Row by Row Episode 26: Mistakes to Avoid When Planting Carrots

Avoid These Mistakes When Planting Carrots

On this week’s episode, the guys talk about planting carrots. They start by discussing the four different types of carrots that are defined mostly by their shape. The Danvers type is the traditional “bugs bunny” carrot that has broad shoulders and tapers down to a pointy tip. The Nantes type, which is Travis’ favorite, is more cylindrical with a blunt end. The Imperator type is slender and long and would be best suited for softer, well-drained soils. Finally, the Chantenay type is a short and stubby carrot that would be best suited for harder, clay soils. Travis mentions his favorite varieties to plant which include Miami, Bolero, Yellowstone and Purple Haze. Greg talks about some of the mistakes he has made in the past when planting carrots. These would include not planting them thick enough and not having enough patience for germination. Carrots can take up to 21 days to germinate so patience is very important when growing carrots. Greg has a little tip to help with stratification of carrots. He says you can put your carrot seeds in a Ziploc bag and place them in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. Then, after a couple of weeks take them out the refrigerator and plant them immediately in the garden. This will in return help shorten the length and cause the germination to be quicker on the carrots. The optimal soil temperature is around 75 degrees, so the best time to harvest carrots is in February. A pest that you may experience when growing carrots is root-knot nematodes. It’s important when doing crop rotation to avoid planting okra with carrots to reduce that nematode pressure. Another issue that you can experience is cavity spot or Pythium which is a soil disease in the garden.

Show and Tell Segment

On the show and tell segment this week, Greg talks about the sweet potato crop that he recently dug. He has two really nice sweet potatoes that he brought to show the audience. He mentions that it is probably the best crop he has ever grown and that they will have sweet potatoes to eat for many months. Travis provides an update on getting onion plants from Dixondale Farms and mentions that it looks like it will be the end of November before they will ship onion plants. They discuss a little bit about there garden at the SunBelt Expo. They have ambrosia corn almost ready to harvest in the garden. As well as, their Broadleaf mustard cover crop that has just started coming up. The tool of the week this week is the single tine cultivator. One of our popular hand tools this is useful for scratching around onions, carrots, or elephant garlic that are planted closely together in the garden.

Viewer Questions Segment

On the question and answer segment, the guys answer questions about no-till farming and ants in the garden. Travis mentions that true no-till farming can only be done with heavy commercial equipment because it’s tough to penetrate uncultivated soil with hand seeders. And although many market farmers claim to be “no-till,” they are actually minimum till. Greg and Travis prefer minimum till and only use the tiller when removing crop debris or leveling the soil. For ant control, Greg mentions that there are many toxic solutions on the market. But for use around the food garden, he prefers to use something like the Monterrey Ant Control which has non-toxic ingredients. It is a bait product so it will not kill the ants immediately and it may take a couple of days.

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