‘They need space underground to grow’

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If you have too many small carrots growing in your garden, it can create a huge problem underground. Carrots need a lot of room to spread their roots, so having too many crowded together can inhibit their growth. 

Luckily, TikToker Epic Gardening (@epicgardening), who is on a mission to teach the world to grow plants, has an easy solution for controlling your carrots.

@epicgardening When you plant carrots make sure to thin then out! They’ll stay small otherwise. Thin to about 1-2″ between after they sprout. And eat the baby carrots! #garden ♬ original sound – Epic Gardening

The scoop

Most people would love to have an abundance of carrots growing in their garden, but this is a perfect example of too much of a good thing being bad. 

“I planted these a while back, and they’re growing like crazy. And that’s the problem. Carrots are root crops; they need space underground to grow. So I have to kill some carrots to let the rest get huge,” the creator explains in the video as he shows his copious carrot harvest.

He pulls a few baby carrots out of the ground to leave enough room for the others to grow, explaining that you want to remove the ones with smaller tops first. If you still have too many, you can also take some of the larger carrots. 

“When you plant carrots, make sure to thin [them] out! They’ll stay small otherwise. Thin to about 1-2″ between after they sprout. And eat the baby carrots!” the creator wrote in the caption.

As for what to do with the leftover carrot tops, the TikToker suggests making an epic pesto, feeding them to your hens, or adding them to your compost pile. 

How it’s helping

Growing your own carrots can save you big bucks at the grocery store — about $600 a year if you grow 300 pounds of fresh produce. By removing the cramped carrots, you’ll save even more since they’ll grow better and prevent you from having to replace them. 

It’s also much better for the planet if you can grow your own food since store-bought produce often gets shipped hundreds or thousands of miles before it gets to the shelf, accounting for over a third of food transport pollution, per Science Daily

Growing it in your backyard can eliminate over 50 pounds of planet-warming pollution per year for every 300 pounds of produce you harvest. 

In addition, your mind and body will feel much healthier if you grow your own fruits and veggies, as studies have shown gardeners are more physically active, eat more fiber, and have lower stress levels.

What everyone’s saying

Some fellow gardeners were intrigued by the pesto suggestion, and others shared advice about thinning carrots.

“I always take the big ones, give the small ones more time,” one user shared.

“Thinning carrots is so satisfying,” another said.

“We use the carrot tops for veggie broth,” someone else commented.

“My favorite way to make pesto. Cheaper than basil and more punchy. I especially like to roast the carrots then toss them into carrot top pesto,” another responded to someone questioning the untraditional pesto ingredient.

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