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Fruits, Veggies, and Herbs, Oh My!

One of the greatest things about having a Florida screened porch as part of your home is the ability to grow fruits, veggies and herbs! In the state of Florida, we are fortunate enough to be able to grow delicious ingredients almost year round!

If you have never grown your own fruits, veggies or herbs, follow our new blog series all about growing our favorite ingredients! Do you have your own tips and tricks to offer us? Share them with us in the comments section of our blog or on our White Aluminum Facebook and Twitter pages.

This week we’ll be talking about growing orange carrot varieties. The most important thing to remember when growing carrots is patience, patience, patience! Carrots are super easy to grow, but take time, so do not give up!

Since we’re growing our carrots in pots on our Florida screened porches, we recommend selecting a smaller variety, as the Thumbelina, Parmex, and Parisienne. While you’re purchasing the seeds, pick up a pot with at least one foot of depth and adequate drainage. If the carrots receive too much water, they will rot!

Before planting, you’ll want to construct a soil mixture of red soil, decomposed compost and sand, equally proportioned.

The Best time to plant carrots is in March, but we’ll be able to get away with planting ours in May.  Now that you’re ready to plant, follow the instructions listed below:

1) Fill container with soil mixture, leaving an inch of space between the soil and top of the pot. If you would like to expedite the growth of your carrots, add fertilizer to the mix.

2) Dig several half an inch holes, three inches apart into the soil.

3) Gather your carrot seeds and drop two to three seeds into each hole, then fill the holes with the soil mixture from earlier. DO NOT pack soil into the holes, this can crush the seeds and thus ruin them.

4) Water the seeds, but do not over water! The soil should feel wet, but not extremely wet.

After you have completed the steps above, it’s time to select a space on your Florida screened porch! Carrots will thrive in a location receiving partial sun and shade, they should only receive about 6 hours of sunlight each day.

Always keep the soil wet, if it is extremely hot out, you may have to water twice a day. Never let the soil remain dry for an extended amount of time.

In a few weeks, the carrots will have germinated greens. When the greens are one inch in height, cut them down to the soil using a pair of scissors; do not pull out the seedling! If the stems seem bent, add additional soil mixture to the soil so that the roots can properly develop. Sometimes carrots can be susceptible to mildew or fungus. An anti-fungal spray can be used to combat the problem. Mildew is likely to happen if the plants are overwatered.

You’ll be ready to harvest your carrots in about two and a half months! To harvest, gather the greens in your hand, and gently wiggle the carrot out of its hole. Enjoy and share your photos with us!

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