Planting, Growing, and Harvesting Carrots

Garden Carrots


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Carrots are a popular root vegetable that’s easy to grow as long as it’s planted in loose, sandy soil. Most varieties of carrots are resistant to pests and diseases, and they are also a good late season crop that can tolerate frost.

Carrots’ root is rich in sugar, and a great source of vitamins and carotene. Not all carrots are orange; varieties vary in color from purple to white! 

If there is a challenge to growing carrots, it’s just having soil that’s not too heavy—or, you’ll end up with stunted round balls! Most carrot varieties need deep, loose soil. 

Carrots are grown from seed and take about four months to mature.


  • Plan to plant seeds outdoors 3 to 5 weeks before the last spring frost date.
  • Carrots are ideally grown in full sunlight, but can tolerate a moderate amount of shade.
  • Plant carrot seeds 3 to 4 inches apart in rows. Rows should be at least a foot apart.
  • Make sure your soil is free of stones; carrots need deeply tilled soil that they can push through.
  • Have you ever seen a carrot that has grown “legs” or forked? Fresh manure, or even recently applied rotted manure, can cause carrots to fork and send out little side roots. Don’t use it before you plant your seeds.


  • Gently mulch to retain moisture, speed germination, and block the sun from the roots.
  • Soil should be well drained and loose to prevent forking and stunting of the root growth.
  • Once plants are an inch tall, thin so they stand 3 inches apart. Snip them with scissors instead of pulling them out to prevent damage to the roots of remaining plants.
  • Water at least one inch per week.
  • Weed diligently.
  • Fertilize 5-6 weeks after sowing.
  • Carrots taste much better after a couple of frosts. Following the first hard frost in the fall, cover carrot rows with an 18-inch layer of shredded leaves to preserve them for harvesting later.
  • Get more tips for growing carrots.


  • Wireworms
  • Flea Beetles
  • Aster Yellow Disease will cause shortened and discolored carrot tops and hairy roots. This disease is spread by pests as they feed from plant to plant. Keep weeds down and invest in a control plan for pests such as leafhoppers. This disease has the ability to overwinter.


  • Carrots are mature at around 2 ½ months and ½ inch in diameter. You may harvest whenever desired maturity is reached.
  • You may leave mature carrots in the soil for storage if the ground will not freeze.
  • To store freshly harvested carrots, twist off the tops, scrub off the dirt under cold running water, let dry and seal in airtight plastic bags, and refrigerate. If you simply put fresh carrots in the refrigerator, they’ll go limp in a few hours.
  • Carrots can be stored in tubs of moist sand for winter use.

Recommended Varieties

Wit & Wisdom

  • Carrots are biennial plants. If you leave them in the ground, the tops will flower and produce seeds the second year.
  • Carrots have a long list of health benefits, not just those from Vitamin A. Read Carrots: Health Benefits!
  • Can dogs eat carrots? Yes! Carrots aren’t just great for humans—they make a great treat for your pets! Try this dog-friendly peanut butter carrot cake for your dog’s next birthday.


Reader Comments

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There are easy to grow.Children can understand it

I am from Gambia

I am from Gambia and I seed my carrots like five days ago and still they are not gamenat I wanna how long will it take before they gamenat please

carrot germination

can be 1-3 weeks


How many seeds do carrots need to grow? This is for my school project so please answer quickly. we are growing a Milk Crate for our cafeteria.

Growing Carrots

Each seed grows into a carrot plant.  However, the seeds are so tiny that a gardener usually broadcasts a bunch of tiny seeds, and then “thins” the seedlings once they grow so the spacing is correct (matching what it says on your seed packet).

how to plant, grow and harvest.

More information about farming.

The best time to plant carrot in Nigeria.

Please what is the best time to plant carrot in southern Nigeria.
Can I plant the vegetable during the dry season?



Regrow carrot?

I have a carrot which has started to root while in the fridge and wondered if this can be planted to grow and get seeds?


Can carrot stems be planted?


So adding sand to the soil in the garden will help to grow carrots and beets better? Haven't had much luck with them.

carrot soil

The sand helps carrots from getting stunted, Frank. And you want only enough sand to achieve a nice “porous” soil. If there is too much sand, the water/moisture and nutrients will pass by the carrots. Sand helps if your soil is heavy and clumpy. Check your pH. Give seeds plenty of moisture at the start. Rotate your crops. Carrots can be hit or miss—at least in our experience in the community garden. But the hits are out of the ball park.

See below for other advice.

You have to be careful adding

You have to be careful adding sand to certain soils. We have a lot of clay here, and if you add sand, you get cement. Although carrots don't always do well in clay soil, I till the soil very well, then mound the soil for the rows fairly high so the carrots have a good 6" of good, loose topsoil. I get a few deformed carrots, but not many. Another tip if you don't have sandy soil: I till in a lot of leaves in the fall, and fresh grass clippings shortly before planting. The clippings decay much more slowly underground with limited oxygen. It retains a good amount of growing moisture, but helps drain water faster than clay alone.


is it ok to grow carrots in the same place every year

Carrot pests

Pls can Goat or sheep eat carrot leaves. I want to plant them in my unfenced garden

growing carrots from tops

I recently watched a video about growing carrots from carrot tops. Since then, I have read articles stating you cannot grow new carrots from the tops. I have a dozen beautifully re-sprouted carrot tops in a bowl that have 4-5 inches of new green on the top and the white roots on the bottom. Can I plant these in my garden for new carrots? Please clarify. Thanks!!!

carrot tops from carrots

Unfortunately, a new taproot won’t grow from the top of old carrot soaked in water. As you have seen, the tops will grow more leaves, and thin white roots will also grow, providing nutrients for the plant. The plant, over time, may even form flowers. But sadly, no new taproot will form to harvest. People still enjoy growing carrot tops for fun as an experiment, or to provide fresh greenery for an indoor display.

I really love carrots

the way I love carrots and their juice, Heaven knows. I really appreciate the guidelines given for growing, caring, harvesting, pests and diseases for carrots, can now do my own garden, thanks.


I love carrot juice

jon boat garden

this is my first time doing a garden i decided to start out with a small jon boat with carrots and tomatoes and im looking the soil for my carrots does not look deep enough from them to grow a mature growth......Can i take them out and add more soil ? or do i just leave them in and see how well they will do as is?

carrot depth

Carrots usually need about 9 to 18 inches of soil depth, depending on the variety that you grow–check the seed packet, if you have one. For containers, the mini types are best – ones that grow short or in a ball-shape. As to moving them, carrots can be tricky. They have a long taproot that extends beyond the orange part; it is important to keep it intact. If your carrots are tiny seedlings at this stage, you might be able to carefully remove them from the soil, including a large and deep root ball, and then adjust the soil level. Some gardeners have had success with this at young seedling stage. But if the plants are more established, it would probably be best to keep them as is, unless the soil level is much under the required depth.

I need help on how to grow carrots

I would like to attempt growing carrots but I have no idea how and which season to grow them, please help me.

How to Grow Carrots

Mary, The above page is all about how to grow carrots. Note the first line under the planting section, “Plan to plant seeds outdoors 3 to 5 weeks before the last spring frost date.”  You can find the U.S. frost dates here as well as a link to the Canadian frost dates. Our Web site covers North America.

carrots grown in containers

Hi I need some help I attempted to grow carrots in containers last year after 68 days no carrots I did chalk it up to gardener error as I transplanted them which is a no no.I recently decided to have a go at carrots again the chantenay variety. I took a pot added dirt sowed my seed in the dirt on Sept. 17the the germinated I thinned them they have come up beautifully. But the stems are still small they are growing in height. But I am worried they are not going to produce any carrots.

Hi Courtney,

Hi Courtney,

Not knowing where you live you may have planted the carrots too late in the season. They need 65 days to maturity in spring/summer and 126 days in fall/winter because of shorter days and less sunlight.

If the temps. are mild and you don’t have freezing weather for you may still get some carrots.

I live in zone 9B. I have a

I live in zone 9B. I have a "Black Beauty eggplant in a 4'x8' box and the eggplant has a 4' diameter of canopy. I would like to plant some carrot under the eggplant canopy for fall crop. Will carrots survive in partial shade for a fall crop?

Carrots need about 6 to 8

Carrots need about 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day. If the area provides that, you might be OK as far as light. Another concern, however, is root space. Eggplants and longer carrots may be competing for space in the soil. If you'd like to try growing carrots, the small round type might do better because they don't take up as much space in the ground.

What does it mean when your

What does it mean when your carrots flower. Have I left them in the ground too long? Will they still taste fine?

i planted carrots in rainy

i planted carrots in rainy season which germinated well. but a week later, i discovered that the population of my carrots was reducing. what could be the problem?

A wascly wabbit?

A wascly wabbit?

I have been trying to grow

I have been trying to grow carrots for two years in a row. The carrots start out fine, but when it is time for harvesting, the carrots do not get very bulky. The top half of the carrot is about an inch wide, but the rest of the carrot is one thin root that extends about 3 or 4 inches with no bulk at all. I do have the correct color in the top half of the carrot, just not a lot of bulk in the top half and no bulk in the bottom half.

The article above states carrots like sandy soil. Should I mix some sand in the portion of my garden where I grow my carrots?

I also have not used any fertilizer. What would you recommend?

Any suggestions are appreciated.

The best fertilizer you can

The best fertilizer you can give any plant is rich composted soil with the proper pH. Then, of course, sun and water. Carrots and most root crops like loose soil; sand helps to "loosen" soil: It is not a moisture retainer; it helps sand to keep from clumping. It is not a guaranteed solution but if your soil is heavy, it might help to "open" it. A common hazard of all tops but no roots or small roots is failure to thin the crop—carrots and beets esp. You need to make the sacrifice and pull the weaklings, leaving plenty of space for larger carrots to develop. Finally, we are back to the first point: your soil: Too much nitrogen fertilization can contribute to excessive top growth and little to no root growth. Check the contents of whatever fertilizer you have been using.
We hope this helps!

I think you should try using

I think you should try using fertilizers and as well as planting legumes plants in between your carrots this will add up nitrogen in the soil.

Double dig the soil and add

Double dig the soil and add lots of organic compost so it is loose and easy to grow. When you plant the seeds, water with fertilizer and then DO NOT WATER until the seeds sprout. You want big tap roots that have to go deep to find water. I did this for the first time this year and I finally have great big carrots that are longer than 1" long!

I am planting carrots for the

I am planting carrots for the first time. I purchased the seed tape. I planted them into large trough pots that are about 12" deep. Will they do well in those pots? Our soil in the dirt beds are red clay and rock. I didn't think they'd flourish there.

If you're using 12" pots, you

If you're using 12" pots, you only want to do one carrot per. Use a loose garden soil mix, soil from the surrounding area can contain disease and pests. Store bought garden soil is free from these, and there are some available with a fertilizer already mixed in. Hope this helps you.

P.S. show your plants love, they really do appreciate it :)

Sorry lol! The site said I

Sorry lol! The site said I got bumped as spam so I tried to reword questions!

companion planting says

companion planting says carrots make peppers taste better- I am doing square foot gardening with carrots, peppers, and tomatoes. Will amending with sand for carrots affect the others? I have peat moss, will that work instead? Also, I am zone 5 and should be planting carrots now. With 65-75 days to harvest, how do I get sweeter carrots in October after frost?

I am first time carrot grower

I am first time carrot grower and I'm trying to incorporate square foot and companion planting. First question is- inter planting rows of carrots with peppers (to increase pepper flavor) and tomatoes: any idea how amending soil with sand for carrots will affect peppers and tomatoes? I have peat moss if that will work better then sand as a compromise. Second question- I am zone 5 and are supposed to plant in April but "Touchon" and "Danver Half Long" mature in 65-75 days. How do I get to October frost dates so I can get sweetened carrots? Leave them in the ground or replant when?

Peppers, tomatoes, and

Peppers, tomatoes, and carrots like sandy loam. If you add compost to the sand and build up organic matter (keep it fine-textured so as not to block carrot roots), and keep the soil loose and well-draining, it should be OK. Make sure that the vegetables get enough water, but don't sit in water.
You can have two plantings of carrots, one in spring for an early to midsummer harvest and one in mid- to late summer for a fall harvest. For the fall harvest, just count back the number of days to maturity from your first expected fall frost, and also incorporate the days to germination, and perhaps a few more days for slower growth in the fall. That would be the time to plant the carrot seeds. As this will be in summertime, provide some shade cloth over the area if it gets hot (especially above 80F), and keep up with the watering--carrots do not do well in dry soil.

is it advisable to provide a

is it advisable to provide a shade for carrots

I planted my carrots March

I planted my carrots March 26th and now its snowing!! Will they be ok?

Carrots seeds can be sown 2

Carrots seeds can be sown 2 to 3 weeks before the last frost, and should be 1/2 inch deep. While carrots will germinate at temps as low as 40°F, they prefer 50° to 85°F.
You can check your average frost dates here: (Put in your zip code.)
It's hard to know if you lost the carrot seeds, ufuji. If the snow was light and didn't stick/pile up and the cold temps did not last...maybe your seeds are ok. You should know in a month or so: Crrots seeds germinate in 1 to 3 weeks, and often "unevenly" (not all at the same time) over several weeks. You do not indicate where you are; if the ground was bare but still cold from a long winter, it may have been too cold for the seeds to germinate anyway.
Best bet: Don't look back. Go get yourself another seed packet and start again. It's an inexpensive fix.

This is rear luck to have

This is rear luck to have found U.
am owner gardener in the Gambia,west Africa.
I have grown onions,carrots beets ,cabbages,white reddish and cabbages,therefore your relevance to me.
my onions are more than two months since transplant but the spacing is just too close.though bulbbing ,am not happy after learning so much from U,what may I do now?? May I thin them ,apply more NPK or uncover sand from bulbs??
The carrots too are like manner.they are about 1.5 months,grown directly,may I thin them now?
Also rains start here at about June,will growing the mentioned beg be successful.
I already know and have nurseried egg plants,hot big peper and bitter tomatoes to grow along groundnuts ,Mellon and Mangifera Indica ,when the rains will come June.
Already very lengthy,please U may reply by preference beginning with the onions and carrots,thanks!

It depends on large they are.

It depends on large they are. You can thin the onions and carrots by using then now if of edible baby size. I have had good luck transplanting onions in the past, having started them from seed in small flats. Carrots cannot be transplanted that I have ever heard of, but you need to relieve the crowding or the whole crop may suffer. If you are desperate to try I would VERY carefully did the carrots with a deep shovel as to get the entire root intact. Gently separate and replant in a trench deep enough to hold the entire root making sure the tops are at ground level. I would only with the root that must be thinned out leaving all others in the original row. Trying is better than throwing them away but I am not sure if it will be successful. Next year just plant them further apart or thin out seedlings more widely. This is a common issue but easy enough to fix. I am not familiar with African weather.

What is the best fertilizer

What is the best fertilizer for growing better size of carrot? I have quite reasonable grown (very green and about 1 foot tall of leaves and stalks) top, but with almost no carrot (root).

Carrots grow best in loose,

Carrots grow best in loose, sandy, humus-rich soil. You can side dress with some compost or aged manure. It's also important to thin the carrots to make sure there is space for the roots to grow.

I'm growing carrots in a

I'm growing carrots in a container. The seedlings are limp and falling over. Is this normal? Can I fix it? And a white fuzzy substance keeps forming on top of the soil...? Help!

It may be damping off,is your

It may be damping off,is your soil very moist? And what kind of soil are you using? Depending if its organic,it may have a lot of mycorrhizae and othermicrobial and fungal activity causing the white fuzz on top of your soil

Hi I recenter planted some

Hi I recenter planted some carrots seeds in a starter kit, not the best idea I know because they grow underground. Anyhow I was wondering should I transfer them into the ground bc they are now sprouting and I hate to see my little seeds not succeed.....

Carrots do not usually

Carrots do not usually transplant well; we recommend seeding right in the ground without moving them so that the roots grow straight down. However, readers have tried transplanting. Be sure that the soil is very light and loose. Dig a planting hole that is finger-depth and very gently lay the seedling next to the hole and very gently fill the hole with the same loose soil.

What can I do if I did not

What can I do if I did not thin earlier in the planting cycle? Should I just leave them alone? Will it hurt the carrots if I try to thin them out now? Or hurt their growing ability if I don't thin them out?

Hi, Sandy, Thinning carrots

Hi, Sandy, Thinning carrots can be "painful," if you think you are discarding good plants, but it really does benefit the remaining plants. We know; we have felt the pain and suffered the consequences of not thinning, when we got nothing from the crop because there was not sufficient space for any carrots to grow. That's what you risk.
Ideally, you want to do thin carrots in a way that will not disturb the "keepers"—the plants you are leaving in the ground. If you are afraid of disruption, instead of pulling seedling carrots, take scissors and snip off the green tops at soil level. That should stunt/stop their growth and so leave plenty of space for the keepers to thrive.

Comment: When they say thin

Comment: When they say thin closely growing carrots by cutting the tops, they aren't kidding! I almost lost half my 'crop' 12 plants because I pulled out existing carrots which hurt the remaining plant in the ground.

Question: Does the watering recommendation of 1 inch per week need to be amended per growing zone? I live near the East coast of Central Florida and my carrots seems to like much more than that amount of water. I just want to be sure I'm not over watering.

Hi Brian, In dry and hot

Hi Brian,
In dry and hot regions you do need to water more. Check the soil next to the carrots. If the soil is dry 4 inches down it's time to water. Water the carrots deeply so that the bottom of the root gets plenty of water. Add mulch around the carrots to keep the moisture in the soil.

Is it OK to set seeds in seed

Is it OK to set seeds in seed trays and transplant into the beds with 5" spacings, after germination?

Carrots are recommended to

Carrots are recommended to start directly in the garden as they are slow to germinate and a bit hard to transplant. But you can start them indoors. Plant the seeds in a seed tray with starting mix and then soak the soil with hot water to speed the germination. Place the tray in a clear plastic bag and mist the soil twice a day until the seeds have sprouted.

I live in northern Illinois

I live in northern Illinois and planned carrots in a raised bed with my kids for the first time this year. We loved watching them grow and were lazy about thinning then out. They did well anyway (some small some big but we were ok with that). We planned "rainbow" carrots a mix of white, yellow, orange, red and purple. We harvested some as they grew and enjoyed them. But I waited to do a big harvest and we had a bunch of cold weather. The bed is hard and I'm worried about damaging the carrots that are still in there (it's a lot) trying to get then out. Can you advise on the best way to harvest at this point? Or should I just let them go till next year? If I cover them with a garden cover will it help warm the soil to pull them easier?

It depends how deep down the

It depends how deep down the soil is frozen. You can try to dig a few. Put black plastic over the raised bed and hope for some sunny days. It will get warm under the plastic and you may be able to dig a few carrots. If you leave the carrots in the bed all winter they will be soft and mushy in the spring.

what does it mean if the

what does it mean if the carrots are small and the roots are tiny?

Well, first it tells you that

Well, first it tells you that they did not thrive.
There may be several reasons: the seeds were too deep, poor soil and/or nutrient imbalance, inappropriate pH (it should be 5.5 to 7), the seeds were set too close together (thinning was necessary), failure to rotate crops, or it could be a blight—or a combination.
If it's any consolation, I got only 4.5 carrots from a whole row/seed packet. I don't know why exactly, either, but I will try again next year.

So happy to have my first

So happy to have my first garden this year . . . I've planted carrots and am starting to harvest them, so far so good. I did a round of thinning and the babies were nice in salads.

Now though, I see the tops of some of the plants are wilting and/or starting to droop to the ground, and on a few that I've harvested I've noticed small worms invading the carrot from the bottom and eating their way up. Any advice on how to deal with this? Many thanks!

It sounds like you may have

It sounds like you may have wireworms. You won't be able to get rid of them now, but next year when you plant apply beneficial nematodes to the soil.

Hi, this is my first year to

Hi, this is my first year to have carrots growing, Love getting my first batch to juice with! My question is, are there seeds in the flowers that some of the carrots have? How do I harvest the seeds? Also, I live in Fort Worth, is it okay to start my fall garden, can I plant carrots in Septemeber along with kale and spinach?

Carrots are biennial, and

Carrots are biennial, and will flower the second year. You can harvest your best carrot roots and store them in a box of sand in a cool place over winter. Replant them in spring, and wait for them to flower. Let the flowers dry and brown on the plant, then harvest the entire stalk and seedhead. Place them in a brown paper bag to dry thoroughly for about a week or so. Shake the seeds off into a bowl, remove any chaff, and then store the seeds in an airtight jar in a cool, dry room.
Keep in mind that if the variety you are saving seed from is a hybrid (F1), then the seeds that you harvest may not yield plants that are the same as the parent--they may be better, worse, or about the same; they may look or taste differently, have different disease resistance, different maturity rates, or other characteristics.
As for fall gardening, you might be interested in the following publications by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service:

Hi im seeing a recommendation

Hi im seeing a recommendation for sandy soil to be used for planting them however my soil is a rich black thick type
what can I use to help lighten the soil? Any recommendations ? Can I use old compost 2 weeks before planting

Looked up the article on

Looked up the article on carrots. Clicked on the "Just Carrots" link and was taken to a site called that had nothing to do with carrots.

Hi David, Thanks for your

Hi David, Thanks for your comment. We just did a search for "Just Carrots" on the text of this page and couldn't find what you are referencing. Could you tell us where it's located within the text of our article?  We would like to correct any possible errors. Thank you, the OFA

What are the best carrots for

What are the best carrots for southern louisiana & is there an heirloom type that would be good to grow here iin the hot south.

I am a first timer at

I am a first timer at planting carrot seeds. Planted the seeds with my 4 yr.old grandson..we started planting things last yr. have planted Burpee organic sort n sweet...We didn't keep the exact plant date...but it was june...& we have green tops. .I keep them covered wirh a summer cloth to keep critters out ...i thing it keepsthe from getting scorched as wrll they look healthy...pkg says they mature in 68 I am thinking sometime next month they will be ready...but the info on this site is very helpful...I will follow the advice to lift somw out gently to see how they look @ that time...since we didn't get the date down...& I may leave some for seed I live in louisiana...may get more to plant...the little one enjoys gardening...thank you for all the good advice

Hey I am currently farming

Hey I am currently farming carrots and I expect to produce around five million carrots, I still do not have reliable market, please who is out there whom I can do business with for my production. I live in Iringa region, Tanzania.

carrot leaves

Hi sir
I would like to order carrot leaves.
i would like you to know your contact number.
please send to my email.

how to get beautiful carrot

how to get beautiful carrot

I have flowers from my

I have flowers from my carrots & it took less then 6 mouths. I'm confuse since it says it takes 2years to get seeds when I have seeds on floweres

what variety of carrots are

what variety of carrots are there

thanks haylee

ps its for an assignment forschol

My carrots are starting to

My carrots are starting to bloom. Should I harvest them now? I didn't know to plant them in sandy soil and I planted them in miracle grow potting soil.

If your carrots are blooming

If your carrots are blooming they will put most of their energy into creating the flowers. The roots are not going to get much bigger so you can pull a few and see if they are big enough to harvest.

I am planting carrots from

I am planting carrots from seed for the first time. They are in a pot and are sitting in my bedroom window sill (indoors) . I live in Orlando, Fl and it rains quite hard in the afternoon. Once my carrots start to sprout, how long should I wait before transplanting them outdoors?

You should not,,root

You should not,,root vegetables do not like to be transplanted,,direct sow..

I accsidently stepped on our

I accsidently stepped on our seedling carrots- will they still grow?

I am growing carrots in a

I am growing carrots in a pot. how much should I water them?What is 1 inch of water equivalent to? how many ounces?
thank you

Place a small can (like a

Place a small can (like a tuna can) next to the plant that you are watering. When there is 1 inch of water in the can you have watered enough. This doesn't apply to containers. You should water until the pot drains significantly. How often to water depends on several factors such as pot size and soil type. Feel the soil and water when it is dry about 1 inch below the soil surface.

Hi. Thanks for the great

Hi. Thanks for the great info from your blog about growing carrots. I will be attempting to grow Carrots. I live in North Louisiana (Bossier City). I have a great deal of success growing many varieties of peppers (Bell, Tabasco, Serrano, and others). I'm about to plant carrot seeds and this is my plan: After I shovel out my grass, the mud beneath is a red soil. I dig down about a foot to loosen the soil. I will use 1X4 planks to surround my garden to have it raised some. I will then add several bags of miracle grow top soil for veggies and mix together the existing mud and the top soil. I will then plant seeds in garden 1" deep , 3" apart and rows about 1' apart. I will then water the garden at sun down every day. Any advice you can give on my plan will be most appreciated.

Thanks for you comments. It

Thanks for you comments. It sounds like you are going to have a wonderful garden. Just make sure that the soil drains well and is loose to prevent carrots from forking. Add a bit of sand to the topsoil where the carrots are growing.

add a little sand & don't for

add a little sand & don't for get too start a late crop, so you can have some over the winter that have taken a "few" frosts. you'll be glad you did they taste great !!

A success story if you're a

A success story if you're a nervous first-time carrot grower: We live in northern Minnesota, zone 2-3. Last year, I planted carrots in my new raised beds, just to keep the pests off the onions in the same bed. This was in mid- to late May after a long, cold, wet spring. The onions were unremarkable, but the carrots were a rousing success. I left them in the ground until after the second or third frost, so they were sweet as candy and some were 2" across. They spent the winter in a covered tub of moist sand, and are still delightful now in late April. You'll never buy grocery store carrots again!

Hi Thanks for your advice. I

Hi Thanks for your advice. I too have some onions growing that I plan on pickling. I am about to attempt to grow some carrots. You mentioned that the carrots help keep the pests off the onions. Why is that?

I live about 20 crow-miles

I live about 20 crow-miles south of the Canadian border. Last year, I planted carrots just to keep pests off my onions in my new raised beds. The onions were so-so, but the carrots were spectacular! Some grew to be 2" or so across, since I left them in the ground until after a couple of frosts. Sweet as candy, and are still wonderfully edible now in late April, having spent the winter in a covered tub full of damp sand in our cool north room in the basement. I'll definitely plant them again this year.

I am planting carrots in a

I am planting carrots in a raised garden bed. I live in northern Arizona. The soil is terrible. My bed is made up of Kellog's Patio Plus soil. The native soil is too bad to add to it. Can I just buy a couple bags of "play sand" to add to it? I can't just use the Patio Plus, correct? So, I was thinking "play sand". I've had such terrible luck growing in Arizona. My gardens were so beautiful in Michigan :(

We haven't used the potting

We haven't used the potting soil you mention so we can't comment on it, but we wouldn't advise using play sand as the particles are very small and may impair drainage. Horticultural sand works better to lighten the soil and improve drainage in your raised beds—or, you can use builder's sand but be aware this may contain lime, so don't use it around acid-loving plants such as blueberries. 

A great sand to use in AZ is

A great sand to use in AZ is black cinder sand. It's fairly widely available. I've used it to great success, and even brought a batch with me back to Texas. It helps hold some moisture, and releases a small amount of trace minerals, unlike red cinder sand.

I planted carrots last year

I planted carrots last year and usually let them grow through the winter. This winter, however, was particularly hard and the tops of the carrots mostly all died back. If I leave the carrots in the ground, will the green grow back and the carrots continue growing? Thank you!

It's fine to store carrots in

It's fine to store carrots in the ground and they should survive freezing temperatures. The greens aren't that important as they've stopped growing; they're simply in storage. Harvest at will to enjoy all winter long.
If you leave some carrots unharvested, they should grow again in spring, flowering and producing seed for you.

Hii all I am planning to

Hii all
I am planning to cultivate carrot in between teak wood trees as inter crop soil is sandy pls suggest me

what season do carrots grow?

what season do carrots grow?

As stated above, carrots are

As stated above, carrots are planted in the spring.
You can make additional plantings every 3 weeks through midsummer for continuous supply. Plant crops for fall harvest about 10 to 12 weeks before first frost.

I planted my carrots in

I planted my carrots in Dallas TX from seed Sept 19, 2013. I have waited for them to look substantial before harvesting them, but just today Jan 16, I pulled one out only to find the carrot was thin and about 1" long. I"m thinking at this point I should pull all of them out so that I can get the space back for more plants. Do you agree? Also, any clue as to why they are stunted? I didn't cover them once when it went below freezing and that could be the reason, but that was only about 3 weeks ago. I would think the growth would have been longer by then. Thanks!

Soil preparation is the key

Soil preparation is the key to growing carrots in Texas. It need to be well-draining, not too compact. You may need to add organic amendments and sand to loosen it up so those carrots can reach down to a longer length. Also, the temperatures need to be at 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit for good germination so it may still be too cold. Finally, grow varieties that are good for Texas. The Texas A&M Agrilife Extension recommends Danver Half Long, Imperator 58 or Nantes Half Long varieties. Contact your local cooperative extension for more on-the-ground advice!

I have carrots in the

I have carrots in the greenhouse and the green tops have died down. The carrots are not big enough to harvest, will they still grow without the green?
Thanks for your time

When the tops die back the

When the tops die back the carrots will stop growing. Did your greenhouse get really hot or really cold, did you water enough?

i am a nervous farmer to be.

i am a nervous farmer to be. i will be planting carrots for the 1st time in a 5 hectre plot. i am in South Africa, the area i will be using is a semi wet area. Any advice on how to get the best results.

If you have heavy soil, add

If you have heavy soil, add plenty of mature compost and sand. You need loose rockfree soil.
Good luck!

cant find out when to plant

cant find out when to plant my carrots
can any one help me

The information on when to

The information on when to plant carrots is above: "Plant seeds outdoors 3 to 5 weeks before the last spring frost date." Not sure when your frost date is? It may help if you visit our Planting Dates chart which customizes the planting dates to your frost date and zip code. Just click here:

You should plant it in the

You should plant it in the spring or summer just before a full moon. Just look online and you will be able to see when to plant any vegetable.

Are some varieties sweeter

Are some varieties sweeter than others? I've had good luck with Nantes. They grow very large here in Northern Nevada. They are a great for cooking, but a little too strong for eating raw.

Yes, some carrots are mild,

Yes, some carrots are mild, some are sweet, and some are crunchy, etc. Burpee has several sweet varieties:

Now I get it! For 3 years

Now I get it! For 3 years now my carrots have looked like Ginseng roots. I have very sandy soil and have been adding a layer of manure every year to build it up. From now on, I'll use poplar leaves instead for my carrot patch.

Can you dehydrate carrot top

Can you dehydrate carrot top for soup and such?

Yes, carrot greens can be

Yes, carrot greens can be dried and used in much the same way as parsley.

What vegetables are your kids

What vegetables are your kids growing?

I've been following these how-to tips from Blake Kirby on how his kids are growing carrots and beets!

Any suggestions?

Any idea as to why my carrots

Any idea as to why my carrots (2nd attempt at growing them) are short, fat, hairy and covered with nodules? Also, some worm/grub or other is eating through them. I don't know what variety they are, got the seeds at Agway. Thanks!

Hi BillBoy, Thanks for

Hi BillBoy, Thanks for answering the other question on this page. Here are some thoughts on your carrots, based on advice from cooperative extensions:

  • If the carrots are short and fat, hat's often because the soil is too heavy and you'll need to amend with leaves and sand. Carrots do well in light (sandy), fluffy soil that is not too full of amendments. Also, you might want to think them further; try an inch apart after the leaves reach about three inches high.
  • In terms of the "hairy" issue:This happens because of excess nitrogen. If you added fertilizer right before you planted your carrots, that makes them “hairy.” If you add manure-laden compost to your soil, do so in the fall, then let it overwinter before planting carrots in the spring. Carrot roots will also become hairy in waterlogged ground.
  • Root-knot nematodes may cause deformed carrots. You can either verify this with a soil test and then you might have to solarize (treat soil with the sun’s heat using plastic sheeting in the summer), or rotate your carrots to another area next time.

Hope this helps.

is October too late to plant

is October too late to plant (anything at all)?

Depends on your climate zone.

Depends on your climate zone. Garlic and onion for next year, other "winter" crops suitable to your area. Your state dept. of ag can advise you.

how can we grow the little

how can we grow the little baby type carrots in our front yard cause our yard is sandy and a lot of light comes through but the carrots are still to big

Sandy soil is great for

Sandy soil is great for carrots.  If you plant mid-summer, then the carrots should mature quickly in fall weather to product those sweet "baby" carrots. Also, consider the variety that you are planting. Here are some Baby varieties recommended the Illinois cooperative extension:
    Baby Spike (52 days; 3 to 4 inch roots, 1/2 inch thick; excellent internal color; tender; holds small size well)
   Little Finger (65 days; tiny tender roots; 5 inch roots, 1/2 inch thick; golden orange, sweet and crisp)
    Minicor (55 days; slender fingerling carrots; colors early; uniform, cylindrical, blunt tip; good flavor)
    Short 'n Sweet (68 days; rich, sweet flavor; 4 inch roots, broad at shoulder, tapered to a point; good for heavy or poor soil)

I planted carrot seeds in a

I planted carrot seeds in a large pot in June. I would "pick" them on occasion to see if they were ready since the seed packet said they would mature in 75 days. I was disappointed to see how tiny they were. September changed my luck as I noticed the carrots were breaking through the soil. I pulled several out and was delighted to have beautiful 5 inch carrots attached!!!! I love, love, love to grow things!!!!

Cindi, We LOVE hearing these

Cindi, We LOVE hearing these stories. Thanks for sharing, congrats on staying patient and seeing those carrots through!

Today I went out to harvest

Today I went out to harvest carrots from a raised bed. All of the carrots are gone with the green tops left on top of the soil. Is there any pest other than a human who could have done this?

Hi Mike, Voles and mice have

Hi Mike,
Voles and mice have been known to tunnel down into the soil and eat root crops. Did you see any signs of tunnels in your raised beds? Slugs and some insects also eat root vegetables but you would have some carrot left with signs of holes or marks where insects nibbled.

Can we grow carrots

Can we grow carrots hydroponically.

Yes, you can grow carrots

Yes, you can grow carrots hydroponically though we've never done it ourselves. You'd need a large, deep bed though, and try a mix of finer perlite and coarse sand.

I was told years ago -- when

I was told years ago -- when buying carrots that have the leaves still on to remmove them as soon as I got home. The reason being that the leaves continue to take nurishment from the carrots and the carrot loses it's benefits. thanks

We remove the tops because

We remove the tops because the carrots keep longer with the tops removed.

This my first time growing

This my first time growing carrots and I planted to many seeds together and they are growing in groups of 7-8 bunched together. Can I pick some and replant them where they'll be spaced out better and if I do will they still grow?

Once plants are an inch tall,

Once plants are an inch tall, thin so they stand 3 inches apart. You can't really replant these babies very successfully; they are too fragile.

I replanted about two hundred

I replanted about two hundred carrots from one inch(about two weeks old) and now two weeks later the green is not much taller but is thickened into a parsley looking growth. I feel like I am seeing about ninety percent success with replanted baby carrots. I do not remember what type I planted ...sorry. hope this helps (during replanting don't wear gloves and use lots of water to soften and remove all loose soil. Do not pull babies apart. Rinse them apart then plant directly into soil. Do not allow for time to dry.) Good luck...

I am the director of an

I am the director of an orphanage in Honduras
about 2 miles inland from the Caribbean and
a first time carrot planter. We are soon to enter
our second season of rain the lighter one. We
have sandy soil that seems to grow everything
well. Do carrots need full days of sun or partial.
I have an area close to my bananas I was thinking
of using??

I read your comment Mr. Jones

I read your comment Mr. Jones and would like to know if you would like some veggie seeds? I have a small garden center and the seeds I retail this year are date stamped to not sell next year. The company does not want them back and after reading your post I though I could send them to you. My garden center is called 'Garden Soul' and after a quick google search you can e-mail me if you are interested.


I love your comment. So nice

I love your comment. So nice to see good people are out there.

Gregory, that was completely

Gregory, that was completely thoughtful & great way to pay it forward!!! Thank you for doing it! I googled growing carrots since bought a pkg of seeds on clearance. I became disabled and finding gardening bringing me out of my depression! I finding if by seeds on clearance local stores that can save $ and afford to try different things. I haven't garden since I was a child with my father. That was in Louisiana and now live in Kansas. Is so much to learn and figure out that it can become overwhelming. I also trying figure out if I can freeze or cheaply can veggies so can save on food! I like to eat well but so expensive so THANK YOU for explaining how to store in sand! I so so happy I found this site!

I would like to plant some

I would like to plant some carrots in ghana west africa. Our climate is good for carrots all year long. Would be glad if you can send to me some seedsseeds. Thanks

can i plant carrots in fall

can i plant carrots in fall and let them them overwinter in ground, similar to garlic i live in north ontario we get a cold winter and reduced growing time

You can leave carrots in the

You can leave carrots in the ground during the fall and early winter but you'll need to harvest them in early winter BEFORE the ground freezes or quality will suffer.
For fall and winter carrots, plant seeds 10 to 12 weeks before your average first fall frost.

I am a first time carrot

I am a first time carrot grower and am surprised that my carrots (at least that is what the package said that I planted) have green and dark purple leaves and have begun to flower, some yellow and some white, and still have four weeks to go until maturity. Is this normal? What am I growing?

Carrots are a biennial and

Carrots are a biennial and usually don't flower the first year. Sometimes changes in weather conditions and stress can make carrots bolt, produce flowers and go to seed. Have you checked to see if you have small carrots growing under the leaves?

Can i plant carrot seeds in

Can i plant carrot seeds in august?

It really depends on where

It really depends on where you live. In many regions, you can indeed still sow carrot seeds. Baby carrots can be picked within four weeks. Look for fast-growing varieties in your garden shop.

I planted carrots this season

I planted carrots this season in the beginning of May. Today I harvested them. Impressed that they came out so well. Last year I didn't have much luck, I have to say it's by following what people have posted in this section is why it was a success.

JD, Thanks for sharing! You

JD, Thanks for sharing! You made our day. We're happy to hear that the Almanac community and carrot page helped you grow some great carrots! --OFA editors



Can I cut the green off the

Can I cut the green off the top before I harvest my carrots or willl that hurt the carrots? i
Its very bushy and its blocking the sun from my other plants.

We wouldn't. The carrot tops

We wouldn't. The carrot tops are the actual plant; you need the plant for the carrot to grow. Pull one out and see if you like the size enough to harvest. 

good job guys. keep up...sooo

good job guys. keep up...sooo motivational.

Can you plant carrots mid

Can you plant carrots mid season, middle of june?

Yes, you can plant carrots in

Yes, you can plant carrots in mid-June. The days to maturity (which are listed on the seed packets) depend on the variety--usually 50 to 90 days.

First time carrot grower. How

First time carrot grower. How do you tell when they are ready to harvest?

Carrots can be harvested when

Carrots can be harvested when the roots are at least 1/2 inch in diameter. Gently dig out a carrot to remove the roots without damage. The days to duration depends on your carrot variety. It can range from 50 to 90 days.


Can you grow carrots by cutting the tops and planting them?

Yes, you can plant the tops

Yes, you can plant the tops of carrots. The won't grow a new carrot, but they will flower and produce seeds.

Carrots & Parsnips

I had read in a gardening book that parsnips are of the carrot family, however, it advised against companion planting the two together. I'm confused as to why. Any ideas?

I believe that it's best to

I believe that it's best to plant parsnips away from carrots because they need a lot of watering and you do not want to play them near any crop that needs drier soil (carrots enjoy sandy soil).

carrots & Parsnips

Thanks so much; that makes more sense now. (I'm a raised bed and container gardner and didn't have alot of space to spare!)

organic mulch

Can straw be used as a mulch for carrots and if yes is it only loosely applied to the soil?

I use straw and they do just

I use straw and they do just fine with it.

Rotted Manure

You mentioned that manure should not be incorporated into the soil at the time of planting, but can rotted manure be added to the soil as a fertilizer 5-6 weeks after sowing?

I like the post

As a professional farmer who will be trying carrots for the 1st time, I thought your info was helping and I am going to in cooperate much of what you said into what I do.

Carrots in Fridge

If you want to keep some carrots in the fridge to snack on, wash them, cut them, and then put them in cold water in a container in the fridge. They will last for days and won't dry up in the water.

Carrots in Fridge

We harvest the carrots in the fall before first freeze, although I may wait until later this year. We cut off tops, clean, and while still wet, store in plastic ziplock bags and they will last 3 - 5 months, still crisp.


I'm gonna grow carrots in my garden on a piece of land we are moving to, so I'll tell y'all how it works out!

How did it go?


Botanical Name: 

Daucus carota

Plant Type: 

Sun Exposure: 

Soil Type: 

Soil pH: 

Hardiness Zone: 

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