Carrots are an easy-to-grow staple in most gardens with well-drained, moderately fertile soils and a sunny location. They add a nice fresh addition to salads, vegetable trays, and side dishes. Carrots can also be pressure canned, dehydrated and stored in a root cellar for long term as well. Plus, carrots are a powerhouse of nutrients!
Easy Steps on How to Grow Carrots
WE WILL COVER:
- Pelleted Seeds and Seed Tape
- Planting instructions
- Cold Hardiness
- Days to Germinate
- Days to Maturity
- Storage Tips
- Plus, a few fresh Garden Carrot recipes
Find Your Zone:
FREE USDA Hardiness Zone Planting Guide
- All Carrots need well-drained soil with a pH between 6.0 and 6.8 (adjust to higher pH with wood ash or garden limestone)
- Moist loamy soils but not waterlogged
- Garden Beds, Raised Beds, Containers or Pots all work well
- Just make sure to have at least 15+ inches of soil in your containers as carrots need room for their roots to grow deep
- Apply Organic All-Purpose Fertilizer if necessary
Depending on your geographic location, soils vary tremendously and need different soil amendments.
It is easy to find out how to test your soil with this inexpensive soil tester from Amazon.
Carrots love full sun but can tolerate a little bit of shade; 6+ hours of full sunshine should be enough for a healthy crop.
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Carrots prefer moderate to warmer temperatures with soil temperature being above 45 degrees.
Plant late spring to mid-summer for early, main crop and storage carrots.
Sow your fall plantings approximately 2 1/2 to 3 months before scheduled frosts for your area.
Plant carrots early spring when the soil can be worked and temperatures begin to warm. They will not germinate well in cold weather.
Special Note: Carrots seeds are tiny and they look just like every other speck of dirt.
Consider pelleted carrots seeds or DIY carrot seed tape to help with planting.
Specifics on Planting Carrots:
Quick Tips: if you are not planting pelleted seeds or using seed tape, consider this easy step:
Dust your carrot seed in flour just before planting; the flour coats the carrot seeds and make this easier to see and to properly space when planting. This step helps eliminate tedious thinning of tiny seedlings……it is a huge time-saving step!
- Plant in 2 inch wide bands
- 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch deep
- 1 to 2 inches apart in all directions
- approx 30 seeds per foot in the 3 inch wide bands
- Maintain a damp moist surface. Do not let carrot seeds dry out during germination
- Hand Weed or Mulch to suppress weeds
♦Keep soil surface moist. Dry and windy type weather can drastically reduce carrot seed germination.
French Watering Cans are especially useful.
FOR COMPANION PLANTING:
Carrots LOVE Beans, Leeks, Lettuces, Onions, Peas, Radishes, and Tomatoes BUT Carrots DO NOT LIKE Brassicas (broccoli||Cabbages||Cauliflower||Brussel Sprouts)
♦Please Note: add this information to your Gardening Journal.
5. COLD HARDINESS:
All Carrots can tolerate a little cool weather. Just watch for prolonged cold, damp weather as the seeds will not germinate.
6. DAYS to GERMINATE: approximately 15+ days
Carrots typically germinate in approximately 15 to 21 days; have patience as they do take a long time to germinate
Plan to thin your carrots if they are too closely planted. Thinning allows for larger carrots with proper spacing. Go ahead and thin at the seedling stage for extremely crowded areas. Then, wait and start to thin again as fingerling size carrots develop. This will give you fresh carrots plus allow more spacing for larger carrots to grow.
8. EASY to GROW VARIETIES:
9. DAYS to MATURITY:
Dates vary but early Carrots mature in approximately 45 days for fingerling size
Carrots mature at different rates depending on if they are early, main crop or storage varieties but generally, they can start to be harvest in approximately 45+ days.
Thin your main crop and storage carrot beds for early tender fingerlings but wait longer until your carrots reach the size you desire
10. HOW to HARVEST:
- Begin harvesting your Carrots as soon as the Carrots are large enough.
- Soil should be somewhat moist. It is difficult to pull carrots from dry ground.
- Practice good thinning techniques.
- Carefully pulled tops of carrots and ease them out of the ground
- If the ground is difficult, then slide a dandelion fork down alongside and gently lift to loosen carrots.
- Be careful to not disturb the neighboring carrots
- Wash off dirt then eat or store
11. STORING CARROTS:
- Wash and Store for fresh eating
- Store in breathable package
- Refrigerator Crisper Draw
- How to Store Carrots in Your Refrigerator
- Or, quickly blanch and put in freezer bags, containers or jars for freezing
- If you live in more temperate zones, consider leaving your carrots in the ground.
To leave carrots in the ground, simply hill up around them and cover them with straw, leaves, a bale of hay to protect them from freezing temperatures and from having the frost go into the ground.
We are not able to do this in Wyoming as our frost goes down 4 to 5 feet each winter. But, for more temperate zones, this is a great way to store your carrots!
12. RECIPE IDEAS for CARROTS:
Do Not Forget to:
- Simple Eating Fresh!
- Adding to Healthy Garden Salads
- Carrots are Beautiful garnishes plus work very well on Vegetable Trays!
How to Grow Carrots is part of the How to Grow Series and first appeared on OriginalHomesteading.com