Why You Should Thin The Carrots In Your Garden – Or Not!

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Carrot Couple

Carrots are people too… Earlier this spring, I planted a variety of heirloom red carrots by seed, then waited for them to germinate.  When I checked on the young seedlings, I knew they were spaced too close together and should probably be thinned.  Carrots need space to develop into the tall straight specimens we see at the market.  Carrot seeds are almost always seeded too close together, because they are so tiny. Thinning is recommended for the first time when the plants are 4 inches tall. Remove the smallest and scrawniest plants or those that are growing right on top of one another. Ideally the plants are thinned to about a thumb’s-width apart. The carrots can also be thinned again about a month later to about 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart.  By then the ‘thinned’ carrots should be large enough to eat as baby carrots.  Click HERE for more tips on planting and thinning carrots.  Obviously, you can see by my lovely carrot couple that I did not do the whole thinning thing.  I would make a terrible farmer.  I have always had a problem being ‘The Decider’ and choosing which plants get to stay and which get pulled out to only become chicken scraps, so I decided to leave them alone and see what happened.  Well, when I pulled a jumbled mass of carrots out of the ground the other day, I wasn’t so sure, but then – magic!  I know that the technical term for them is really ‘Ugly Vegetables’ but I have had so much fun with them.  They have so much personality!  Meet the rest of my carrot people:

Dancing Carrots

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Cool Dude with Rad Hair and Long Earrings

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Carrot Love

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More Carrot Love

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Carrot Family

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Carrot Gang

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Carrot Snake Impersonaters

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Another Photo of My Happy Couple

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Interesting Characters AKA Ugly Vegetables

I love my carrot people, but you get to be The Decider in your garden. For those of you that have personality carrots, send me photos!  For more information on proper carrot growing, here are a few more good sources:

http://www.thompson-morgan.com/how-to-grow-carrots

http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/3510/thin-plants-for-a-healthy-crop

http://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/garden/carrots-growing-guide

 

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