Backyard gardening is a great way to bring wholesome, nutritious fruits and vegetables into your home. You can choose whether to grow organically or not, raise non-GMO foods, and even grow a few varieties of one kind of veggie if you want. One of the easiest vegetables to learn to grow organically are carrots. I talked about how carrots are one of the 5 best things to grow in your Spring garden before. Here is an easy guide on how to grow organic carrots.
The first step to having an organic garden starts with the seeds you choose to plant. Make sure the package says Certified Organic and if possible, non-GMO. The non-GMO labeling is new, so you might not see that just yet. Two of my favorite places to go for organic seeds are Seeds of Change and Botanical Interests.
The next thing to growing organically is the soil. When growing directly into garden soil, make sure the area has never had an herbicide or pesticide sprayed on it. If it has, consider building a raised bed or using a container and filling it with organic matter such as compost. A few great soil amendments for organic gardens include bone and blood meal, earthworm castings, and vermiculite.
KNOW YOUR ZONE
In the US, there are different growing zones based on yearly temperatures and annual rainfall. When growing a garden you need to know your zone so you know when to plant. In the southern states, they are primarily Zones 7-9 so can grow organic carrots starting in October all the way through May. In the northern states where it is Zones 4-6, carrots can be sown in April or May through November.
Carrots are an awesome root vegetable to use for succession planting. What that means basically is that you can plant carrot seeds today and then again in a couple weeks. This allows the carrots to grow and ripen at different times allowing carrots to grow over a longer season. Plant carrot seeds one inch apart from each other the first week, then plant another round a week or two later. As carrots mature, drop a new seed in the hole where that carrot came out of. When the carrots push their shoulders up out of the ground they are ready to eat!