One of the most common edibles is the “Heirloom Carrot”. Presence of “Heirloom Carrots” in your food makes it healthier, nutritious, and more delicious. Carrots could be roasted with meat, sauté or more commonly used as raw in salad. Salad decoration is never complete without carrots. If you grow this in your garden then you can enjoy the taste more frequently. Let us have some background information about “Heirloom Carrots” and to know how to grow them at home.
“Heirloom Carrots” generally display a variety of colors from white to orange. You must have seen yellow, pink, purple, and similar colored heirloom carrots in markets. Color of this specific carrot is more indicative of its origin. The purple colored heirloom carrots are commonly grown in Afghanistan and the pink ones come from India specifically. Europeans grow the yellow carrots. Although international trades have broken all these boundaries and now you can grow almost all types of heirloom carrots anywhere.
Heirloom carrots are very tasty but their nutritious contents vary along with its flavor. Purple carrots have been found rich in antioxidants. Almost all the varieties of carrots are rich in vitamin A, trace nutrients, and fiber.
If you are beginning with gardening then growing heirloom carrots is one of the best initial projects. Growing this organic vegetable is very simple indeed. Carrots are basically roots and therefore grow in the subsurface. Plants of carrots are sturdy and do not require much care and attention.
If you want to grow it from seed you can. Alternatively you can also grow carrot from seed pellets. Your local nursery would certainly have both the options available for you.
You must have well prepared and most suitable soil for obtaining bumper crop of carrots. Light soil is generally required for this purpose. You must add well processed compost to the soil and dig in depth. To loose up the soil you may also add up little bone meal to the soil. Ensure that the overall texture of soil is consistent. The soil must be loose and rich and free from stones, rock-pieces, and un-decomposed matter.
Heirloom carrots are anytime crops and therefore grow it whenever you like. However certain climatic conditions might be important to check with. You should preferable check your local gardening zone and preferable planting times. Once you have known the secret of right time-planting you will surely have good carrot crops throughout the year.
Carrots have two main varieties, the “early harvest variety” and the “main crop“. Early harvest variety can be easily harvested well before its complete maturity. This variety is tastier and sweeter. It bears a little more cost also simply because of its taste. May is the best month to harvest this variety. You must ensure the complete sunlight and full sun for this variety.
The main crop is a normal variety and requires light shady exposure during the summers.
A long trench of nearly one inch deep would be more suitable for planting carrots. Seeds must be sowed at least one inch apart in these trenches. Do not try to plant many seeds at one place as you would be fighting with more thinning work later otherwise.
You will have to ensure safeguards against “Carrot Rusty Fly” because it lays its eggs in the plants itself. Larvae of this fly will eat through the carrots and would cause rot. If you observe the reddish foliage or wilts then it is mainly because of this fly.
One best way is to avoid planting during the period when this fly lays its eggs. Mid- April to early- June and mid-July to early- September are the periods when you should not plant carrots if your area is prone to carrot rust fly. You can also spread a thin layer of net over the plants protecting them from the female flies.
Fungus is another enemy of carrot plants. It is always better to remove older plant every year. By the end of October you must have done that. Plant left in winters would be more prone to diseases and the infected soil would affect the next season plants as well. Expose the soil to solarizing in such case. Solarizing involves a best quality plastic sheet spread over bare soil for few weeks facilitating burning out of pests and germs present in the soil. Do not use PVC plastic for this purpose.
In order to avoid rust you must remove the foliated leaves with orange color. Ensure proper air-circulation with removing crowded plants and never try adding extra nitrogen in any form to your garden while growing heirloom carrots.
A little care and precautions will make you and your family happier when you will harvest a bumper carrot crop. So, add up more taste to your food and remain healthy with heirloom carrots gardening.