Grow carrots in the spring garden and again as a fall crop.
If you ever wanted to grow carrots, fall carrots are planted in August or early September in my neck of the woods. (Zone 6A, Southern Missouri, USA.) I get carrot seed at Nichols Garden Nursery.
Nichols Garden Nursery has a big selection of carrot seed. The seed is very affordable. That bargain price tempts me to try an assortment of carrots. Check out their online catalog, if you are tempted to grow fall carrots. July and August are the time to order seed and get carrots growing for a fall harvest. If stored properly, carrot seed can be used for up to three years.
Nichols even has few carrot selections that are under $2. Carrot seed under two bucks and it’s enough seed for at least two and probably three years. (Unless you are raising rabbits in the same garden.)
Some days it looks like my back yard is a nature sanctuary for rabbits. They eat and sleep in my garden when I am not vigilant. When I do remember to turn on the Scarecrow motion-activated sprinkler, the rabbits stay away.
The Contech Electronics scarecrow motion-activated sprinkler is a humane animal deterrent. The scarecrow detects and sprays any animal movement within a 1000-square-foot area day and night.
When I do not remember to turn off that little water blast, I suddenly get hit with a refreshing spray. It’s more fun than some of the carnival rides at the state fair. Especially when it is a surprise.
Find the scarecrow locally or online just type “scarecrow motion-activated sprinkler.”
Read more about carrots: How to troubleshoot problems growing carrots and cabbages and University of Missouri Extension, Frequently Asked Vegetable Questions is very helpful. Extension recommends planting a 5 to 10 feet per person for fresh eating. Plan to grow 10 to 15 feet per person, if you are going to process carrots for year round eating.
Baltimore carrots are beautiful, bright orange carrots. They are sweet and crunchy. These carrots are about 6″ long.
Harvest Carrots: any time their color is bright. This is when their flavor and texture are optimum. Carrots can tolerate a light frost. Irrigate well the day before harvest to ensure the roots have absorbed their maximum capacity of water. Store at 34°F and 95% relative humidity.
All of these carrots were pulled up at one time. They ranged in size from 2-inches to 8-inches. I’ll toss the baby carrots into a mixed vegetable refrigerator pickle jar.
I like raw carrots. Homegrown and picked after only a couple of frosts, carrots are sweeter than any grocery store carrot you have eaten.
Cooked carrots have their advantages. Some of the nutrients in lightly cooked carrots are more available to the body than the raw carrots. Cooking carrots will break down the tough cellular walls of carrots, making some nutrients more useable to the body.
The first batch of full-sized homegrown carrots, are a celebration of carrot growing success. That means carrot cake or morning-glory muffins. If there are more fall carrots, they will go into beef stew, vegetable soup, pot roast.
So, come grow carrots with me this fall. If you grew up with a clay soil garden, You’ve probably never had much success with carrots. But building a raised bed for your raised bed, well that is a carrot’s dream come true.
In this Missouri Gardener Magazine story, I write about carrot boxes. That is the secret to long straight carrots.
If I could have left these Yaya carrots in the garden, it would have been great to stretch out the carrot harvest over a few more weeks.
Learn more: Grow 2 crops of carrots this season