To make the most of its unique hue, eating it raw is recommended because the color fades slightly when cooked.This type was a winner of the All-America Selections award for carrots in 1933, and it remains a favorite to this day.The ‘Imperator 58’ is large and very flavorful, maxing out at around 9 inches, and it is much like the common type that you will find in the store.Packets and packages of seeds ranging in size all the way up to a 5-pound sack are available from Eden Brothers.I warned you that I was a sucker for rainbow veggies, and so of course I am a huge fan of this seed blend.With names like ‘Atomic Red,’ ‘Bambino,’ ‘Cosmic Purple,’ ‘Solar Yellow,’ and ‘Lunar White,’ you know this seed mix is going to be good.‘Little Fingers’ matures earlier than most others, and from sprout to harvest, your roots should be ready to enjoy in only 55 days.This mini root may look small, but it is packed full of sweetness and comes with the added bonus that it can be planted very densely and still produce a large harvest.This veggie thrives with full sun in USDA Hardiness Zones 3-9, and does best in sandy, well-drained soil.You can find this variety at True Leaf Market in several package sizes up through 5 pounds.The best thing about this carrot, aside from its unique shape, tender texture, and sweet taste, is that it matures earlier than most other types, ready to harvest in around 60 days.A deep, rich purple color with a sunshine orange center, this root vegetable is an absolute treat for the eyes and the taste buds.Another ‘Imperator’ type cultivar, this homegrown wonder would provide an ideal talking point at a dinner party, or just something to brighten up your plate.‘Purple Dragon’ requires 65-70 days to harvest, with short tops reaching heights of 4-8 inches, and 6-inch roots.A beautiful, rich red color, these long, tapered carrots are deliciously sweet.‘Red’ roots will reach up to 6 inches in length, within 65-80 days after the sprouts start to emerge.If stored correctly, carrot seeds may remain viable for up to four years, so purchase a big package to plan in advance for future harvests or share with the neighbors.‘Short ‘n Sweet’ is a ‘Chanetay’ type that produces compact 4-inch roots with about 68 days to harvest.Narrow, pale yellow roots max out at about 7 inches in length, and are ready to harvest as soon as 60 days after they germinate.Someone was lacking some imagination when they named this variety, so it may not come as a surprise to you that this heirloom dating back to the 1930s is both tender and sweet.Another All-America Selections winner that received the honor in 1992, this crunchy heirloom delight doesn’t need peeling – it’s ready to go straight away.This heirloom variety is a ‘Nantes’-type carrot that’s sweet and tender, and quick to mature. .

Growing Winter Carrots in Cold Climate

Harvesting carrots is the first task at our Northern Homestead garden as soon as the snow melts.Early spring is a good time to plan your summer garden.Winter carrots need to be planted about 12 weeks before the first frost date.If your growing season is a lot longer than 12 weeks, start them a bit later but don’t wait till fall.In late fall, once you have harvested all the carrots you wanted to, cover the rest with a good layer of straw or leaves.A local farmer covers his winter carrots with bales of straw.I personally do not enjoy working in the garden during freezing temperatures, so we just leave them till spring.We invite you to subscribe to Northern Homestead and follow us on Facebook or Pinterest for the latest updates. .

Zone 4

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Zone 4 Planting Calendar

These dates will vary a week or two so it’s important to watch the weather before planting. .

Growing Carrots: The Beginner's Guide to Raising the Perfect Carrots

These carrots look like you’d expect: they have a dark red or violet tint to their flesh with an orange or sometimes yellow core.If you’re planning on growing in shallow planters or in a small space, then this breed of carrot might be right for you.These carrots are light yellow all the way through from flesh to core, and they’re sweeter than most other varieties.You can accomplish this by double digging their space or growing them in a raised bed (carrots are great for container gardening).If your soil feels heavy and as though it would be hard for the carrots to develop in it then be sure to add a good amount of compost.You’ll stop then because it takes carrots about 70-80 days to reach maturity.While you are waiting on germination to happen, you could plant a few quick-growing radishes at the end of each row to mark them.Fertilize 5 to 6 weeks after planting if the soil isn’t already rich in organic matter.If you see any crowns begin to pop up through the soil as the plants are growing, cover them with a little mulch to keep them from turning green and bitter.Be diligent in watching over your carrots and check out our resource for how to deter deer from your garden.These flies are mainly prominent in the northwestern United States, and they usually infest your carrots in the early spring.They can be so damaging to a carrot crop that we have an entire guide dedicated to dealing with them.Look out for little green housefly creatures because their eggs hatch into larvae that dig into the roots of the carrots.In order to deter this problem, consider delaying planting by a few weeks until these pests pass your crops by.Beat these little boogers by rotating your crops and adding lots of compost as it has predatory microorganisms that help defend your plants.Leaf blight causes yellow or white spots on the leaves of your carrots, which then turn brown and watery.This disease can be addressed by choosing a variety of carrot that has been designed to stand up to blight.Basically, because of the humidity and hot weather, your plants begin to rot.This can be solved by rotating your crops and keeping the soil loose and free-draining.The good news is this disease is caused by leafhoppers, so you can solve this by simply covering your seedlings with row covers to deter leafhoppers from getting on your newly developing plants.They aerate the soil so that plenty of air and water can make it to the tomato’s roots.However, tomatoes can stunt carrots growth if they’re planted too close together.Herbs like rosemary, sage, and chives repel flies and improve the flavor of the carrots.Radishes and lettuce help to loosen the soil for carrots to be able to easily grow and reach full maturity.Coriander and Dill both excrete things from their roots that can actually bring harm to the carrots.You can harvest them individually once they reach maturity, which varies from 2 to 4 months depending on the variety.Water before you start harvesting and then use a trowel to loosen the dirt so you don’t damage the carrots while pulling.To store in boxes, begin by twisting off the carrot tops, and remove the excess soil – but don’t wash them.Then layer them side-by-side on a bed of straw inside the box and dump damp sand or peat on top.After tasting these delicious recipes you might decide to grow quite the crop of carrots yourself.These parmesan roasted carrots make a flavorful side dish that’s sure to impress.Just typing the word maple glazed bacon carrots is making my mouth water.I hope after reading this piece you will feel equipped and ready to try your hand at raising carrots. .

Vegetables and Herbs to Plant in July

And while July may be too late for varieties like tomatoes or squash (depending on where you live), you can still pick seeds that work for your USDA Plant Hardiness Zone's climate pattern.When gardeners in Southern California are at their peak harvest in July, those in cooler climates can still get going.Greens like arugula, spinach, parsley, and cilantro go to seed quickly in hot, dry temperatures.But sown by seed in cooler regions midsummer, these plants thrive and will produce well into fall.Root vegetables like beets and carrots also flourish when sown midsummer, as they can stand a little frostnip and can be left under the snowpack to harvest later for a sweeter taste.Broccoli and cabbage starts or transplants also stand a chance when planted in July.Provided the plants are irrigated thoroughly, the warm conditions will yield a tasty crop before the first hard frost.Radishes, turnips, beets, and carrots can all benefit from a second planting in zones 4 and 5, where warm fall weather is common.Radishes, with their relatively short maturation, will peak early and can be snacked on in late summer.Brussels sprouts, basil, and leeks planted from starts provide a nice addition to soups as the hot weather turns cool.And even late bloomers like winter squash planted from starts can be harvested well into fall, as long as you have row covers to keep the frost off.Mild temperatures with late frost create optimal seasonal conditions for most vegetables in zones 6 and 7.And the bolting nature of parsley, dill, and cilantro eases once the heat of summer passes.Vegetables that are late to mature in cooler climates do fine down south when sown in July.Lucky gardeners in this general region can plant nightshades, like peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant, and pick their ripe fruit from the vine into early winter.All types of squash can be planted in midsummer, and you can enjoy the delicacy of their blossoms in about a month, followed by their large, yummy veggies at harvest time.Still, dill and cilantro (traditionally grown in Mexico) may fare well, depending on the given season's weather pattern.Year-round growing is one of the many benefits of living in Hawaii, where melon, sweet potatoes, and even garlic can be planted in July.Tropical temperatures combined with ample moisture create the ultimate environment for growing vegetables by seed.And since most herbs are perennials in this climate, add them at any point in the year as companions in your garden or ornamental additions to flower beds. .

Colorado Spring Planting Guide

There is no “one size fits all” spring planting guide for a state with alpine forests, deep canyons, sand dune deserts, and high plains.Early spring is a great time to test your soil through Colorado State’s Extension Services.Zone 4: Steamboat Springs, Yampa Valley & Parts of Northern Colorado.In April, start seedlings for broccoli, beets, carrots, brussels sprouts, onions, peas, and spinach indoors.Zone 6: Southwest Colorado (Parts of Mesa County & Farther South).Beets, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, lettuce, peas, and spinach can be planted from seed outdoors in April.Zone 7 is the longest growing season in the state, with the reasonable expectation of frost-free days from between April 15 to November 15.Growers can begin planting seeds outdoors as early as March, for beets, broccoli, cabbage, and peas.Beans, Brussels sprouts, corn, and cucumbers go in the ground in June, and squash in July.Whether you have a small backyard garden or a commercial farming operation, our insurance agents can write policies that protect your property and your life. .


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