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The carrot is a root vegetable that is usually the color orange however they do grow in different colors such as yellow, purple, white, and red. The part of the carrot we eat is a taproot but before it was discovered as an edible food item, people grew carrots for the green, lush green leaves that were used as air fragrances. The carrot has evolved from the wild carrot which is a native vegetable from Europe and Asia; cultivators found that the wild carrot had a more woody type texture and was not as tasteful as the domesticated carrot we have today.
There are two types of carrots; Eastern and Western carrots. Eastern carrots that are generally found in Asia and date back to the 10th century and are generally yellow or purple in color. Western carrots are the typical carrots we see in the United States which are generally orange in color and surfaced in the 17th century in the Netherlands.
Where are Carrots Grown?
Carrots are best grown in temperatures at 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Young plants do not fare well on hot days when the sun is bright; the plants may die or become injured by the hot temperatures that begin to develop on the surface of the soil or just below it. Hot weather will also hinder or damage the growth of the plant as it matures. If carrots are grown in temperatures lower than 50 degrees Fahrenheit this may cause a longer or slender root and the root will be a paler than normal. California produces the greatest portion of carrots that are supplied in the United States. Other states that are high producers are Florida, Texas, and Michigan.
How to Grow Carrots
The best types of soils for cultivating carrots are sandy loams or a muck type soil. Many cultivators use silt loams as they tend to be easier to irrigate and control the moisture in the soil. Silt and clay loams generally are they types of soil that produce the highest amount of carrots. Carrots do not grow well in soils that are stony, shallow, cloddy, or trashy. Some cultivators have begun using raised bed for growing carrots as this lets the soil drain much better and will get warm quicker in the spring.