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HOW TO CHOOSE AND GROW ORGANIC HEIRLOOM CARROTS
Multicolored heirloom carrots have captured the imagination of diners. Now you too can grow these ancient carrots at home. Heirloom carrots come in a variety of colors, white, yellow, pink, purple and of course, orange.
Carrots have been grown for thousands of years around the world. The purple carrot is the most common in Afghanistan, the pink in India and white and yellow carrots were the most common in Europe until just a few centuries ago.
Heirloom carrots can be used in all of your carrot recipes. Roast carrots
with meat, sauté, or enjoy raw in a salad. Decorate your meal with
a bouquet of edible color! The foliage of early-harvest carrots can be
The most important element of a bountiful carrot crop is healthy soil. Carrots require a light soil. Add very well processed compost to your soil and dig it in deep. Add bone meal to loosen soil. Check the soil for consistency in texture. Un-decomposed matter or rocks will alter the shape of your carrots. The soil should be loose and rich.
Carrots can be planted throughout the year. Check your gardening zone for local carrot planting times for your particular climate. However, if planted throughout the year, carrots can also be harvested throughout the year, and can be stored for up to three months. If you time it right, you can have carrots year-round!
Choose the right carrot variety before you plant
When planting your carrot seeds dig a long trench, about one inch deep. Plant the seeds about one inch apart. Even though the seeds are tiny, avoid planting too many as you will have more thinning work to do later.
How to keep your carrots healthy
There are several ways to prevent the Carrot Fly from ruining your plot. If you avoid planting your carrots during the period when the fly lays its eggs, you may have nothing to worry about. Do not plant carrots from mid April through early June or mid July through early September.
Carrot flies are attracted to the smell of carrots. When harvesting or
thinning your carrots, do so on a still evening. The flies are dormant
in the evening and the lack of wind will prevent the smell of carrots
from spreading. A thin net spread over your carrot rows will prevent the
female flies from laying eggs in your carrots and a high wind area is
unappealing to the flies as they are not strong fliers.
If your crops appear to be affected by rust, remove affected foliage (those leafs spotted with orange). You may have to remove some plants in order to increase air circulation. Also, avoid adding nitrogen to your garden in any form, as these encourage rust growth.
Carrots are a staple around the world. Cuddled by the soil, they are cared for by the earth and encouraged by their organic gardener. Heirloom carrots provide a fun variation on old traditions and organic heirloom carrots are just that much tastier, easier and healthier for you and everybody.