How to grow a good harvest of carrots and keep it until the new season

Carrotis probably the most common vegetable on earth, as it is cultivated almost everywhere. There is nothing surprising in this, because it is difficult to find a healthier and tastier vegetable.

In addition, this culture is very unpretentious, and in principle, its quite decent harvest can be obtained already at the initial stage of the development of the garden plot.

However, in practice, not all experienced gardeners grow good carrots. Complaints are different - more often about poor germination and early yellowing of the tops, and often all these complaints are repeated from year to year, and as a result, by the fall, the harvest is small, and the carrots do not taste very well.

At the same time, with our long autumn-winter-spring season, when there are not so many vegetables on the table, there should be carrots all the time.

On the problem of "poor" carrot germination

Many gardeners have repeatedly encountered situations when carrot arose "now thickly, now empty", and the seed producers were blamed for this. I will not say anything - sometimes non-germinating seeds are to blame for this, however, most often the appearance of bald spots in the garden is associated with the death of seeds due to their banal drying out. And this happens, alas, with a considerable number of gardeners.

The fact is that carrots grow slowly, and after all, the entire period from the moment of sowing to the emergence of seedlings, the seeds must constantly be in moist soil. It is not so easy to achieve this in practice, especially in regions with strong winds, such as, for example, in our Urals, when sometimes we have to water the ridges twice a day. It is clear that not everyone can afford this - as a result, the seeds die.

How to avoid this situation and achieve reliable seedlings? If the above picture is familiar to you, then you should follow a number of rules.

1. Do not sow granular seeds. They germinate worse, since more water is required to soften the shell artificially created around the seeds, and they lose their germination faster than ordinary seeds. But the seeds of carrots and so do not differ in long-term preservation of germination.

2. You should sow carrots at the earliest possible date (you can directly in the soil that is slightly thawed from above), when the lower layers of the soil are still saturated with moisture, which will reduce watering in the most difficult initial period. And there is no need to be afraid of the cold - young carrot seedlings can withstand temperatures down to -2 ... -3 ° C. As for concerns about poor storage of early sown carrots, I have not observed anything like this for many years - we store carrots until about mid-June (after all, everything depends on the storage conditions and varieties, among which there are some that are not suitable for long-term storage. intended).

3. If possible, it is better to soak or germinate the seeds before sowing, as dry carrot seeds germinate slowly and often sparse shoots. Wet and, moreover, germinated seeds sprout quickly, but sowing them is quite difficult. In addition, the process of soaking and sprouting should be taken very seriously, as there is a risk of destroying the seeds.

4. Immediately after sowing, cover the beds with a film that protects the soil from drying out. The edges of the film should be pressed very carefully with stones to prevent air from entering in the wind, otherwise the film will do more harm than good.

5. Immediately after the appearance of the first shoots, it is necessary to replace the film with a covering material - the slightest delay in this operation will lead to the death of the seedlings, since the temperature under the film in the sun can be very high.

Soaking and germinating seeds

For soaking, ordinary settled or better melted snow water is suitable (the snow should be clean, preferably freshly fallen). The soaking process lasts for a day. Soak the seeds in a wide flat dish, placing them between layers of a soaked cloth. Water should only slightly cover the tissue (with a large amount of water, the seeds will inevitably suffocate and die), and the tissue itself with seeds should in no case dry out (otherwise the seeds will die again).

In the conditions of dry air in apartments, it is quite difficult to ensure constant moisture content of soaked seeds, therefore it is safer to place a cloth with seeds on a layer of wet sawdust (or other material that retains water well, for example, cotton wool), and then place containers with seeds in a wide open plastic bag. In this case, you do not have to check the humidity level every couple of hours.

Germinating seeds is a longer process. As a rule, germination is carried out until the bulk of the germinated seeds have roots 0.5 cm long. Single seeds can have roots up to 1.5 cm long. When this stage is reached, they immediately start sowing. If you do not have the conditions for this in your garden, then you can slightly shift the sowing time by placing containers with seeds on the lower shelf of the refrigerator (+ 1 ... -4 ° C) right in an open plastic bag. And at the same time, regularly monitor the moisture content of the seeds.

It is safer to germinate seeds in wide, flat containers filled with wet sawdust - in cloth bags or between layers of toilet paper. The second option is preferable, since the seeds germinate through the tissue, and it is simply impossible to remove them without damaging them. Daily washing of seeds with water is mandatory.

A very good result during germination (as well as when soaking) is given by a single spraying of the seeds with the Epin growth stimulator.

Sowing soaked and germinated seeds

Wet and germinated seeds are much more difficult to sow than dry seeds. If you just soaked the seeds, then you need to dry them until they flow (you cannot overdry the seeds) and sow them immediately.

You cannot sow sprouted carrot seeds by hand - you have to resort to liquid sowing. For such sowing, an ordinary paste is first prepared (it should be homogeneous, without clots, viscous enough and without a film on the surface to keep the germinated seeds in suspension) and cool it. In parallel, holes are made on the ridges. Then the sprouted seeds are sent to a bucket with paste, and a glass with a spout is taken as a tool. Directly near the ridge, they gently stir the jelly with seeds by hand, fill a glass with it and pour the contents of the glass into the hole, quickly moving the hand with the glass along it. Stir jelly again, etc. Immediately after sowing, the grooves are covered with loose soil.

Unaccustomed to evenly distribute the seeds over the hole, it may not work, but after a few workouts you will get used to it and will be able to sow three large carrot beds in 15 minutes in this way.

Carrot preferences

Carrots prefer loose, well-drained and sufficiently fertile soils with a deep arable layer (at least 28-32 cm). Soil acidity should be pH 6-6.5, with a higher acidity, the yield drops sharply (liming directly under the crop is undesirable).

This culture is very cold-resistant - its seeds begin to germinate already at + 3 ... 4 ° C. However, the optimum temperature for their germination is considered to be 18 ... 20 ° C - at this temperature high-quality seeds can sprout in 6-7 days. For comparison, at 12 ° C, the first shoots can only be seen after 15-16 days. Alas, in practice there is no such high temperature during sowing, so it is better to germinate seeds at home at a comfortable temperature.

Carrots are extremely photophilous - attempts to grow this culture, both in the shade and in partial shade, are completely useless.

Briefly about the agricultural technology of carrots

Carrot care is not particularly difficult - watering, weeding, thinning, loosening and feeding as needed.

This culture is very responsive to loosening, therefore, after the appearance of the first shoots, the first loosening of the row spacings is immediately carried out, combining it with weeding.

Thinning of seedlings begins when the first true leaf appears, leaving the plants at a distance of 2-3 cm from each other. Pre-seedlings are watered abundantly. The final thinning is carried out 20-30 days after the first, bringing the distance between the plants to 5 cm. The discarded plants are immediately removed, since their smell can attract a carrot fly.

A good effect is provided by mulching the row spacings immediately after thinning - as a result, there is no need for frequent loosening. Leaf litter, sawdust soaked in urea (200 g of urea for three buckets of wet sawdust - leave for two weeks), crushed bark are suitable as a mulching material.

Regular abundant watering of carrots is required - irregular watering leads to cracking of root crops.

Separately, it is also worth mentioning the main carrot pest - the carrot beetle, due to which the leaves of the affected plants curl and deform, the petioles are shortened, and the roots grow small, hard and tasteless. Carrot fly repels odors celery, parsley, Luke and garlic, so the traditional recommendation is to grow carrots and onions in mixed plantings (for example, 4 holes of carrots, 4 holes of onions, etc.). From my point of view, this is not the best solution, since the collapsed carrot tops are safely settled on onion plantings - as a result, the onion harvest cannot be expected. It is much more effective to use a covering material to protect carrot beds and keep it on crops for as long as possible.

As for dressing, it all depends on the degree of soil fertility and specific weather conditions. Therefore, feeding options may be different. When preparing the ridges, I put ready-made compost on them with a layer of 5 cm (although the soil is already very fertile). Then, after the second thinning, I feed with complex fertilizer (usually Kemira), and at the stage of the beginning of the formation of root crops I sprinkle abundantly with ash. If a cool rainy summer happens, when the need for potash fertilizers increases, additional feeding (sometimes more than one) with a potassium sulfate solution may be required.

About the freaks in the carrot family

It is very pleasant to pick up a large, beautiful and brightly colored root crop. However, carrots are not always born that way. There are more than enough reasons for the appearance of ugly root crops.

1. Use of carrot plants removed during thinning for planting. Plucked carrots take root well, but the roots are small, highly branched and so ugly that it is impossible to peel them.

2. Stony soils for carrots are completely unsuitable - they also grow ugly and branched root crops.

3. Insufficient root layer thickness. If this layer available to carrot roots is less than 30 cm, then the roots will not be large and even, because they will have to bend and branch out to fit into the existing thin layer of root soil.

4. Irregular and poor watering. Surface watering leads to the appearance of carrot freaks: ugly carrot roots are formed, in which not one long root, but several short ones, departs from a very wide head. With a lack of watering, carrot roots become rough and tasteless. And with irregular, but abundant watering, the roots crack.

5. Untimely thinning and weeding. With strong thickening (or clogging of the beds with weeds), small and ugly root crops are formed. Therefore, it is by no means possible to be late with thinning.

6. The introduction of fresh manure under the carrots can also lead to the appearance of branched and ugly root crops, which is completely unacceptable.

To make the carrots sweet

All gardeners, probably, paid attention to the fact that their own carrots are much tastier than the state farm carrots. And it also happens that the roots from one garden bed are much sweeter than the other. And rightly so, it all depends on nutrition. The soil should be light, well-drained and sufficiently fertile - it is on this soil that more delicious carrots will be born. For example, pulling humus out of greenhouses in the fall, I scatter it on carrot ridges. As a matter of fact, I also consider it to be the main applied fertilizer.

In addition, during the growing season, one should carefully monitor the development of plants and avoid a lack of phosphorus and potassium, since phosphorus increases the sugar content of carrots, and potassium increases the tenderness of the tissues of root crops. In our climate, from the middle of summer, there is a clear lack of potassium, leading to premature yellowing of the tops and the formation of lower-quality root crops. Therefore, top dressing with ash or potassium sulfate solution is relevant.

From the point of view of taste, the chosen variety (hybrid) is also of great importance - for obtaining sweet root crops, it is preferable to choose varieties (hybrids) with a small core, such as Karlena, Callisto and Nandrin.

How to keep your carrot harvest

It is extremely important to choose the right time for harvesting carrots. Carrots should not be harvested too early - even for fear of prolonged rains. Why? The fact is that in the ordinary underground (and what else can ordinary gardeners have in the arsenal?) There are no conditions for cooling root crops. At the same time, the rapid cooling of carrots immediately after harvesting is one of the main factors for their successful storage. In our conditions, cooling is possible only in one way - when low temperatures come. Therefore, until it becomes cold enough (but before frost), you should not remove the carrots, otherwise they will not be stored for a long time.

When harvesting, you should be very careful with root crops, avoiding the slightest damage - in no case should you break off the tops (just cut them off with a knife), throw carrots into buckets (just fold carefully), etc.

The harvested carrots are sorted, separating small and damaged ones, dried a little (20-30 minutes) in a draft in a greenhouse and placed in storage. Here options are possible, depending on specific conditions (mainly the level of humidity) - storage in sand, processing with a clay talker, placing in plastic bags, etc. I don't use anything like that - I just put the carrots in the designated place in the vegetable chest.

As for washing carrots before storing them (such recommendations can often be found in the press), then I am definitely against it, since the skin will inevitably be damaged during washing. Of course, this procedure, if desired, can be carried out if we are talking about the short-term storage of a couple of buckets, but in the case of laying several bags of carrots until the next harvest, this is completely unacceptable.

And the last thing to remember: before storing vegetables, the store must be disinfected (it means whitewashing or spraying with quicklime mixed with iron or copper sulfate), and during storage it should be kept at a temperature of + 1 ... -2 ° C and relative humidity 90-95%. Without observing these conditions, it will not work well to preserve carrots.

Svetlana Shlyakhtina, Yekaterinburg

How to collect pepper seeds

Planting peppers for seedlings, you can also collect from your seeds. Pepper seeds can be harvested from your own grown peppers, according to the varieties you choose. You can buy large peppers at the store. If you liked the taste. Put it on the windowsill to ripen.

Then remove the seeds from it and put to dry, spreading them on paper. I myself have been taking seeds for more than one year, the pepper grows excellent.

You have bought seeds and are about to start planting indoors. Soak seeds in warm water overnight before planting.

I grew seeds with and without soak and I found that the ones I did germinated better.

So I drop the seeds onto cheesecloth in a cup of warm water overnight and then plant in the morning.

Keep track of which seeds are in the cup. You will plant 3 seeds per line. Only one of these three seeds will become a producing plant, so don't skimp on seeds.

Plus, just because your seeds are germinating does not guarantee that they will all survive and become healthy plants.

First of all, before planting, the seeds need to be denied, in a 1% solution of potassium permanganate for an hour.

To speed up the process

place the seeds between damp sheets of paper towel, place them in a zippered plastic bag, and place the bag in a warm place. I lay on top of the refrigerator.

Once the pepper seeds have sprouted, carefully place them in separate containers, such as peat pots.

When the first true leaves appear, transplant the plants to a sunny south window until you can transplant them into the garden.

Do not put off replanting peppers until the night temperature reaches an average of 13-16 degrees.
If you do not want to plant seedlings, you can buy pepper from your local garden center. However, the choice of varieties is usually very limited.

Carrots are so sweet that they are eaten as a dessert. The average level of sugars in root vegetables is about 4%, but there are species in which there are much more sugars. Delicious juices are obtained from such fruits, and it is a pleasure to just gnaw fresh.

NameSugar contentDescription of the variety
Baby sweet8,3%Perhaps the sweetest carrot. Root crops with reddish-orange pulp, juicy, sweet. Stores well, but not particularly disease resistant.
The emperor7-9%Bright fruits with a pointed tip, weighing 100 grams. With fragrant, dense pulp. A big plus - the taste of the fruit improves during storage.
Caramel7,5%Smooth orange fruits with a blunt tip, weighing up to 170 grams. Resistant to flowers and does not crack.
Gourmet7,6%Large, long fruits of rich, bright color. The pulp is juicy with a thin core. Requires observance of agricultural technology.

There are varieties of carrots without a core that also have a very sweet taste, these are:

  • Yaroslavna,
  • Praline,
  • Natalia F1.
  • Carrot "Children's sweet"
  • Variety "Natalia F1"

Even choosing the best outdoor carrot seeds may not yield a crop because it will be destroyed by pests. However, there are varieties that are even resistant to pests.

Proper harvesting of carrots, preparation for storage.

You don't have to rush to harvest carrots, they are not afraid of frosts, and in recent months they are just beginning to gain vitamins and juiciness. The main thing is to remove it in dry weather. I usually harvest carrots in mid-October.

You can use a garden pitchfork for digging, they will not cut the root crop. In general, it is enough just to raise the layer of earth and pull out the carrot. I fold it right there, in a row in the garden bed and dry it during the day. Carrots dug up in rainy weather require drying for several days.

After the roots are dry, you need to remove the tops. Just don't cut it off. It is faster and more convenient to do this with a sharp knife. You only need to leave 2-3 mm. For long-term storage, I choose the most beautiful root crops without damage and disease. The rest I start up for blanks, for quick use and for rabbits.

Errors in soil preparation

  1. Excessive nitrogen fertilization is used. Root crops are of low quality and taste bitter. The correct dosage of nitrogen fertilizers allows you to get large sweet carrots.
  2. Just before sowing, add a large amount of fresh manure to the garden bed. As a result, the tops are actively developing, weak and small roots grow, which branch strongly, and quickly deteriorate during storage. Carrots can be sown only two years after the introduction of manure into the land.
  3. Sow carrots on acidic soil. In such an environment, the process of assimilation of useful microelements is disrupted. You cannot grow sweet root vegetables. In autumn, liming of acidic soil is necessary.
  4. They do not loosen the earth, do not remove stones. The carrots turn out to be twisted, strongly branched. The soil must be carefully prepared for planting. If possible, it is better to sift.

Methods for storing carrots in an apartment

The temperature regime for the successful storage of a vegetable should be within 0… + 1 degrees with a relative humidity of 90–95%. It is not easy to ensure the specified conditions in the apartment, therefore, we will tell you about some secrets, the observance of which will allow you to successfully save the necessary vegetable without a cellar or vegetable store:

    the refrigerator is the safest place to store root vegetables. Well-dried, clean and chilled carrots are placed in plastic containers with a lid, the bottom of which is lined with paper towels to absorb excess moisture, and placed in a vegetable drawer. Similarly, you can store a small amount of carrots for 1-2 months.

The method of storing carrots in plastic bags has been tested over the years and is based on protecting root crops from exposure to air

Pre-washed and trimmed carrots are wrapped in a food stretch film, trying to ensure that each carrot is completely wrapped in a film and does not come into contact with the "neighbors"

To get a clay mash, it is necessary to dilute the clay with water to the consistency of thick sour cream, so that it cannot then drain from the root crops

Sand reduces the evaporation of moisture from carrots, prevents the development of putrefactive diseases, ensures a constant temperature

Small amounts of carrots can be grated or diced, folded into plastic bags or plastic containers, and frozen. With this method of storage, some vitamins are lost and the taste of carrots deteriorates.

Video: the results of storing carrots in plastic bags

When choosing any storage method, remember that root vegetables need to be sorted out periodically in order to timely notice and remove vegetables that are starting to deteriorate.

How to water carrots throughout the season

Everyone knows that carrots are drought-resistant crops. But, despite this fact, it requires regular watering throughout the growing season. Watering should be especially abundant in the summer during the growth of the root crop. At this point, in hot weather, moisture quickly evaporates from the soil surface. If the carrots are not watered, the roots become short and their flesh coarse. This is caused by a lack of moisture at a depth of 20-30 cm in the soil, where the zone of the plant root system is located. From this, the lateral roots grow and the carrot becomes horny.

Many gardeners are sure that carrots need to be watered often and abundantly enough. But this is not the case. Carrots are watered only a few times throughout the season.

The first time the plants are watered after planting. Then at the end of the first and second decimation. After that, watering becomes more abundant and the whole garden is wetted, as it should. Its frequency increases up to 1 time per week. In this case, it is advisable not to wet the tops of plants in order to avoid the appearance of fungal diseases. Each watering involves the use of 20-30 liters of water per 1 sq. m. soil.

In the second half of August and until the beginning of September, carrots especially need moisture for the full ripening of root crops. At this point, the frequency of watering is increased to 2 times a week. But do not overmoisten the soil too much. From this, root crops can crack and a significant growth of tops can be observed.

A couple of weeks before harvesting, watering the carrots is completely stopped. Only to add juiciness, it is watered in the evening just before harvesting.

Carrots are always poured from a watering can with a strainer into specially prepared grooves next to the carrot grooves. In this case, the watering can is lowered as low as possible so that the jet does not erode the soil next to the plants.

12 natural ways to preserve fruits and vegetables until the next harvest

Today, many different methods are used to preserve agricultural products. In industry, this is processing with small doses of radiation, and applying special oil compositions to the surface of fruits, vacuum packaging, freezing, various types of processing using various chemical preservatives ... In the old days, they did not know so much about chemical preservatives, people used natural substances, capable of hindering the vital activity of microorganisms, leading to spoilage of products. These were the substances most readily available in a given area - peat, gypsum, charcoal, sand, lime, well water, wheat bran, and even maple leaves. In this article I will tell you how to preserve the harvest for a long time using natural methods.

12 natural ways to preserve fruits and vegetables until the next harvest

Watch the video: How I Store ROOT VEGETABLES that last through the winter!. Market Garden. Grow GREAT carrots!

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