If you want to add some real zip to your Celtic Ozark Garden, you might want to try to grow some carrots this Spring. They are easy to grow, and can be a real family pleaser. Here is what you will want to consider, then growing your carrots.
Carrots are one of the most frequently grown vegetables in the world. Root crops like carrots are hardy and grow best under cooler conditions. That makes them a great Springtime crop. Carrots will do well in snow, and light frosts, because the bulk of the plants grows under ground. They also do well in the Fall.
Most people only think of the carrot as long and orange. This is simply not true. You can find heirloom varieties in red, purple, and even yellow. The shapes of the carrots can also vary. Some of my favorites come from my friends at Baker Creek Seeds. You might try catalog numbers CR114, CR112, and CR113. Most of the ones I like to grow take around 75 days.
The secret for my carrots is having loose soil. I even like to add a bit of sand to my mix, so the carrots can grow deep. If the ground is hard, the carrots will be very stubby.
Start your carrots by seeding well, and thinning the small plants when they reach around 3″ in height. In a square foot of ground, I don’t like to grow more than 9-12 carrots. That should give you a good idea of how thin to get them, once they start growing. So, you get a bag of carrots per square foot you plant.
Also, carrots are root plants. Be careful not to give them too much nitrogen, as this can make them too leafy. There has been plenty of nitrogen added to gardens in the Ozarks this year from the snow. You can, though, give them a little beer! Mix a 12oz. beer of your choice in 5 gallons of water, and use that to help water your plants. It really helps the root grow.
Your Celtic Ozark Garden is going to look great this year if you grow some carrots this Spring. You’ll be glad you did.
Raymond C. Province, M.A.
The Celtic Ozark Garden