Carrots are not only popular to rabbits, but many people including children love it. It’s rich in lycopene and beta carotene, among other essential nutrients. Whether raw or cooked, this orange colored vegetable must be in your regular diet.
You probably want to have your own source of carrots. That’s good! And did you know that growing this kind of root vegetable is super easy? As long as it’s planted in deep and loose soil plus watered regularly, there’s no difficulty growing. You won’t even notice that it’s already time to harvest them.
Speaking which, the main question from the headline is when to pick carrots? What’s the best time to harvest them? Is it during spring, summer or maybe even fall? That is the focus of our topic in this post.
How to Know When to Pick Carrots?
1. Maturity Peak
Before you harvest, carrots are grown from their seeds. The seeds are taken from dried flowers, specifically the head area. You plant the seeds in loose oil and after 4 months you see them begin to mature. So, when to pick carrots exactly?
Carrots are ready to harvest at the peak of their maturity. Depending on the variants, it may take a short few months or more. Baby carrots can be picked after a month.
If you prefer the full size, they mature within 2 to 3 months. Thus, you need no patience regarding when to pick carrots. In fact, the longer you wait to harvest, the less flavor the carrots can become.
2. Packet Labels
You may also refer to the packaging or packets of the carrot seeds before planting. Typically, it indicates when to pick carrots. That must be kept in mind so you don’t harvest them late.
Although rare, some brands may not have that label. If you are not sure when to pick carrots or a beginner, choose a packet of seeds that includes label.
Another indication when to pick carrots is the size. It’s easy to identify if the baby carrot is ready to harvest. But for a good full-sized one, you must check the shoulders. Its maturity should be at least 1/2 or 3/4 inch in diameter.
Harvesting carrots may be delayed for a little period of time. Just in case, it may take up to a month. But during winter, do not wait until the soil or ground becomes solid freeze or else you won’t harvest them that good.
What to Prepare when Harvesting?
If you are a serious gardener, it’s important to be ready. Do not just go pick out of randomness, or when you run out of some carrots or because you crave to eat some. The last thing you do is picking when they’re not yet ready or harvesting period is over.
1. Grab Tools
When to pick carrots, have every essential tool ready. You do not just pull the heads of each carrot with your bare hands. Garden trowel and fork are the basic tools to dig out the vegetable.
You may also want to wear a pair of gloves if you want to keep your hands free from dirt. Lastly, have a vegetable bin or container.
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2. Clean the Carrots
Wash the dirt off the carrots before putting in your kitchen pantry or fridge. This is not only necessary to simply get rid of the obvious pollutant, but also to eliminate the first trace of bacteria, especially if you’ve not used pesticides.
3. Store Properly
Do not place the harvested carrots near the apples, pears and other soft fruits. Such fruits product some gas that make carrots taste bitter.
In addition to that, keep carrots from the open wherein insects can access them. Unless you regularly clean your home and free from pests, put them in a good secure location.
It’s best to put carrots in fridge but not after a few hours after harvesting. The tendency is that they easily become limp if you instantly place them in a cool area. And instead of putting in any container, store them in air-tight plastic bag such as Ziploc.
What Pests or Diseases to Avoid?
While waiting when to pick carrots, constantly take care of them. Aside from regular watering, look for insects and pests that can destroy their growth.
Flea beetles and wireworms normally infest this kind of plant. You also be aware of aster yellow disease that causes the vegetable to become discolored from the top to the hairy roots.
When to pick carrots is not that complicated. Just record the date you’re planting them so you can track of the weeks, which is easier to estimate the right time to harvested.