Tips on Growing Early Carrots
It's time to do an early carrot sowing in my garden! Do you want to try it too? Check out my tips below!
I recently had a little extra time and decided to do an early carrot sowing. Four neat little rows of Sugarsnax 54 F1. A hybrid, that is. Someone actually asked me why I grow F1 plants in my garden. Well, I'm not against hybrids. I just think that it's a bit crazy not being able to propagate plants with your own seeds. And the variety is fine. It's not harmful to eat or anything like that. I think that around 5% of the vegetables I grow are hybrids. The reason why I decided to go for a F1 this time is because I liked the description of the variety and got curious. This is after all supposed to be one of the sweetest carrots varieties out there. How could I refuse!
Early Carrot Sowing in the Tunnel
I often do my carrot sowings in the polytunnel. And an early sowing also means an early harvest. I can barely wait! The kids just love spending their time here, eating the sweet and early spring carrots. It's like I'm creating a special spot for both play and healthy snacks through my winter sowings. I'm hoping that our youngest is going to be as hooked on carrots as the older ones are now.
Early carrots grow quickly, unlike the later varieties that grow slowly and that we harvest late. The early carrots are long and skinny, while the late fall varieties are a bit thicker.
Small and Fast-growing
The first thing to know is to put the early carrots in quite tight rows. These carrots simply don't need that much space, because the tops stay small. So, you only need around 0.5 ft (15 centimeters) between the rows.
I draw up the rows with my hand and don't worry too much about how deep they are.
After that, I take a little pinch of seeds and scatter them in the row by rubbing my fingertips together and dropping the seeds. I have to make sure not to put them too close together, but not too far away either. It doesn't matter if a few of them drop right on top of each other though. This will just cause the carrots to grow in a little cluster. Since I'm planning on harvesting them so soon, I generally don't have to worry about competition for the space, water or fertilizers.
The next step is to add a little soil on top of the rows and flatten it. I put a layer of snow on the sowing too. Simply because it's available. You don't have to water your winter sowing yet though and can wait a while. The wintersown carrots in my polytunnel germinate in March, so I need to add some water in February (at the latest.)
So: The best way to do an early carrot sowing is to simply scatter the seeds with your fingers. It's a fast and easy way to sow seeds. I just don't have time for any gadgets. All I can do now it wait!
- Only choose fast-growing varieties. These are often called early carrots.
- Put the seeds in sparse rows.
- Or, just do a broadcast sowing with some space between your seeds.
- You can always sow your seeds in large pots if you don't have access to your regular beds.
- Don't thin the rows when the carrots start growing. Let them grow close together and harvest them while small.
Is the soil in your greenhouse or polytunnel frozen? Don't worry about it! You can still grow early carrots here. Just scatter the seeds on top of the area and then cover the area with a layer of soil. Good luck!