Amateur Gardening

Focus on… Growing carrots

THEY are among the UK’s most popular vegetables, and yet growing carrots at home can be tricky. Here’s how to leapfrog over any hurdles from spring through to winter, so you can make sure that this is your best-ever year for carrots.

Light, stone-free soils are a carrot-grower’s dream. So if yours is heavy, compacted or clay, consider adding lots of well-rotted garden compost, sowing into raised beds, or container growing. If the taproot is impeded, the resulting crop quality will be poor.

Carrots can be notoriously slow to germinate (they often take two-three weeks to emerge), hardly germinating at all when the soil is less than 7.5ºC (46ºF). Due to the individual seeds within the carrot flower maturing at different times, you can reduce the problem by keeping the soil warm and moist using cloches, and choosing F1 hybrid varieties. The increased vigour

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