gg_carrots.jpgI guarantee you this, one bite into your first homegrown carrot and you will never be without them in your garden again. Carrots are an easy and delicious crop to grow year round in San Francisco and are often overlooked by vegetable gardeners for any number of reasons. Personally, I never grew them until a few years ago, figuring that they’re so cheap to buy in the store, why should I give up room in my garden?

Well, here is why I do now. First of all: they’re easy. Plant one seed every three inches a container that’s at least ten inches deep and water. Easy.

Next, carrots take up very little space and you can grow them right next to other crops (like broccoli) that take a long time to mature. Think of carrots as filler plants! If I have any space available between plants or in deep containers, I plant either carrots or radishes.

Also, carrots grow best in loose sandy soil. Anyone in San Francisco have that in their yards? They can be stored in the ground until you’re ready to use them without fear of rotting, and they are not a very heavy feeder which is great for those of you trying to rotate your crops.

Finally, they’re cheap. One package of seeds can produce over two hundred carrots for $1.79. Those seeds can be safely stored in your fridge in a sealed bag for over three years.

Homegrown carrots are so much sweeter than anything you have ever tasted, too, and are an incredible source of vitamins and fiber if you eat them with their skins on. Great for kids, great for adults, great for gophers (so make sure they are protected), great for soups, salads, pies and cakes.

Carrots are also great for food banks, so if you read this and plant 600 carrots at once, feel free to donate any you can’t eat or give away. My guess is once you have tasted this easy treat yourself, you’ll find lots of ways to enjoy them.

Quick tip #1 If you find your carrots are splitting, it’s because you gave them too much water. Try and water them a little less next time.

Quick tip #2 If the tops of the carrots turn green, cover them with a little dirt. To much direct sunlight is what causes this.

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