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Carrots are a garden crop that is demanding on growing conditions. A large harvest can be obtained even from one garden bed, if the place for planting is properly prepared.
An important parameter of the soil is its composition. In a depleted area, carrots grow small and tasteless.
Before sowing seeds, it is necessary to determine the type of land, take measures to improve its quality.
Why is preparation needed?
During the autumn digging, insect pests appear on the surface and die in winter. Fertilizing and liming acidic soil will help you grow a rich and tasty crop.
Carrot seeds germinate better in loose soil. In order for root crops to grow even, you need to thoroughly clean the area of debris.
Read how to sow seeds so that carrots sprout quickly here.
When to start?
The land for planting carrots begins to be prepared in the fall.when the garden season is over. In the spring, work on the selected site begins 10-14 days before sowing the seeds (when do you need to plant carrots on seeds and how to collect the seed yourself?).
When choosing a site for carrots, the following soil parameters should be taken into account:
The optimum acidity of the soil for carrots is neutral, i.e. with pH values in the range of 6.5-7.0. It is allowed to grow an orange vegetable in slightly acidic soil. The humus content should not be less than 4%.
It is better to sow carrots in loose sandy or loamy soil. It should be free of stones, large lumps and roots. The ideal soil density for carrots is 0.65 g per cm3... In light soil, which includes a sufficient proportion of sand, the roots are sweet and juicy. When growing a vegetable in heavy soil, the yield is significantly reduced.
Clay soil is not suitable for planting carrots. (read about planting methods here, and find out which scheme for planting carrots is better to choose and why it is so important here). A dense crust forms on it, which prevents the germination of seeds. Seedlings will be weak and uneven. In soil with a high clay content, water stagnates, which leads to decay of root crops.
Step-by-step instructions for preparing the soil in the garden
Before proceeding with sowing carrots, it is necessary to determine the type and moisture content of the soil, its acidity.
Determination of soil type
You can determine the type of soil using a simple folk method.... To do this, a handful of soil is slightly moistened with water, they try to mold a ball, then roll it into a sausage and a bagel. After the performed manipulations, the result is assessed:
- Clay soil is plastic, easy to mold and keeps its shape.
- A ball and a sausage are easily obtained from loam, and cracks form on the donut. It can disintegrate. If the loam is light, you won't be able to form a sausage.
- It is impossible to mold a ball from sandy loam soil, but the lump rolls well into a thin lace.
- Sandy soil crumbles in the palms.
- The black "bold" imprint, which leaves the soil on the palm after squeezing it into a fist, is a sign of black soil.
Methods for determination of acidity
The acidity of the soil is determined using a special device - pH meter. You can use other reliable methods.
To determine the acidity of the soil in specialized stores, kits are sold that include a color scale and strips soaked in reagents. To get indicators, you need to perform a number of actions:
- Dig a hole 35 cm deep. Collect 4 soil samples from the walls, put them in a glass container and mix.
- Moisten the primer with distilled water in a 1: 5 ratio. Wait 5 minutes, then immerse the litmus strip in the mixture for a couple of seconds.
- Compare the resulting color on paper with the pH scale.
You can judge the pH level of the soil by its appearance plot. A number of signs indicate increased acidity:
- whitish surface of the earth;
- water in depressions with a rusty tint;
- brown sediment in place of absorbed moisture;
- rainbow film on the surface of the puddle.
Each site has its own weed. To find out what kind of land certain plants love, the table will help:
|Acidity of the earth||Growing plants|
|Neutral||Quinoa, nettle, red clover.|
|Alkaline||Poppy, field bindweed.|
|Slightly acidic||Mother-and-stepmother, sow thistle, clover, alfalfa, highlander bird, wheatgrass, woodlice, burdock.|
|Sour||Horse sorrel, stellate, horsetail, plantain, creeping buttercup, moss, popovnik, sedge, sweet bell, sticking out whitebush, mint, meadow cornflower, tricolor violet.|
The acidity of the soil is determined using this folk method:
- A test piece of soil is placed on a glass surface and poured with 9% vinegar.
- Evaluate the result: violent foaming indicates an alkaline environment, moderate - about neutral, and the absence of a reaction - about acidic.
How do you recognize the moisture level?
Excess moisture causes decay of root crops, washes out valuable trace elements from the soil, and impairs its air permeability. To protect the planting of carrots from such consequences, the moisture of the soil is determined before sowing the seeds.
Gardeners use a tensiometer, an electrical resistance sensor, or a household moisture meter. You can do without a device using a simple method: dig a hole 20 cm deep, get a handful of earth from the bottom and squeeze it tightly in your hand. Depending on the results, the following conclusions are drawn:
- the soil crumbled - moisture content no more than 60%;
- fingerprints remained on the ground - about 70%;
- the lump falls apart with light pressure - within 70-75%;
- moisture appeared on a piece of soil - more than 80%;
- lump is quite dense and leaves a wet print on filter paper - about 85%;
- moisture oozes from compressed soil - 90% or more.
How to make the soil for planting better?
Preparation of land for carrots includes the following activities:
- In the fall, the site is cleared of weeds. After 2 weeks, it is dug up to a depth of 25-30 cm, removing stones and rhizomes. As disinfectants, use 3% Bordeaux liquid, Oxyhom or 4% copper oxychloride solution.
- In the spring, the soil is loosened or re-dug up. Then the surface is leveled with a rake.
- Digging up the site, the necessary fertilizers are applied.
- In the spring, the prepared bed is watered with a mixture consisting of 1 tsp. copper sulfate, 1 cup mullein, 10 liters of warm water.
- After sowing the seeds, the furrows are filled up and slightly compacted. The beds are then covered with plastic wrap to keep them dry and warm. The shelter is removed when the first shoots appear.
The seasonal feeding rate can be divided by 2 times: apply half in the fall, and the rest in the spring. Fertilizers are chosen depending on the type of soil.
Sand is not added to light loamy soil... To increase its fertility by 1 m2 make such fertilizers:
- 5 kg of humus or compost;
- 300 g of wood ash;
- 1 tbsp superphosphate.
During the autumn digging into 1 m black soil2 make the following components:
- 0.5 buckets of old and fresh sawdust;
- 2 tbsp superphosphate;
- 10 kg of sand.
Fresh sawdust must first be moistened with a solution of mineral fertilizers.
Clay and podzolic
In autumn, clay and podzolic soil is limed with dolomite flour or chalk: for every m2 make 2-3 tbsp. any means. With a high clay content, fertilizers containing humus will be required. In the spring, in order to increase the fertility of the soil, during digging by 1 m2 add such substances:
- 2 buckets of peat and river sand;
- 10 kg of humus;
- 3-5 kg of rotten wood sawdust;
- 300 g of ash;
- 1 tbsp superphosphate;
- 2 tbsp nitrophosphate.
The sandy soil is fertilized with a nutrient mixture:
- 2 buckets of turf with peat;
- 1 bucket of humus and sawdust each;
- 1 tbsp. nitrophosphate and superphosphate.
This volume is designed for 1 m2... When sowing seeds, it is recommended to add wood ash, which will prevent the development of the fungus and provide seedlings with useful substances.
If you plan to sow carrots in an area with acidic soil, first it should be treated with fluff at the rate of 1 glass per 1 m2... It can be replaced with wood ash, chalk or dolomite flour.
Liming is carried out in the fall, and fertilizers are applied during the spring digging.
Before planting carrots in peat soil 1 m2 add the following components:
- 5 kg of coarse sand;
- 3 kg of humus;
- a bucket of clay soil;
- 1 tsp sodium nitrate;
- 1 tbsp. superphosphate and potassium chloride.
Inexperienced gardeners can make the following mistakes while growing carrots:
- If the concentration of nitrogen-containing fertilizers is violated, carrots grow tasteless and bitter.
- When using fresh manure, seedlings can be rotted.
- If you add a lot of organic matter, the tops will actively develop, and the roots will turn out to be "horny" or twisted. The harvested crop deteriorates quickly.
- Growing carrots on acidic soil will not produce sweet fruits.
- If the stones are not removed during the preparation of the soil, the roots will grow crooked.
- Do not apply lime and fertilizer at the same time, because they neutralize each other's actions.
- Failure to comply with crop rotation leads to a decrease in yield due to depletion of the soil. Onions, cabbage, pumpkin and nightshade crops are considered good predecessors for carrots (is it possible to place carrots and onions in the same garden?). Don't grow a root vegetable after parsley or beans. The carrots are returned to the site again after 4 years.
Carrots are not demanding to care for, but they are sensitive to the chemical and mechanical composition of the soil. To get a rich harvest, you need to know what kind of soil it is best to plant, and properly prepare the selected area. First, the type of soil is determined, in accordance with which the autumn and spring preparation is carried out. In order not to harm root crops, the recommended dosages should be observed.