Probably native to Afghanistan. The variety to plant depends on the soil: Being enlarged roots, carrots reach smooth perfection only in light-textured soil that is free of stones and clods.
Plant long market kinds only if you can give them a foot of this ideal soil. If you can provide only a few inches, plant half-long varieties such as ‘Nantes’ and ‘Chantenay’ or miniature types like ‘Lady Finger’, ‘Short ’n Sweet’, or ‘Thumbelina’ (a short, round carrot).
Miniature carrots are also ideal for growing in a container vegetable garden.
Sow lightly in rows at least 1 ft. apart. Soil should be fine enough for root development and loose enough so crusting can’t check sprouting of seeds. If crust should form, keep soil soft by sprinkling.
Too much nitrogen or manure will result in excessive top growth and cause forking of roots. Maintain even soil moisture: alternating dry and wet conditions cause split roots. To grow successive plantings, sow seed when previous planting is up and growing;
in cold-winter climates, make last sowing 70 days before anticipated killing frost. When feathery green tops are 1–2 in. high, thin plants to 1 1/2 in. apart; thin again if roots begin to crowd. Use thinnings steamed in butter or in salads. After first thinning, work in a narrow band of commercial fertilizer 2 in. out from the row.
Begin harvest when carrots reach finger size, usually 30 to 40 days after sowing; most types reach maturity in 60 to 70 days. In mild-winter climates, carrots store well in the ground; dig as needed.
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