Growing Your Own Carrots
Growing Your Own Carrots with Rajah
Carrots make for nutritious side dishes and are a great addition to sishebo recipes and curries. They are a good source of vitamin A and fibre, and they add lovely colour to your meal. Seeing as they are such an essential part of every kitchen, being able to grow them in your own garden is a handy skill to have and an added bonus when it comes to your grocery budget.
Carrots are often tricky to grow, purely because you cannot check on their progress until harvest time. Many mishaps can happen along the way, but with loose soil, good cool weather and plenty of water, there is very little reason that your sweet and crunchy crop of carrots should fail.
You can grow carrots just about anywhere, even indoors! Even though the roots grow underground, carrot tops need full sun to light shade in order to grow quickly and develop their sugars. Like most vegetables, their mature size varies according to their varieties. Baby carrots can either be a particular variety that matures. Immature carrots will not have developed their full sweetness so it’s best to be patient and wait the full-recommended time before harvesting.
Although this may vary, the recommended time for harvest is roughly 50-70 days from seed. The only true test to see whether your carrots are ready to be harvested is to lift one and taste. The correct method of picking carrots is by twisting and pulling or digging. Remove the leaves, once harvested or else leaves will continue to take energy and moisture from the roots, leaving them limp and lessening the sweetness of your carrots.
The biggest pest to look out for is the carrot rust fly. It lays its eggs in the soil near the carrot top, and when the eggs hatch, the larva work their way down into the soil and then into the carrot’s roots, where they feed and create tunnels through the carrot. You can dodge some pests by rotating where you plant each year, but the easiest method is to grow your carrots under row covers.
Here’s to many wonderful family meals with sweet crunchy carrots!
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