Carrot

(Datlcus Carofa, Linn.). Umbellifera. A native of the British Isles, and one of the bad intro duced weeds of eastern North America (Fig. 377). The improved succulent-rooted garden varieties are believed to be descended from the same stock, though this has been denied. It seems probable that the horticultural improvement of the species was begun in Holland, and it is said that the cultivated forms were introduced thence into the gardens of England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth. The Carrot is now very generally, though not extensively, cultivated everywhere, both for culinary purposes and for stock-feeding. It is some times forced under glass, but to no great extent. Car rots are most useful in culinary practice for soups, stews, and salads, and as this class of cookery has never been reasonably popular in America, this vege table has not received the attention it deserves. The Carrot requires a loose, friable, warm soil, in the very best mechanical condition, and especially for the early crop of tender spring roots, this needs to be lib erally fertilized with well-rotted stable manure and some rapidly available potash fertilizer. Seed for the first crop of Carrots should be sown as soon as the ground is warm and dry enough, in rows 1-2 feet apart. As they germinate slowly, the land should be free of weeds. When they are large enough to be thinned, the plants are decimated to stand 2-3 inches apart in the rows. Careful, clean cultivation is requi site, and drought is to be especially avoided, even at the cost of any practicable irrigation. Later crops, and Carrots grown for stock feed, may be sown in May or early June, and treated like the early sowing. When the young roots are ready for market they are pulled and tied in bunches of six or ten or a dozen (Fig. 378). In the early spring, when a considerable appetite for green stufl can be depended on, a great many young Carrots are shipped north from southern gardens. Well-ripened roots of the fall crop may be stored in pits or in the root-cellar. The Carrot has no enemies of importance.