THIS ARTICLE FIRST APPEARED ON 104 HOMESTEAD.

It took me several years to be a carrot gardener. Yes, apparently you have to be a special kind of gardener to grow carrots. For years I could grow practically anything… except carrots. I know I’m not alone. I’ve seen the gardening forums. Carrots are extremely discouraging, but they are (in my opinion) one of the yummiest garden gifts. Tomatoes may get all the glory when it comes to backyard gardens, but carrots really are the stars.

Finally, I discovered the trick and I was in carrot heaven. It is inexpensive and it will change your carroting world forever.

Open Weave Burlap

Open weave burlap is the secret to growing carrots. Germination is the real struggle. Once properly germinated, carrots expect very little from us. A sprinkling of water, maybe a bit of organic fertilizer (but keep the nitrogen to a minimum or you’ll have beautiful tops and not a lot happening below the soil). The burlap saves you from many of the struggles that come with starting carrots: soil drying out, seeds being unearthed, ants destroying your emerging seedlings. The burlap keeps the soil moist, it prevents heavy rains and troublesome critters from relocating your seeds, and it seems to confuse the heck out of ants.

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