If you want to grow carrots in your garden, then this step-by-step guide will show you everything you need to know about growing carrots.
The sweet woody savor that comes with every anticipated crunch is one of the things you would love about carrots.
These nutritious root vegetables can be seen on every average American dining table.
It can serve as either an appetizer, dessert, a pop of color to our meals, or a quick snack. It’s also suitable for kids’ diets.
But that’s not the most satisfactory part!
The best thing about carrots is that they are effortless to grow. Yes!
With the straightforward instruction in this guide, you will be planting, growing, and harvesting healthy carrots in your gardens.
Table of Contents
- Conditions necessary for growing carrot
- How to Grow Carrot Step by Step from Seed Planting to Harvest
- Best carrot variety to grow
- Types of Disease that Affects Carrots and their Preventive Measures
- General Tips for Growing Carrots
- Frequently Asked Questions
Conditions necessary for growing carrot
Some of the requirements you need to consider when growing carrots are:
1. Soil Type and Preparation:
Before planting your carrot seeds, your soil should be in its best possible condition to get healthy and good-looking carrots.
So, ensure the soil for planting is;
- Evenly moist (watered deeply for a day or two) for fast germination and growth.
- Loose soil is best for growing carrots; if most of your soil is clay, add sand and other organic amendments and then till it together with a garden fork.
- Clear your soil bed from clods and stones, which can cause a malformed root. Soft soil is best for planting.
- Your soil should maintain a moderate pH level of 5.8 and 6.5. Neither acidic nor alkaline.
- The soil temperature should be between 45 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit
3. Season and Climate Condition:
You can sow your carrots in spring and harvest them in 10 weeks to get the early varieties.
For the late varieties, you can plant your carrots after the end of spring and then harvest them 14 – 16 weeks later.
The primary sowing season runs from late March to July, but earlier and later sowings are worthwhile if you can protect them with fleece or a cloche.
Carrots do not grow well during the hot season as excessive heat can change their color as well as their taste.
If you are going to plant late-season varieties, then do so 0 – 12 weeks before the first frost.
3. Exposure to Sunlight:
Carrots grow best at sunny locations, preferably 6 – 10 hours of sunlight a day. They can also grow under a bit of shade.
Talking about sunlight, here is another crop that you can plant in your garden that loves sunlight: Read about How to grow tomatoes step by step to get a better harvest
How to Grow Carrot Step by Step from Seed Planting to Harvest
Carrots are very easy to sow.
All you have to do is give them rich, loosened soil, free from stones, and a soil temperature of 45 – 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Do not transplant the seedling from one bed to another when sowing carrots.
Instead, plant them where you want them to grow to avoid a wicked sprout.
Also, meet the planting beds evenly moist for a healthy and tasty root.
6 Easy Steps To Grow Carrots
Here are the easy steps that you need to take to grow your own carrots in your
Step 1: Picking the suitable carrot seed variety,
keep the particular variety in mind when choosing carrots seeds.
This lets you know the type of soil to plant and the amount of sunlight required. Meanwhile, for short round carrots, you can use a deep container.
Step 2: Soil preparation for planting carrot seeds
Before planting your seeds, ensure that your soil is loosened and can easily allow moisture.
Then, mix the top 12 inches of the soil with sand and well-aged compost or organic amendments, and then till with a garden fork to get rich, loose soil.
Ensure you remove all forms of lumps and stones from your soil. Your soil should be as smooth as possible to avoid your roots growing in a crooked form.
Step 3: Sowing of carrot seeds
You would notice that carrot seeds are tiny, giving you difficulty spreading the seeds across the soil bed.
- Therefore, you can plant these seeds using a seed injector, or you mix your seed with sand and spray them through the nursery.
- Plant them ¼ – ½ inches into the loosened soil when sowing your seeds.
- Keep each seed planted 2 inches apart, and if you have some seeds sown closer than 1cm, you can thin out the seedlings to create space.
- Give each row in the carrot garden ample spacing of about 12 inches.
After planting the seed, continue maintaining the soil’s moisture until the seed germinates.
The surface of the soil should not be crusty.
You can cover the layer of the soil with fine sand or compost to prevent it from crusting.
Step 4: Taking care of carrot plants
Weeds are very harmful to carrot seedlings. So it’s advisable to weed out the soil constantly.
Also, continue to water the soil to maintain the soil’s moisture to have a healthy elongated root.
Once your carrot leaves are two to three inches high (approximately 25 days old), thin out your plants by carefully plucking seedlings too closely spaced.
Thin the carrot seedlings to create a space of about two inches between the young plants.
You may eat the thinning by simply tossing it into some salads.
Thinning gives carrots enough area to grow underground, depending on the variety’s mature size.
Then, to assist the soil in retaining moisture, apply a thin layer of organic mulch.
If there is a case of a carrot fly infection, which is the most common and severe carrot root infection, place a 45cm-high fine-mesh barrier around crops or cover with fleece or a similar material.
Did you know that you can grow carrots with companion plants that are beneficial to them? We have put together a list of those companion plants and how they help your carrots.
Read this article about the Top 10 Carrot Companion Plants that will improve your carrot yields.
Step 5: Harvesting Carrot roots
Most carrot varieties take 65 – 75 days from planting to be ready for harvest.
Therefore, from the 65th day, you should start monitoring your carrot plant to know when to harvest your carrots.
Carrots are ready for harvest when they are big enough to your taste.
You can see the size a carrot has grown from the neck of the root that is sprouting from the soil.
Carrots should be as wide as your thumb or at least ½ of an inch in diameter. Also, note that the smaller the carrots, the better the taste.
When uprooting the roots, grab the top of the carrot, give it a half twist and pull. If the roots are large, you can ease the pulling by using the fork to loosen the soil around the roots.
Step 6: Proper Storage of Carrot roots
To preserve fresh carrots, twist or cut off all but 1/2 inch of the tops, scrub out any dirt with cold running water, and air-dry.
Refrigerate after sealing in sealed plastic bags.
Or, you can store the carrots after scrubbing the dirt and air-drying in tubs of damp sand or dry sawdust in a cool, dry environment.
Best carrot variety to grow
Now, you are done with all the necessary preparation to have the perfect carrot garden, but you are confused about what variety to plant.
Don’t worry; I have got you covered with the best top 5 species of carrots you can plant in your gardens, depending on the soil, climate change, and sunlight.
The ‘Imperator 58’ reaches a maximum length of around 9 inches and is comparable to the typical sort seen in supermarkets, which is big and deletable. Plant ‘Imperator 58’ seeds in loose soil for best results. In about 68 days, the harvest should be ready.
2. Purple Dragon:
This beauty has a dark purple outer layer with an orange center. And its taste is no different from its beauty.
3. Tender sweet:
As the name implies, these coreless carrots are tender and equally sweet. It’s your best choice when you want some carrot juice, and it has the longest preservation time.
This heirloom carrot is a ‘Nantes’ cultivar that is delicious and soft and matures quickly. ‘Touchon’ is noted for having low fiber, making it ideal for usage in salads. This variety grows to a length of 6 inches in around 65 days.
This crisp heritage delicacy is another All-America classic that doesn’t need to be peeled and is ready to be eaten immediately. It is a small variety that produces round roots 1-2 inches in diameter. And because of its small size, it is an excellent choice for anyone growing in heavy or shallow soils or containers.
Types of Disease that Affects Carrots and their Preventive Measures
|Root-Knot and Stubby root nematodes||Nematodes||Leaving the land dormant when not planting can effectively reduce nematode numbers. |
Solarizing soil for 4-6 weeks to a depth of 6 inches can temporarily reduce nematode populations, and new nematode-resistant carrot varieties are being developed.
|Carrot weevil Listronotus oregonensis||Insects||Clear any dirt from umbelliferous crops (e.g., parsley, dill, celery, etc.) to minimize where weevils can survive and thrive. |
To limit larvae survivability in soil, rotate Umbelliferous crops to different regions of the home garden each year.
|Carrot rust flies Psila rosae.||Insects||Row coverings can help prevent plants from injury, but they must be erected before an adult fly lays eggs on them.|
Carrots should be harvested in blocks. To limit overwintering sites, do not leave any carrots in the ground over the winter.
|Cercospora leaf blight Cercospora carotae||Fungus||Plant only pathogen-free seeds, rotate crops, bury crop trash after harvest, and use fungicide sprays.|
|Alternaria leaf blight Alternaria dauci||Fungus||In damp, warm weather, this disease might be difficult to control. |
Fungicides should be used fungicide or hot water should be applied to the seeds.
To stimulate proper growth and air circulation through the canopy, apply gibberellic acid to carrot foliage.
Did you know that if grow onions together with carrots on the same field, it helps to repel the carrot fly? Check out this article that shows you the Step By Step Guide To Growing Potatoes.
General Tips for Growing Carrots
To ensure proper growth of the carrot seeds, here are a few professional tips you could follow;
- Carrots need loosened soil that has good drainage. This is to allow the roots of the carrots to grow and avoid being crooked freely. Remember to clear out all stones and lumps to have smooth soil.
- Carrots need full sunlight to grow healthy but have a cool soil temperature of 45 – 65 degrees because they don’t do well in the heat.
- Always weed your soil bed, especially when your carrots plants are seedlings. This should allow them to get all the necessary nutrients to grow.
- Your soil should be moderately moist at all times. The top of the soil should not be crusty.
- When planting your seed, be careful about how you spread your seeds. They should be 2inches apart to avoid thinning. And even if you must thin, quickly cover the soil with compost and sand to avoid carrot flies.
- Finally, please do not use fertilizers that contain weed killer, for they are equally harmful to the crops.
Carrots are essential to your health and skin, as carrots are now popularly known for their health benefits.
They are a good source of vitamin A.
They aid in weight loss, promote eye health, reduce cancer risk, boost immunity and help control blood sugar.
Carrots are also one of the significant ingredients in the skincare industries for essential oils, soap, creams, and many more.
Also, note that rotating your crops each year avoids soil depletion. So it is advisable to plant your carrot in a specific location once every three years.
If you do not have a homemade garden or farm, you can still grow a carrot from seed by sowing the seed in a pot that’s at least 30-45cm deep and filled with sifted garden soil or compost.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How long do carrots take to grow?
Carrots take 65 – 75 days after planting to be ready for harvest. Therefore, from the 65th day, you should start monitoring your carrot plant to know when to harvest your carrots. Carrots are ready for harvest when they are big enough to your taste. You can see the size a carrot has grown from the neck of the root that is sprouting from the soil.
- How much water do carrots need?
Your soil should be moderately moist at all times, you can water your plant at least once or twice a day. Cracked soil can be harmful to carrots seedlings. Therefore, ensure that your soil is always soaked with water.
- How much sunlight do carrots need?
Carrots require full sunlight to grow. They need six-eight hours of sunlight a day while the soil temperature remains low.
- Do carrots need fertilizer?
Like most root crops, carrots need enough organic fertilizers rich in potassium. Also, do not buy weed killer fertilizers, for they are equally harmful to the crops.
- Can you grow carrots in a container?
Carrots can be grown in any type of container, as long as it's deep so as to accommodate the roots of your chosen carrot variety. The pot should be at least 30-45cm deep and filled with well-prepared loosen the soil.
Author: Nelly Michael