Carrots in the Square Foot Garden? How could that work? You only have 6″ of soil in your garden box when you do Square Foot Gardening, and that hardly seems like enough for carrots. Of all the surprises I got this year, my first year of Square Foot Gardening, carrots were the biggest surprise. I never could grow a good crop of carrots because they require such attention to get started in my area, where the sun can be brutal. I could never keep the soil evenly moist for the long period that carrots need to germinate. I tried putting boards or burlap bags or even pieces of cardboard over the carrot patch to keep the sun from drying out the soil, but basically all I ever got was a few here-and-there carrots. And they grew so tight in the soil, that I had to shovel them out, breaking them often. They were not long, straight carrots, but multi-rooted creatures that looked like they’d had a battle.
So, imagine my surprise to get these beauties!
Square Foot Garden soil is a special blend of water-holding nutrients (peat moss, vermiculite, and compost). So just shaking your seeds out into the soil and patting it down is enough to get things germinating. I watered as usual, but didn’t cover them or baby them, and I was stunned when carrots seedlings started popping up all over!
The great thing about carrots in this soil is that picking them is super easy! First, I rub off the soil around the top to see how big the carrot is. Then I poke my finger down into the soil next the the carrot to feel how long and fat it is. The soil is so soft and loose, that this is easy. If the carrot is big enough, I just slide it right out. No shovel needed. Wow! I can send the kids out to pick them as it is not job at all. And because the carrots didn’t have to battle to grow, they are straight, sleek and only have one root. Amazing!