If you want flavour, then there is nothing like eating home-grown carrots fresh from the garden. Simply sow directly outside in shallow drills if you have a veg plot, or into planters or container in a patio or balcony.
For the best results sowing outside you should have fine, crumbly soil that has not been freshly manured and without too many stones. Otherwise the single tap root may split into many smaller roots as soon as it hits a large object or fresh manure.
Dig the soil and remove perennial weed roots and all stones and other debris. Add some Levington Organic Blend Soil Conditioner to improve the structure of the soil plus a sprinkling of a general plant food such as Miracle-Gro Gro Your Own Vegetable & Fruit Plant Food. Rake to a smooth friable surface.
If your soil is stoney, prepare a long V-shaped trench at least 20cm deep and fill this with sieved soil mixed with about 50% Levington Organic Blend Top Soil. If your soil isn’t really suitable for carrots try growing them in large pots of Miracle-Gro Gro Your Own Vegetable & Fruit Enriched Compost or directly in the Miracle-Gro Gro Your Own gro-sac for potatoes and root vegetables.
Selecting the varieties to buy
For stoney soil try Rondo or Parmex. For early crops choose Early Nantes, Amsterdam Forcing or Mignon. To tempt kids try Sugarsnax, Parmex or Bolero. For maincrop sow Autumn King, Red Intermediate or Chantenay Red Cored.
You can’t transplant seedlings of root vegetables successfully, so the seed needs to be sown where they are going to mature. When the soil is warm enough (March or April) take out a shallow drill 1cm deep. After sowing the seeds cover with fine soil and water in.
Sow carrots thinly in short rows every three weeks from March until the end of June. Regular sowing will give you a continuous supply of vegetables through summer and autumn.
Carrots need about 4cm gap between each seedling, but don’t compost the larger ones as they make a delicious addition to salads.
Keep your carrot crop watered in dry weather. To prevent the carrot fly laying eggs that will eventually tunnel into the roots, cover completely with Enviromesh or similar material or erect a wind break around your plants at least 60cm tall.