Grow Colorful, Crunchy Carrots Year Round

| 1/6/2015 12:54:00 PM

Tags: carrots, Midwest, container gardening, Ohio, Melodie Metje,

Carrots are rich in antioxidants, beta-carotenes, vitamin A, vitamin C, many B-complex vitamins like folic acid, B6, thiamin, pantothenic acid, as well as minerals like calcium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, copper.

Carrots, like turnips, have been around for thousands of years. Its seeds were used for medicinal purposes. Carrots likely originated in the Iran/Afghanistan area and spread to the Mediterranean. It is shown in Egyptian tomb paintings from 2000 BC. The first records that it was used for the European kitchen was in the 900s in Spain. Carrots were originally used mainly for livestock feed in the American colonies and for its aromatic leaves and seeds.

The first wild carrots were purple. The wild carrot is known as Queen Anne’s lace and adapted very well in America. The popular culinary orange-colored variety did not become stable until the 1700s. It quickly became the most popular variety in both Europe and the colonies. Carrots are related to parsley, fennel, dill and cumin. Like their cousins, the greenery also is edible.

Carrots Come In Many Colors 

All kinds of colors are now available. White (White Satin), red (Atomic Red), orange (the most popular in the US), yellow (Yellowbunch, Yellow Sun, YellowPak), and purple (Purple Haze, Purple Sun, Purple, Deep Purple, Cosmic Purple, Purple Dragon). There are also variety seed packets available so you can grow all the colors.

Carrots like loose, well-dug soil that is rich in organic matter, but they will also grow in moderately rich soil with a wide pH range of 5.5-7.0. The ideal soil would be dug 6 to 10 inches deep and mixed with sand and compost. The longer the root, the deeper the depth of loose soil needed to grow large, straight roots.

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