Carrots are a very popular root vegetable that comes in a range of shapes, sizes and even colours - that's right, carrots a're not all orange!
Sow seeds directly where they are to grow.
- Late spring - early summer in sub arctic areas
- Spring - summer in areas with cold winters
- Spring - autumn in areas with cool winters and temperate areas
- All year round in warmer arid, subtropical and tropical areas
- In very hot climates, avoid planting in the middle of summer when the average maximum temperature is over 30 °C
Seeds must be kept moist until they sprout otherwise they may fail to germinate. Clear plastic/glass, damp newspaper or moist hessian bags can be used to cover the seeds until they germinate in order to maintain moisture levels.
Carrots can typically be harvested between 12 and 18 weeks after germination. This can vary a bit more depending on the type of carrot and baby carrots may also be harvested earlier.
Carrots can be eaten raw, typically with a dip or in a salad, or they can be eaten steamed, boiled or roasted. They work well in casseroles, soups and other similar dishes. They can also be eaten in sweet foods such as carrot cake. Carrots are sometimes pickled.
No matter how you eat them, many people prefer carrots to be peeled as the skin can be slightly bitter. Home grown carrots seem to suffer from this less frequently.
Carrots are very high in betacarotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the human body. They are also a good source of fibre and the vitamins C and K. Prolonged cooking destroys vitamin C and some other nutrients contained in carrots however betacarotene is more easily absorbed by the body when they’re cooked so eat carrots prepared in a variety of ways in order to get the best benefit.
Research has shown that eating carrots can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. Initial research also indicates that eating carrots or drinking carrot juice may help prevent against colon cancer.
- In a plastic bag in the fridge
- In the ground
- In boxes filled with sand