An edible root full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The carrot originated in Central Asia, mainly the leaves and seeds were consumed since the root had a woody texture. After many years of domestication, we reached the edible varieties that we have today. How and when to harvest carrots at home, their care, benefits, and some recipes.
Carrot is a root that we commonly know orange, with a delicious and delicately sweet taste. We can find it in any market, store or tianguis. But there are many colors and shapes in carrots, we can find the white, yellow, reddish or purple.
This vegetable is winter, prefers cold or fresh climates to develop properly. Sow between September and October. It requires a soil rich in organic matter, loose, with good drainage and full sun. It can be sown in cultivation beds or in boxes, containers or huacales with a minimum depth of 30cm. If the soil is easily compacted, it can affect the growth of our plants.
Carrots are one of the vegetables that are produced with direct sowing. The seeds are elongated and very small, approximately 2mm long and their color is light brown. Make grooves 1cm deep and 8-10cm between rows. They can be done in double or triple rows to take advantage of the space. Place the carrot seeds leaving 5cm between them.
The seedlings will begin to sprout 15-20 days after planting. The cotyledons will be thin and elongated leaves. When the second pair of leaves appears we must place soil, a mixture prepared with compost or only compost, to the base of the first pair of leaves.
Care and advice
- Maintain moisture in the soil, avoid excess water.
- Weeding to avoid pests and diseases.
- Remove old and yellow leaves from plants.
- Slightly loosen the soil if a scab forms, be careful not to hurt the plants.
- Resists temperatures up to -5 ° C, cover our plants with agrovelope if the temperature is below zero.
- Carrots can be associated with lettuce, cabbage, peas, onions, pores, and tomatoes.
- Avoid planting carrots where there were plants of the Apiaceae family (dill, celery, coriander, fennel, parsley, etc.) so that pests and diseases will be avoided.
When to harvest carrots and storage
Carrots take 3 to 4 months to fully develop, we can check their growth by looking at the base of the plants. For the harvest, we must pull the leaves without separating them from the root or dig with a hand shovel if the soil is compacted.
Cut the leaves to prevent carrots from losing their moisture, rinse and let dry. They can be stored in the refrigerator or a cold basement. Many varieties can be stored for several months, another option is to prepare them in pickles, preserves, dehydrate or freeze them.
My carrot seeds
Carrots are biannual plants, so they produce seed the second year. We must have at least 15 plants to obtain good genetics in our seeds. The seeds will form in clusters. They should be harvested when they have a brown or brown color, then place them in a paper bag to finish drying. The seeds are cleaned and stored in an airtight jar, with a label with the name, variety, and date. Finally, store the bottle in a cool and dry place, where it can be stored for up to 3 years, then its germination percentage will decrease.
Carrots are known worldwide for their large amount of carotenes that are transformed into vitamin A and their contribution to vision. But there are more benefits in carrots, they are antioxidants, rich in potassium and phosphorus, have a high water content (diuretic), strengthen nails and hair, among other characteristics.