Carrots are so delicious picked fresh from the garden or allotment, and it is really worth giving them a go as they can be grown directly in a bed or just as successfully in a container.
You can choose from early cropping varieties such as Nantes 2 and Mokam, which are also good for growing in containers. Main crop carrot varieties include Kingston and Bangor. Of course, carrots are not only available in orange and you can grow a variety of different coloured varieties such as rainbow, Purple haze and Yellowstone.
Like all root vegetables, the quality of the soil within the bed that they are grown in is very important. To successfully grow carrots you need to ensure that soil conditions are favourable. They like a light, fertile soil in a sunny position. Growing carrots in heavy or stony soils should be avoided as they cause forked and stunted carrots.
To prepare your beds dig over the bed in late winter or early spring, breaking up the soil structure to create a fine, crumbly texture. Remove any stones or debris within the soil and add a general purpose fertiliser such as Growmore one week prior to planting, which should occur in spring after the risk of frost has past or earlier if the beds are protected with a cloche or fleece.
Carrot seeds are sown March till July, which allows for a summer and autumn harvest. Carrot seeds are very small so you may wish to mix them with a handful of sharp sand in order to allow for a thinner sowing and aid drainage.They should be sown directly into the bed or container as thinly as possible in shallow drills made by gently pressing bamboo canes into the soil 2-3 cm deep. Set out your carrots in rows 25 cm apart.