How to Grow Carrots
Instructions for Growing Carrots
in Your Vegetable Garden
Carrots are hardy biennials. You can grow round and short varieties of carrots in container gardens, but if growing the longer variety, you will need to grow them in an open garden. The underground root is part harvest crop, and they come in a variety of colors and sizes.
Gardening Tip for Growing Carrots - Carrots do not grow well next to dill. Review companion gardening.
Beta carotene (vitamin A), dietary fiber, potassium, manganese, chromium, niacin, thiamin, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C
Growing carrots produces the best results in cooler areas, but they can grow in most climates.
Carrots can grow in partial shade, but prefer full sun.
Deeply dug sandy garden beds enriched with compost are best for growing carrots. (If using manure in your garden, make sure it is well rotted (not fresh)). Grow carrots in deep, loose soil to give them the most room to grow.
Carrot roots grow deep, smooth, and without blemishes in sandy or loamy garden soils. Carrots are not particular about having a precise a pH (5.5 to 7.0). (see - how to test soil pH.) However, good drainage is important when growing carrots.
Keep your carrot garden weed free, but be careful to not disturb the carrot's roots.
Carrot seeds can take up to 3 weeks to germinate. Sow the carrot seeds directly in the soil, in the spring as soon as you’re able to work the garden soil.
Prepare garden furrows 10” apart and sow seeds ¼” deep. Cover with seed starting mix and water lightly. Water lightly daily until the seedling emerge. When the seedlings grow to 2” high, thin to 1 inch apart. When the remaining seedlings grow to 6” tall, thin out again to 2” apart.
Gardening Tip for Growing Carrots - Make successive plantings every 3 weeks, for an extended harvest.
Discarded seedlings can be eaten as “baby carrots.”
During the first 8 weeks of the growing season, only small amounts of water are needed (this forces the roots to grow deeper).
Water heavily only if soil dries out as the crop matures. (Too much water makes the roots crack.)
Do not over fertilize when growing carrots. Garden beds that were heavily manured the previous gardening season work the best. Too much nitrogen causes the plant to grow extra leaves, instead of bigger roots. Too much fertilizer can also affect the coloring of the roots.
Carrot aphids can be troublesome, as can root nematodes (which make the carrot leaves curl and turn red).
Diseased plants should be immediately pulled out and burned. (NEVER COMPOST DISEASED PLANTS!)
Gardening Tip for Growing Carrots - Practice good vegetable gardening by rotating your crops within your garden space with each new season. This will prevent many plant diseases.
You can harvest carrots whenever you wish, based on the size you prefer. Growing carrots takes approximately 4 months, depending upon the variety.
Harvest when the soil is moist (this prevents the roots from snapping). Use a garden fork to lift the carrots gently out of the ground.
Harvest late crops for winter storage.
If you're in a climate with mild winters where the ground doesn't freeze, you can overwinter this vegetable by leaving them in the ground, removing them from the garden only as needed.
Otherwise, store carrots between layers of sand in bins, in a cool cellar. If your cellar has very dry air, you may want to ever so slightly moisten (mist) the sand.
Note: the advice and information contained herein is based upon our experience and study. As with any advice, please apply at your own discretion.