Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sugarsnax 54 Carrots

Sugarsnax 54 Carrots
68 days. Super tasty and nutritious, Sugarsnax 54 is sweet and tender for superior eating quality. Rich, dark orange color reveals the extra high beta-carotene content. Slender roots grow 9 inches long with strong tops. Shows resistance to alternaria, cercospora and pythium. HV.

Daucus carota var. sativus: Most gardeners grow carrots for munching, salads, or juicing. The first concern is flavor. Each year we grow dozens of carrot varieties searching for improvements to current offerings, plus we strive to fill slots where traditionally there have been lapses in carrot maturity. We believe our offerings of top quality carrots are second to none.

CULTURE: The key to good carrot production is soil preparation. When the soil is somewhat dry, spade or till it to a fine texture 6-10 inches deep. Avoid the temptation to work the soil when it's too wet. Cloddy ground will not make smooth straight roots. Work in lots of composted organic matter, as this will help your soil maintain a very loose condition for uniform root development. Avoid fresh manure or excess nitrogen fertilizer. They can cause forks, splits, and rough hairy roots. Optimum pH range for carrots is 5.5-7.0.
Direct sow April 1st to July 15th. Consider making your last sowing a winter keeper variety. Sow the seeds thinly, about 4 seeds per inch and about 1/4-1/2 inch deep, with 12-16 inches between the rows. Cover the seed with vermiculite or sifted compost. This prevents crusting and helps retain moisture. Mix 1/4 teaspoon of seed in a gallon of sand or vermiculite to uniformly sow 30-50 row feet. Maintain an even soil moisture level at all times. Expect the seed to emerge in 6-21 days at an optimum soil temperature of 60-70°F. Thin carefully to about 1-3 inches apart to get the most uniformly sized roots. When the plants have 7-10 leaves, hill 1-2 inches of soil around the crowns to prevent green shoulders.
INSECTS: Carrot fly maggots can be controlled by covering the rows with insect barrier fabric at planting or by growing a resistant variety like Flyaway.
DISEASE: Carrots are subject to various blights; practicing a 3-year crop rotation and proper sanitation can prevent most problems.
HARVEST: Carrots are best harvested any time their orange color is bright. This is when their flavor and texture are optimum. Irrigate well prior to harvest to ensure the roots have absorbed their maximum capacity of water. Store at 34°F and 95% relative humidity.
SEED SPECS: Minimum germination standard: 75%. Days to maturity calculated from date of direct seeding. Usual seed life: 3 years. Approximately 650-750 seeds per gram; 28 grams per ounce.

PURCHASED: 1g from Territorial Seeds Feb '09. $2.85
STARTED SEED: Direct sowed into the garden on 3/30/09. Covered with boards (as per Granny's method - I'm not gonna argue with 50 years of gardening experience!)

1 comment:

Annie's Granny said...

I have four different varieties of carrots planted this year. Actually more than that, as one variety is a mix of several. Honestly, if it were up to me, about half of my garden would be carrots!