How to grow large and sweet carrots?
Carrots are a popular and beloved vegetable crop in every summer cottage. It is rich in trace elements, carotene, vitamins, substances that enhance immunity and contribute to the cure of many ailments. Carrots are one of the main cultures in baby food. And it is very sad when the work spent on its cultivation ends with crooked ugly squiggles of dubious taste, because in the case of carrots the external corresponds to the internal content. How to grow carrots smooth, large, tasty, high in nutrients? We'll figure out.
- Conditions for a good harvest of carrots
- The main causes of small carrots
- How to get large carrots?
- How to improve the taste of the root?
- Watering carrots
- Rules for thinning carrots
- Varieties of carrots
Conditions for a good harvest of carrots
Carrots are a frost-resistant crop that can be sown before winter and several times from early spring. In the southern regions, it is sown in warm winter (February) windows and an early harvest of delicious vegetable is obtained. Carrots are not afraid of frost.
To grow a decent crop, you need to pay attention to:
- biological features of carrots,
- compliance with the requirements of growing technology,
- soil structure and fertility, its preparation for sowing,
- soil acidity,
- Features of providing moisture.
The main causes of small carrots
- Carrots can not stand swampy lowlands, closely located fruit and forest tree crops. It will not be even and graceful and especially large when grown in the shade, under the canopy of the garden.
- Culture needs deep-loosened nutrient soil, air- and water-permeable. The presence of small gravel, pebbles, rhizomes and other inclusions in the soil causes curvature and grinding of the root of carrots.
- The root crop needs bright lighting. Beds with carrots are arranged so that each plant receives sufficient lighting. Tall crops (tomatoes, eggplant) should not obscure the tops of carrots. Carrots are best located south of tall neighbors.
- Carrots will not bear fruit on acidified soils. Therefore, one year before sowing the crop, the soil is deoxidized on the selected bed by the addition of humus, chalk, lime, dolomite flour. The soil under the carrots should be neutral with zero acidity in the range of pH = 6-7.
- Ugly, branched, bursting root crops of carrots and small root crops are obtained with poor-quality soil preparation, spring pre-sowing deoxidation of the soil, the use of fertilizers containing chlorine, with an excess of nitrogen fertilizers, thickened crops.
- The value of carrots is determined by the amount of nutrients that are formed in the root crop as a result of metabolic processes with the timely receipt of moisture and nutrients. Therefore, the lack of moisture and nutrition at the beginning and their excess at the end of the growing season of carrots will change not only the external forms and signs, but also significantly reduce the taste.
How to get large carrots?
Selection of a site for planting carrots and predecessors
The site should be leveled, without slope, evenly lit. Good predecessors and neighbors are zucchini and other pumpkin, legumes, onions on turnips, garlic, potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant. Celery, parsley, dill, and other umbrella ones are undesirable neighbors and predecessors. In the cultural turnover, carrots return to their former place in the 4th – 5th year.
Soil preparation for sowing carrots
The soil for sowing carrots is prepared in the fall. After harvesting the previous crop, the tops are taken out from the site, provoking the receipt of an autumn wave of weed seedlings by irrigation. If the site is dysfunctional, they clean it of stones, rhizomes, dig a shovel on a bayonet. Spread a mixture or complex fertilizers that do not contain chloride forms. Fertilizers are embedded in the soil with simultaneous grinding of coarse lumps of earth and leveling the surface of the plot with a rake.
Important! Deoxidants (dolomite flour or lime) and fertilizers must not be applied simultaneously. These two methods of preparation are spread in time. You can add deoxidants in the autumn (if necessary), and in the spring - fertilizers, 2-3 weeks before sowing.
In the spring, the bed for carrots is once again deeply dug up, especially if the soil is heavy clay and loamy in composition. In order to fluff them, you can add perlite or vermiculite, sand to the rooting layer.
Fertilizing under carrots
Of the mineral fertilizers during basic soil preparation, nitrogen-phosphorus fertilizers are introduced at a rate of, respectively, 50-60 and 40-50 g / sq. m. on medium fertility soils. You can make nitrophos, ammophos in a dose of 60-80 g / sq. or fertilizer vegetable mixture in the same dose. Fertilizers can be applied for digging or during the final preparation of the site (for robbery).
On highly fertile soils under carrots, 1 / 2-1 / 3 parts of the above doses of fertilizers are applied, sometimes they cost only the application of ash - a glass per square meter. and subsequent top dressing during the growing season. On infertile soils, the main dose of fertilizers is not increased, but reinforced top dressing is used in the first half of the carrot vegetation.
Dates of sowing carrots
Carrot frost-resistant culture. Shoots withstand a drop in temperature to -2 ° C. Developed plants do not die in short-term frosts down to -4 ° С. Using these properties, some gardeners plant a crop as soon as the soil warms up to + 3 ... + 4 ° C. But for such early crops, as well as for winter crops, you need to choose early ripe varieties of carrots. And seedlings get on the 20th - 30th day.
The best for planting carrots is still considered heating 10-15 cm of soil to + 8 ... + 10 ° C. Seedlings appear on the 12th - 15th day. If the initial period of development of carrots will take place at low temperatures, the plants will bloom in the first year, and the root crop will be rough and tasteless. The optimum temperature ranges from + 17 ... + 24 ° C. With an increase of more than + 25 ° С, metabolic processes in the root crop slow down, the carrot root becomes fibrous. It is necessary to reduce the temperature of the soil by watering and mulching, and air - by fine spraying (foggy watering).
How to improve the taste of the root?
With a properly prepared site, the taste of root crops of carrots depends on the availability of basic nutrients (and their proper ratio), trace elements, moisture, plant density and varieties during the growing season.
Carrots cannot tolerate overfeeding and react to it with a decrease in the quality of root crops, especially with an excess of nitrogen fertilizers. The pulp of the root crop becomes tasteless. But carrots need a good supply of potassium, which contributes to the accumulation of sugars in root crops, increases the shelf life and overall yield. Of potash fertilizers, it is better to use calimag. It is chlorine free.
During the warm period, carrots are fed 2-3 times, sometimes on depleted soils - 4 times.
The first feeding of carrots
3 weeks after germination of carrots - a solution of Kalimaga and urea (15 g / 10 l of water). 20 g of superphosphate can be added to the solution. With sufficient soil filling with fertilizers in the autumn-spring preparation, the first top dressing can be carried out later, in the phase of 5-6 leaves.
The second feeding of carrots
After 2-3 weeks, the second top dressing is done by adding Kemira station wagon (50-60 g / sq. M), nitrophoski, Rost-2, and solution in the same dose.
The third feeding of carrots
The following dressing is carried out after 2-3 weeks (in the phase of root growth) with ash (on moist soil) at the rate of 20 g / sq. m or a mixture of trace elements. The growth phase of the root crop occurs at the end of June – July.
To ensure that the fruits are sweet with a delicate pulp between 2 and 3 top dressing, an foliar solution of boric acid (2 g / 10 l of water) is effective. It is very important in the composition of the elements of potassium, which contributes to the delivery of nutrients to root crops. Therefore, 3 top dressing can be carried out with phosphorus-potash fat at the rate of 30 and 40 g / sq., Respectively. m
The fourth feeding of carrots
On depleted soils, if required, the 4th top dressing is carried out, which falls on the ripening phase of the root crop. It is most often carried out with the aim of enlarging the fruits. Usually it is carried out in early – mid-September (depending on the maturity of the variety). This top dressing can be carried out with the same fat and doses as the third, or in a different combination, but excluding nitrogen fertilizers.
Small, bitter, woody fruits of carrots are obtained with a lack of moisture, especially during the period from sowing to seedlings, and in the phase of intensive growth of root crops. Before germination, the topsoil is constantly moist. Watering during this period is best done in the evenings, mulching aisles with fine mulch no higher than 2–3 cm. With fluctuating moisture conditions and excessively heavy irrigation, carrots can form a large root crop, but it will be tasteless and riddled with cracks.
After germination, the culture is watered weekly until root crops grow, and then they switch to watering 2-3 times a month, but increase the rate of watering. After each watering, mulching of carrots is necessary. It prevents the formation of crust and lowers the temperature of the topsoil. 2 weeks before harvesting, watering is stopped.
Rules for thinning carrots
Aligned root crops of carrots grow with the correct 2–3-fold thinning. The first thinning is carried out after the appearance of the 3rd sheet. Before thinning, the aisles are loosened and watering is carried out. Sprouts are removed by plucking or tweezers, but are not pulled out so as not to disturb the root system of the remaining plants.
Waste is removed away from the garden so as not to attract a carrot fly. To scare it away after thinning in the aisles, you can scatter onion arrows or cover the plants. After 2.5-3.0 weeks, the crops are thinned out again, increasing the distance between plants from 2 to 6 cm.
3rd thinning is actually a sample of the first crop. Carrots are demanding on the air regime of the soil. Once every 7-10 days, the aisles of carrots are loosened, turning a mulch.
Varieties of carrots
In order to grow sweet carrots, it is necessary to choose a regionalized variety with a certain root quality. Breeders offer a large assortment of seeds of early, medium and late ripening with a high sugar content, characterized by dessert taste, long shelf life and other qualities.
For cultivation in the country, you can recommend universal varieties: Shantane, Nantes-4, Carrot. Steady unpretentious grades. Nantes-4 can be used for winter crops. For all regions of Russia, Moscow winter grade A-545 is suitable. The precocious variety Polar Cranberries forms a crop in 2 months and is recommended for cultivation in northern latitudes.
In families with small children, the following varieties are indispensable: Vitamin 6, Viking and Sugar Gourmet, Children's Sweetness, which are distinguished by a high content of carotene and sugar. Sugar gourmet is among the sweetest varieties of carrots. Children's sweets are perfectly stored until the next harvest. If necessary, in the annual catalog of varieties and hybrids, you can choose a root crop with the right quality.