top of page
  • Writer's pictureMichelle Gonzales

Growing & Harvesting Carrots

Did you know that carrots are a fall vegetable? This isn't true for every zone, but for a handful it is! That means you do the planting during the summer and the harvesting during the fall. There are two seasons that you can harvest carrots in . . . but more about that later!

Carrots are picky about their soil. In order to achieve nice, long, sweet carrots you will need your soil to be finely textured and perfectly drained so it is fertile and free from rocks. Carrots are a lot of work, but if you don't mind the hard work, sweat, and possibly sometimes tears (frustration tears) then practice makes permanent!

Photo Courtesy of Wix Media

Growing Carrots

First things first, you need to get your soil refined and prepped before you start planting. Use a soil screen to clean sticks, rocks, and clods from your soil. Once your soil is refined, be sure to add plenty of compost to the planting area. If your soil is not ideal for growing carrots and cannot be refined, you can grow carrots in containers. Make sure your container has a loose, well-drained potting mixture. Option three is to choose a shorter-type variety of carrots that grow well in heavier soil.

Carrots are a cool-season crop which means you plant during the warmer months (summer) and harvest in the cooler months (fall). This cool-season crop grows best if directly seeded into the soil. Be sure to plant the seeds 1/4 inch deep into the soil and 1/2 inch apart in rows. The best place for growing carrots is going to be along the edge of your garden beds or broadcasted over a bed. You will need to make additional plantings every 3 weeks if you want a continual harvest for the season.

Gardening Tip: Mixing carrot seeds with radish seeds will germinate more quickly and give the carrots an assist in growing!

Lightly mist the planting areas daily until the seeds germinate. Once your seedlings are several inches tall, use scissors to thin the plants to 2 inches apart. After several weeks, you will need to thin the carrots to 4 inches apart. The thinnings can either be eaten or added to your compost! Be sure to water the carrot bed with a fine mist in order to gently wet the soil but to avoid compacting the soil or crushing the soil against the delicate roots of the carrots that have formed.

Pull the soil up over the top of the carrots to keep them from turning green. Don't overfertilize the carrots as it will cause the vegetables to produce lush top growth and stunt the carrots.

Photo Courtesy of Wix Media

Harvesting Your Carrots

You want to harvest your carrots when they are large enough to eat. The easiest way to pull your carrots out is going to be by dampening your soil. The roots will pull out more easily. Be sure to cut the tops off of your carrots before storing them, as the tops will pull moister from your carrots.

Carrot Varieties

Small Varieties: Danvers Half Long, Little Finger, Parmex, and Oxheart.

Long Varieties (suited for deeper soils): Danvers, Nantes, Imperator, and Red-Cored Chantenay

When to Plant & Harvest by Zone

Zone 6 & 7 - Plant during the end of February through the beginning of April, as well as the middle of July through the end of October. You will have two harvesting seasons, one in the middle of April through the end of June and then again at the beginning of October through the end of November.

Zone 8 & 9 - Plant during the middle of January through the middle of March, as well as the beginning of August through the end of October. You will have two harvesting seasons, one starting at the end of March through the end of June, as well as the middle of October through the end of December.

Zone 10 - Plant from the middle of December through the end of January. You will have one harvesting season starting at the end of February through the beginning of June.

8 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page