The carrot, a popular table root, originates in Iran and Afghanistan and comes in a variety of colors including yellow and purple. However, the most cultivated variety is the orange one, due to its high nutritional value compared to the others.
Carrot is a popular root not only for its ease of cultivation, but also for its numerous health benefits. It is an excellent source of vitamins A, B1, B2, B5 and C, in addition to containing calcium, sodium and potassium, which makes it capable of strengthening bones and teeth, relieving constipation and stomach pains, preventing anemia, protecting against heart disease and promote good digestion. In addition, carrots can combat childhood obesity and premature aging.
See how you are choosing the best place to plant carrots
If you have decided to grow carrots, it is important to be aware of the ideal conditions of climate, light and soil that the plant prefers to ensure a healthy growth.
The carrot is adapted to climates with temperatures between 14ºC and 21ºC. At temperatures above 31ºC, its development is impaired, and below 6ºC there is a risk of compromising the plant. The ideal temperature for germination is 22ºC to 32ºC.
For planting, it is recommended to choose places that receive a lot of direct sunlight. It is possible to grow carrots in organic gardens with other foods, as long as the place has good sun exposure and the carrot receives some shade.
As for soil, carrots grow best in deep, well-drained soil rich in organic matter, with a pH close to neutral, between 6.5 and 7.5.
Growing healthy organically
To plant carrots in your organic garden, it is recommended to create beds that are 1.11 m wide and 13 cm high. Then prepare grooves 1 to 2 cm deep, leaving a distance of 21 cm between each groove. Insert the seeds manually or, in large areas, it is possible to use a planter. The distance between the seeds should be from 8 to 12 cm.
Carrots can also be grown in pots, as long as the pot size is at least 4 cm larger than the carrot size.
During planting, it is important to water daily until the plant appears in the soil, keeping the soil moist but avoiding waterlogging. If irrigation is inadequate, the root may crack and become unsuitable for sale or consumption. After germination, water every 3 days.
To keep your carrot crop healthy, it is important to remove all invasive or weeds, especially within 26 days of carrot emergence. It is also important to pay attention to irrigation and fertilization, watching the leaves of plants for signs of nutrient deficiency. In addition, it is necessary to check for infestation of pests, as they can negatively affect the growth and quality of carrots.
After 26 days of planting, thinning is recommended, removing some plants to leave only 11 to 14 per linear meter. This reduces competition for nutrients and water, promoting the best development of the carrots that remain in the bed.
To harvest your carrots, look at the leaves of the plant. When the old leaves are yellow or brown and the new leaves are bent down. Another option is to wait 90 to 100 days after planting, when the carrots will be mature. Be sure to water carefully so as not to damage the roots, and then pull the carrots up by the leaves. After removing the leaves, wash the carrots, select the best ones and let them dry. Now, all you have to do is consume or sell them.
Growing organic carrots can significantly improve your quality of life. As demonstrated, it's a simple activity that doesn't require a lot of space or sophisticated techniques, but that offers many benefits. In addition to being therapeutic, messing with the earth allows you to have one more healthy food on your table, which can be used in a wide variety of dishes and even contributes to your health.