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Planting Seeds

PLANTING YOUR USDA ORGANIC MIX OF MULTI-COLORED CARROT SEEDS

Planting Multi-colored CarrotsThank you for visiting my website to learn more about your USDA Organic mix of carrot seeds and healthful eating! Proper nutrition is an important foundation for health and wellbeing. Throughout the primary years, children are rapidly changing, growing, and developing in both ability and personality. While regular exercise has been a major focus of educational curriculums, one of the most important components of overall wellness is often overlooked: the importance of proper nutrition.

By consuming a diet of mostly whole, plant-based foods, we are far more likely to avoid a host of problems that are beginning to show up earlier these days such as diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases, cancers, and chronic autoimmune diseases. According to a study by California researchers Jacobson and Gange (1) it is estimated that over 9 million people in the United States have an autoimmune disease, females are 2-3 times more likely than males to develop autoimmune diseases, and some estimates cite numbers as high as 12-13 million people.

By planting and harvesting from your own garden, you can help stop these diseases in their tracks, not only for yourself, but for future generations by educating your family and friends on the importance of growing organic vegetables that are free from pesticides and chemicals that cause these diseases, and rich in vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that promote wellness and vitality.

Planting and Growing your Carrot Seeds
Your seed packet contains a mix of Atomic Red, Cosmic Purple, Solar Yellow, and Lunar White carrot seeds that are certified USDA Organic. Sow carrot seeds directly into your garden. In the northeast, seed any time from early spring through summer, sowing fall carrots 80–90 days prior to the first fall frost date.

I use the square foot gardening method. Square Foot Gardening is a simple system that adapts to all levels of experience; it is a condensed, natural, and organic method of gardening. Using the square foot method, soil should be 1 part vermiculite, 1 part peet moss, and 1 part mixed compost. For more information on how to prepare soil and garden using the Square Foot Gardening method, click here.

Sow your seeds 1/8-1/4 inch deep, planting only a pinch (3-4 seeds) spaced 3 inches apart. Using the square foot method, this should yield 16 carrots in one 12×12 inch square. Water gently so shallow seeds don’t wash away.

Pest Prevention
3-4 year crop rotations are recommended by most to avoid Alternaria Leaf Blight, Cercospora Leaf Blight, Downy Mildew, and White Mold. However by using the square foot method, crop rotation is easy because you automatically have 3 rotations per square in any given spring/summer/fall growing season. Avoid overwatering to prevent damping-off of seedlings and root diseases for more mature carrots. Try to minimize physical injury of the roots prior to storage if not using right away.

Harvest
Brush the soil around the top of the carrot away to see how big it is. Harvest when the roots are about 1 inch in diameter. Use a digging fork or trowel to loosen the soil around the roots before pulling them or the tops may break off. Wash, remove tops, and place in an open plastic bag to keep fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. For longer term storage, do not wash the roots. Brush soil off, remove tops, and layer in a root cellar for up to 6 months. In mild winter areas or with proper protection (make a cover for your garden during frost), carrots can remain in the ground and be harvested as needed.

If kept cool and dry, seeds can be stored for 4-5 years.

More information on gardening can be obtained from our Master Gardners at the Penn State Berks Extension. http://extension.psu.edu/berks

For healthy recipes, please visit my BLOG or see my column entitled “Strength in Plants” in the Reading Eagle, Berks Country Section every other Wednesday.