For years this has been the standard garden for heavy or shallow soil. It has a broad, blocky shape with little taper, and its color is wonderful all through. Harvest the roots early or leave to grow for weeks to develop maximum yield. Even when large, they still have fine flavor and texture.
START SEEDS OUTDOORS
In spring once danger of hard frost is past, sow seeds in full sun in finely worked, fertile soil. Sow 1/4 inch deep and 1/2 inch apart in rows 8 inches apart, or broadcast seeds thinly in beds and cover lightly.
Keep seed bed evenly moist as carrots can be slow to germinate, emerging over 10 to 21 days. If first sowing comes up unevenly, replant right away as seedlings catch up quickly. Thin young carrots several times so seedlings are 2 to 3 inches apart and have room to size up.
Carrots like well worked soil and need consistent moisture to grow well. If your soil tends to dry out, cover seedbed with floating row covers to help retain moisture during the germination period. Keep carrots well weeded throughout the growing season. Plant again 3 months before first expected fall frost for a late crop.
HARVEST AND USE
Let carrots size up to 4 to 5 inches long before pulling for best sweet flavor. Enjoy raw, sliced up as tasty fresh snacks, or sauté, steam, stirfry or braise. Cut in chunks and toss with oil, then roast until tender and sprinkle with fresh herbs, just before serving.
Soil temperature: 60 - 65 degrees fahrenheit
Seeding depth: 0.25 - 0.5 inches
Germination days: 12 - 18 days
Maturation days: 70 days