2016: Year of the Carrot
Each year, the selects an annual, bulb, vegetable and perennial to be showcased. The selected plants are chosen for their popularity, versatility, and simplicity. NGB is predicting 2016 to be the Year of the Carrot, the Year of the Begonia, the Year of the Delphinium and the Year of the Allium. All of these have not only been popular for years, but are great plants to grow in our Midwest conditions.
Carrots are among the most common vegetables to show up in lunch boxes and on the dinner table, and they are also one of the most popular vegetables to grow in your garden. These roots are easy to grow and because they are so popular to eat, you will definitely enjoy the spoils of your hard work.
Being a root vegetable, you will want to sow the seeds directly into the soil either in your garden bed or a deep patio container. There is no need to start them early indoors, just three or five weeks before the last frost. The soil will need to be deeply tilled as the carrots are roots and grow down, versus up like other vegetables. If the soil is not loose enough, the carrots can fork as they try to find an easy route down.
There are many varieties to choose from when growing, but all of these varieties are easy to grow and delicious. The most common type of carrot is in Imperator variety with the standard conical shape and orange color. Believe it or not, there are also varieties that are purple or yellow in color as well. You can also grow baby carrots in your garden as well.
No matter the variety, carrots require full sun, well-drained soil and should be protected from frost.