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DEFINITION

A tapering orange-coloured root eaten as a vegetable

a biennial herb (Daucus carota of the family Umbelliferae, the carrot family)

BEST TIME TO PLANT

In the spring, sow carrot seeds in fertile, well-worked soil about two weeks before your last frost date. In cool climates, continue planting every three weeks until midsummer.

In summer, begin sowing seeds for fall and winter carrots 10 to 12 weeks before your average first fall frost. (Many gardeners plant carrots after their spring peas are finished)

TIME FROM SEED TO HARVEST

Carrots will be ready for harvest 50 to 80 days after sowing depending upon variety. Baby carrots can be harvested in 30 to 40 days. Lift one or two carrots to check the size when you are ready to harvest. Regular main crop carrots are usually ready for lifting when they are ¾ to 1 inch thick three quarter inch thick

AMOUNT OF WATER REQUIRED IN SOIL

Proper watering can make a difference. Carrots need 2cm of water from rainfall each week during the growing season. Soaking well when watering helps to promote good root development

 

TEMPERATURES

Carrots develop normally within a great range of temperatures and are grown throughout the world with  the exception of the very warmest areas. Root growth is fastest at a temperature between 15 ºC and 18 ºC, while optimum temperatures for shoot growth are somewhat higher. Seeds of carrot may germinate at low temperatures but the germination period is shorter at higher temperatures and a soil temperature of at least 10 ºC is therefore recommended. Carrots are tolerant of long days but need low temperatures to induce flowering

WATER REQUIRED - HYDROPONICS

Most tap water will do, though it is a good idea to let it sit out overnight to de-chlorinate and also to come up to room temperature. This helps prevent damage from temperature shock

 

HARVESTING AND STORAGE

Pull or dig spring-sown carrots when roots reach mature size and show rich color. Taste improves as carrots mature, but do not leave mature carrots in warm soil any longer than necessary (many critters like carrots). Summer-sown carrots that mature in cool fall soil can be left in the ground longer, but should be dug before the ground freezes to preserve their quality. Remove tops to prevent moisture loss, rinse clean, and store in a refrigerator or cold root cellar. Most varieties keep for several months in the fridge. Carrots also may be canned, pickled, dried or frozen

HEALTH BENEFITS

Carrots are perhaps best known for their rich supply of the antioxidant nutrient that was actually named for them: beta-carotene. However, these delicious root vegetables are the source not only of beta-carotene, but also of a wide variety of antioxidants and other health-supporting nutrients. The areas of antioxidant benefits, cardiovascular benefits, and anti-cancer benefits are the best-researched areas of health research with respect to dietary intake of carrots

NUTRITIONAL FACTS

This food is very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate and Manganese, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Potassium