Success with any root vegetable has a lot to do with to the quality of soil they're grown in, and same is true when it comes to growing carrots. So to get the most out of your crop it's worth taking the time to prepare your site before you even start to think about sowing any seed!

Begin (if you can) by digging over your soil in late winter or early spring and remove any stones you find as this will help to prevent the carrot root from 'forking' as it develops. Then thoroughly turning the soil until it has a fine, crumbly texture.

Carrot seeds are small, but it's wise to plant them as thinly as possible. This will reduce the amount of thinning necessary and reduce the potential risk from pests. One week before sowing your seeds, rake in a light dressing of general fertiliser.

Sow the seeds thinly on a sunny, dry day in shallow drills around 2-3cm (1in) deep, covering the seeds once in place. Early sowings in March and April may need to be protected with a fleece or cloche in the colder parts of the country.
If you have difficulty sowing carrot seed thinly, try mixing the seeds with a handful of sharp sand and then sowing the seeds and sand together. The sand will aid drainage and will allow for a thinner sowing.
Sowing thinly is important because if carrots are competing for growth in the same space, you will end up with a overall smaller crop.

Once the seeds have germinated and are showing their first rough leaves, thin the seedlings to appropriately 5cm (2 in) between plants.

Carrots will need little further attention during their growth period, although the plants should be kept well watered - too little water results in coarse, woody roots.

For related articles click onto the following links:
BBC: How to Grow Carrots

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