One of the vegetables I grew this past fall growing season was the carrot. Growing this vegetable can be a surprise in that you don’t really know what it will look like until you pull it up. As such, buying carrot seeds with a mixture of different colored carrots can be fun to grow and harvest, especially when you pull up purple, yellow, white, and orange colored carrots!
History of the carrot
According to World Carrot Museum, the carrot we see in grocery stores was not always as we know it today. When carrots were first cultivated in Persia and Asia Minor in the 10th century, they were originally purple or white and very thin. However, at some point, the carrot is thought to have evolved to become thicker and develop an orange color over time.
The specific kind of carrot I grew was the Danver Half-Long. Danver Half-Longs take about 3-10 days to geminate. From germination, this carrot takes about 70 days to reach maturity and needs full sun. These will grow to about 7 inches.
For more information, head over to the Gardening Spreadsheet page!
What could possibly go wrong?
Growing carrots is trickier than you might think. There are a lot of factors that influence the ability of the carrot to grow into a long and thick root. Here are the top three challenges you face as a gardener when growing carrots:
- Do not overwater your carrots! Overwatering your carrots can lead your carrots being short and stumpy. Why? Carrots grow in length when they are are search of water. By overwatering your carrots or not thoroughly soaking the soil, you’re telling your carrots that water is close to the surface and that they don’t need to grow down into the ground to search for water. So, when growing carrots, you want to water thoroughly and sparingly.
- Make sure your soil is free of rocks and other hard debris. When growing carrots in rocky soil, carrots may encounter obstacles that make them grow crooked. This, however, shouldn’t affect the taste of the carrot, so if you’re okay with crooked carrots, don’t worry about it.
- Don’t grow your carrots too close to each other. Again, this shouldn’t affect the taste of the carrots, but growing carrots too close to each other may result in your carrots becoming intertwined and wrapping around each other like a braid. If you don’t mind this, then don’t worry too much about it.
Are you ready yet?
A final note about carrots–resist the urge to dig around them to see how they’re growing! My boyfriend and I had to repeatedly tell ourselves not to peek in the soil to look at the tops of the carrots. In the end, the wait and surprise was worth it. We hope it’s worth it for you too!