For improved, even germination of direct seeded carrots, premix the seed with moist sand, spread evenly on the planting bed, then cover lightly with compost or fresh garden soil. If you plant your seed 1-2 inches apart, you won’t waste the seed and can avoid thinning. Maintaining evenly moist conditions is essential for good germination, avoid crusty soil conditions. If you have sandy loam, carrots will thrive. To avoid the nasty pest, the carrot rust fly, cover the seedbed tightly with a remay crop coversheet or hold off planting until later in the season. If you have Queen Anne’s Lace in your area, especially on the west coast, you will likely have the carrot rust fly too. Use a successive planting schedule of every 2 weeks, starting in late spring, to extend the harvest. A late summer planting produces an excellent fall crop on the west coast. Cover your carrots with leaf or straw mulch in the early fall to enjoy them fresh from the ground. If you know deep freeze is coming, lift the roots. They store very well in wood boxes filled with sand, in a cool root cellar or basement store room.
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