No one can deny the appeal of a gorgeous garden full of carrots. However, not knowing “what do carrot sprouts look like” can make them difficult to take care of.
This article attempts to provide a closer look at carrot sprouts and a comprehensive guide on how to know when carrots are ready.
The carrot is a popular root vegetable native to Europe and Southwestern Asia. It is one of the most cultivated vegetables in the world.
Fresh carrot is rich in vitamins and comes with an excellent source of nutrients. They carry essential vitamins like A, K, and B6.
A medium-sized carrot contains roughly 25 calories. Regularly having them in your diet means healthier eyes, lusher skin, and an effective immune system.
Growing your carrots in pots or raised beds can make it easier to identify the sprouts. Whereas, if you plant seeds in places where there is grass or weeds, it becomes much harder to recognize your sprouting carrots.
Early seedlings can be tricky to spot. They are pretty puny, and their leaves look very much identical to blades of grass. So it is easy for you to mistake among them.
Although it is quite difficult to distinguish the seedlings’ leaves from blades of grass, there are still some subtle differences.
Leaves of carrots grow out of a single point from the soil. They possess very delicate textures and have a silky look.
Grass and weeds, on the other hand, will rise out of the soil from different spots. This, however, requires you to inspect the plants very closely.
It seems like they are growing from the same spot from afar, but up close, you will see the blades springing from multiple spots.
The actual leaves of the carrot sprouts usually look like two tiny blades of grass that make up the shape of the letter V.
The second leaf of the vegetable grows from the first leaf itself. These first seedlings will appear above the soil shortly after germination.
One pro tip for people who want to locate their carrot farm is that you can mark the spots where you sow your seeds into the earth. This way will surely help you differentiate between your veggies and unwanted weeds.
Carrots sprouting will reach their mature age as small plants in the coming weeks or so. Meanwhile, underneath the soil, the roots will continue to grow.
From then, the leaves will have a distinct look, similar to that of the cilantro leaves or a tiny palm tree.
If you aren’t in a rush of telling these root vegetables and weeds apart, just wait till the baby carrot turns into a fully mature plant. As the vegetables grow, the grass-like leaves eventually turn into cilantro-like leaves on long thin stems.
Another incredible way you can identify them is through smell. Pinching a small part on a carrot leaf with your nails, then proceed to smell it. The scent given off should be similar to the smell of carrots.
Typically, carrot seed germination will occur after 14-21 days. This period seems long, but be patient, and they will sprout before you even notice.
Carrots grow best in cool temperatures of early spring and late fall. However, to optimize your carrot family crops, you can opt for more controlled environments.
You will start to see the seedlings’ immature leaves appearing on the soil’s surface once the seed germinates. Like we have mentioned, these leaves are small and look like tiny blades of grass.
Then, how do you know when to pick carrots? Well, it will take around another 50 to 80 days before you can harvest your full-grown ones. Meanwhile, baby carrots take about 30 days.
Here are tips for spacing carrot seedlings correctly.
Since the whole plants are quite small and do not have vines that climb and sprawl everywhere, they take up very little space. They can thrive in your backyard garden or the pots on your balcony.
Firstly, the soil bearing the vegetables needs to be loose and sandy, allowing the carrots to grow into the right shape. If you intend to grow them in pots, make sure to get pots at least 10 to 12 inches to accommodate your beloved plants fully.
Concerning the weather, carrots prefer cooler temperatures of spring and autumn.
If you want to plant them in late autumn but happen to live somewhere with harsh winter, remember to predict and look out for frost dates. Sow the seed 2 to 3 weeks before the first frost.
Like most other veggies, carrots need a minimum of an inch of water weekly. You will need to water the soil if there isn’t enough rainfall.
Be sure to soak the soil entirely rather than just wetting the surface to help the carrot crop grow deep.
Sow the seeds roughly from a quarter to half of an inch deep into the earth. Optimal spacing should be approximately 3 inches apart.
Seeds are not the only way to grow the vegetable, though. Planting carrots from seedlings or the top parts are also very popular and easy to carry out.
Now, you may know “what do carrot sprouts look like” and “how to tell when carrots are ready to harvest” to take care of them properly. It is not quite a hassle after your first time trying to identify them.
We hope you find this article helpful, and don’t forget to enjoy your time with your beloved carrot veggies.