If you have too many chunks or stones in the soil, it could make your carrots look odd. The first couple of weeks of the carrot’s growth are the most important, and if the taproot, which is what grows into the carrot, is not straight, the carrot won’t be straight.
Compost for Carrots
You should also consider adding compost to your carrots. This helps to loosen up the soil and adds some extra nutrients to your veggies.
You can grow carrots in containers and raised beds, too. Just remember, you have to make sure the soil is deep enough. Many carrot types need deep soil, but there are some varieties that can tolerate, and even thrive, in shallow soil.
More Tips for Planting Carrots
We almost have the answer to how many carrot seeds to plant per hole, but before we do, there are a few more tips that are important.
First, you don’t want to plant the seeds too deeply. Really, they should only be pushed in a bit below the surface of the soil. You should plant them in rows, and each row should be about 15 inches from the one next to it.
Dig shallow holes a few inches apart and put two to three carrot seeds per hole. Cover each of the seeds with soil, and then wait for approximately a week.
You should see seedlings begin to appear in around 5 to 7 days, and then you should go through and thin the seedlings. Leave the strongest ones in the soil and pull out the rest.
Wait for another two to three weeks and do this again. Your goal is to leave the strongest plants spaced about three inches apart. The bigger the carrot, the more space you will need.
Once you have those plants left, you can add a thin layer of mulch or straw to the top of the soil, which helps to keep the soil moist and warm.
Spacing Out the Growth
Since carrots don’t take a long time to grow, you can space out your crop throughout the summer. Once you plant the first batch of carrots, wait about three to four weeks, and then plant a new batch.
How Long Does it Take Carrots to Fully Grow?
On average, it takes carrots approximately two and a half months to fully grow and mature. Since these are root vegetables, the only way to check if they are ready is to dig up a sample carrot.
Take a look at the carrot, and if it looks nice and strong, taste it. It should be sweet and crunchy.
If you harvest carrots in the summer, once they are ready, you can pull them right out of the ground. However, if they come up in the fall, you can leave them in the ground. Just make sure the frost doesn’t come before you pull them up.
Storing Carrots After Harvesting
It doesn’t matter when you harvest your carrots, once you pull them out of the ground, you need to make sure you store them correctly.
All carrots should be refrigerated, but there are a few things you should do before throwing them directly into your fridge.
First, you want to cut off the tops of the carrots. Even after you have pulled the carrots from the ground, the plant still has energy, and the leaves will pull moisture and nutrients out of the carrot.
After you do this, place the carrots out in the sun. You should let them sit for about a day, as this lets the thin skin of the carrot dry up. This helps them last longer.
Don’t wash any of your carrots; just put them into the fridge as dry as possible. You can wash them before you use them.
You can place the carrots into a plastic bag or sealable container, and then find the coldest part of the fridge to store them. When you do this correctly, you can keep carrots in the refrigerator for around two or three months.
Finally, make sure you don’t have any pears, apples, or potatoes near your carrots. This can cause them to taste bitter. These foods produce ethylene gas, which can negatively affect your carrots.