|Carrot (Dacuas carota) photo credit|
Carrots are most well know for their orange color but come in a rainbow of colors from white to yellow, red and even purple. Flavors and sweetness varies by variety as does size. The short and stocky varieties are more tolerant of heavy clay soils while the long slender varieties are better grown in more sandy soils. Plant carrots in full sun and deep well drained soils. Work the soil well being sure the soil is soft and penetrable for the developing tap root as clods and organic debris can cause twisted or split roots. The fine seed should be placed no more than 2 times as deep as they are wide (usually about 1/4 inch) and kept moist during the germination period. Thin seedlings to one per every 2-3 inches as they grow. Often thinned carrots can be enjoyed as 'baby carrots' (not to be confused with 'baby cut' carrots which are cut into smaller pieces for packaging and resale).
Harvest carrots before they reach full maturity for the best flavor, usually when they areover 1/2 inch and under 1 - 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Cut off all but 1 inch of the top and store them in a cool, moist location. Under the right conditions, they will store for as much as 6 months.
Happy Gardening! :)