Vegetable Overview: Carrots


Discover how to grow carrots  with instructions on starting seed, transplanting, site selection, care and maintenance, water and fertilization requirements, pests and disease, and harvesting and storage.

Carrots Stats at a Glance

Soil Conditions: Fertile, well-drained

Sun: Full sun

Soil pH Conditions: 6.0-6.8

Planting Instructions

Can I Start Carrots from Seed?

Carrots can be direct seeded into the garden in a well prepared bed.  Sow the seeds 1/4” deep in rows 12-18” apart. Mix seeds with sand for more even distribution or purchase tape seeds.


When to Start Seeds: As soon as the soil can be worked in the spring.
Time to Germination: 7-21 days
Optimal Temp. for Germination: 75°F


When Do I Plant Carrots?

Carrots are a cool season crop and can be planted as soon as the soil can be worked in the spring.  Wait until the temperatures reach 60°F as prolonged periods of 55°F or below will produce thinner, paler results.

Soil Temperature: 60-70°F.


Where Do I Plant Carrots?

Carrots require loose, well-drained soil free from debris.  Be sure to remove all debris and rocks that will hinder the development of the vegetable.  They do not perform well in acidic soils.

Soil Type: Fertile, well-drained

Sun Exposure: Full sun

Soil pH: 6.0-6.8


How Far Apart Do I Plant Carrots?

Sow seeds in rows that are 12-18” apart.  When seedlings emerge, thin to 1” apart.  As they mature, thin again to 3-4” apart.

Carrots Plant Care and Maintenance

How Often Should I Water Carrots?

Carrots require a steady supply of water for best performance.  Slow, deep waterings are best.  Adding black plastic or mulch will help to retain soil moisture.

If planting in the summer for fall harvesting, consistent moisture levels are imperative to help the young plants survive the summer heat.

Do not overwater especially after the plant has developed.  Too much moisture may cause the roots to crack.


Should I Fertilize Carrots?

Fertilizing decisions should be based on a soil test.  If a soil test cannot be obtained, cabbage generally perform well with a 5-10-10 fertilizer worked into the soil prior to planting. Side dress again when the plants develop to 3” tall and again when they reach 6” tall.

Sprinkle fertilizer at least 6” away from the base of the plant and irrigate it into the soil.

Too much fertilizer added to the soil prior to seeding can result in forked roots.

Too much nitrogen can result in root branching.


Additional Tips

Keep the carrot rows weed free as weeds compete for nutrients.  Carrots have a shallow root system so handpick any weeds in close proximity to the plant to avoid damaging the roots.

Carrots Diseases

The most common diseases associated with this plant include aster yellow, leaf spot, and soft rot.

Carrots Pests

The most common pests associated with this plant include carrot rust fly, carrot rust worm larvae, carrot weevil, leafhoppers, slugs, and wireworms.

Harvesting and Storing Carrots

When Do I Harvest Carrots?

Harvest carrots when leaves are full size and roots are finger size. Smaller roots produce more tender results.


How Do I Harvest Carrots?

Use a digging fork to carefully loosen the soil around the root. Pull straight up from the leaves.


How Do I Store Carrots?

Carrots store best at temperatures near freezing with a high humidity.


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