Have you ever wanted to grow your own food?
It can be a daunting but greatly rewarding task. Spring is the time of year to sow your seeds. Before you do, make sure you consult the Washington State Vegetable Seasonality Chart to see when to plant seeds for the best results. In celebration of World Health Day on April 7th and Earth Day on April 22nd,, here’s a step by step guide to growing your own carrots.
Disclaimer: Please keep in mind, if you start growing carrots this weekend keep an eye out for the Easter Bunny roaming the area!
Why Grow Your Own Carrots? Carrots are an excellent source of Vitamin A, providing 210 percent of the average adult recommended dietary allowance. The antioxidant beta-carotene is what gives carrots their beautiful orange color and is the reason for the large amounts of vitamin A (beta-carotene is absorbed and converted to vitamin A) in carrots. Carrots also provide 6 percent of your daily vitamin C and 2 percent of calcium and iron.
Still Not Convinced? Numerous studies have backed up carrots as having amazing health benefits, including decreasing the risk of cancer, improving vision, promoting healthier skin, preventing heart disease and protecting teeth and gums.
Now that you’re craving carrots and their powerful antioxidant benefits, you might wonder why not just buy some at the store. There are some significant benefits to growing your own food other than feeling accomplished. The three main reasons to grow your own carrots are price, freshness and the ability to control what is in your food. Many farmers use harmful pesticides. If this concerns you, you may want to buy organic or grow your own!
Carrots are fairly easy to grow, especially if you plant the seeds in sandy soil. Carrots are unique because they are resistant to most pests and diseases.
How to Grow Carrots
- Try to plant seeds before the last frost date (Around April 20th for the Seattle area).
- Make sure your soil is tilled and free of stones.
- Don’t add fertilizer to the soil before planting; it will cause the roots to fork.
- Plant seeds 3-4 inches apart in rows. Rows should be at least a foot apart. Cover with about 1/2 inch of soil.
- Water carefully after planting; seeds can be easily washed away.
- Plant again every 2-3 weeks.
- Gently mulch to retain moisture.
- Wait a couple of frosts before harvesting for sweeter carrots!
For more information on growing your own carrots visit the Farmer’s Almanac.
Spring Gardening with Ciscoe
Are you interested in learning more about growing your own food or plants? Let Ciscoe Morris shed some sunshine on the subject at Spring Gardening with Ciscoe on Thursday, April 16th at Wesley Homes Des Moines in the Terrace Auditorium. Register here to RSVP!