Don’t you think a garden looks half-empty without carrots? Are you interested in learning how to grow carrots and the science behind it?

If your answer is yes, then this article is just for you!

How To Grow Carrots

Garden-grown carrots come at the top picklist of gardeners as they add a lively feeling of completeness to the backyard or indoor gardens. They add color to the meals and kick your salads by adding that unique carroty flavor and texture. Additionally, they are a popular, enduring, deep-rooted vegetable crop that can be grown in a good deal of climates.

Carrots (Dacus carota) are biennial vegetables that complete their life cycle in two years. We usually harvest them in one growing season to reap the fresh underground produce. By all means, carrots are among easy-to-grow vegetables and markedly best planted early in the spring and left in the garden until fall.

Carrots crave for growing in deep sandy loam and muck soils. Depending on the variety and local climatic conditions, carrots usually take 75 to 85 days to touch the maturity stage. Additionally, you can plant the carrot seeds or roots in spring or early summer for the summer harvest, or you can go for summer planting for the autumn harvest.

If you are interested in learning more about how carrots grow, then you must read until the end. 

Growing carrots is fun, easy, and rewarding. As long as you take care of certain aspects in the garden, they can fill your kitchen with unlimited produce for meals and salads. 

Also read, Herb Garden For Beginners and The Benefits of Organic Farming 

two bunches of carrots on wood

Best Time To Plant Carrots

By all means, carrots are cool-season vegetables. They need long periods of mild weather.

You can plant them in spring or early summer for summer harvest or plant them in summer for autumn produce. Further, you can practice succession planting for a constant supply of reliable produce.

Don’t skip planting carrots in your garden as early as three weeks before the average date of the last killing frost in the spring.

Selecting A Suitable Site

Carrots are picky when it comes to selecting a suitable site. Therefore, it’s important to select a sunny spot in your garden.

Carrot plants are sun-loving species that need at least 06 to 08 hours of sunlight daily for lustrous produce. Sunlight plays a vital role in photosynthesis.

Concerning soil, always opt for loose, sandy, and well-draining. Soft and fluffy soil encourages vigorous growth.

Naturally, carrots are not adapted to hard or heavy soils. To a great extent, avoid cloddy, stony, trashy, or very shallow soils.

If you force to grow carrots in such soils, they tend to grow super slow, featuring ugly and tangled roots.

Overall, for optimal carrot yield, grow the carrot seeds in small, raised beds containing fluffy soil.

how to grow carrot in raised bed, young carrots growing

Spacing, Depth, And Support

In carrot planting, correct plant spacing, seed depth, and plant support are crucial to getting a healthy crop, but it is not always as easy and requires plenty of planning and work.

When plants obtain a certain height, pull off some carrot planting to avoid overcrowding. Overcrowding leads to fungal and bacterial infections.

Moreover, the crowded carrot plants compete for sunlight, water, and nutrients. This will lead to poor crop growth. Therefore, space the seeds 1.4 inches apart and try to maintain the spacing of 10 inches between the rows.

About depth, plant carrot seeds ¼ inch deep in the soil as evenly as possible. If some carrot seedlings sprout 1/2 inches apart, that is fine, but as they expand, they will need roughly three inches of space between them. The best technique to prevent damaging surrounding roots is to snip or pinch the seedlings at the soil line.

Last, carrots don’t shed tears for support. They can grow on their own with no skeletal support.

How To Grow Carrots In Containers

Carrots planting prefer to grow in loose well-draining soil. They will deform and aberrate when they touch the slightest hindrance in their pathways, such as stones or hard ground in the garden. If your vegetable garden does not support; loose, fluffy, and smooth soil, consider growing carrots in containers. 

  • Select a container at a minimum of 16 to 24 inches in diameter and at least 12 inches deep. Ensure your pots have enough drainage holes in the bottom to throw out excess water. The thick short types, with the round body, such as ‘Paris Market’, ‘Nantes’ ‘Chantenay’ or other carrot types that grow and mature not over 2 to 3 inches in length, are best for container gardening. 
  • Fill the containers with premixed potting soil for vegetables. If you don’t have access to potting soil, consider making your own. To do so, you can mix 50% garden soil, 30% compost, and 20% river sand or perlite. Mix them well and fill the container. The premixed potting soil or homemade garden soil will allow the tasty roots to grow downward and comprehensively develop. 
  • Next, use high-quality hybrid carrot seed. Sprinkle the seeds over the soil surface and separate closely packed sprinkled seeds for optimal growth. 
  • Using the same soil mix cover the carrot seeds in a thin layer to firm the seeds in their position.  
  • Now, gently tap on the soil surface. Water the pot very well using a gentler sprayer or shower. This will ensure you’re not disturbing the seeds underneath the soil. Remember to keep the soil moist as carrots in the container require more water than the carrots grown in the outdoor garden. Once a week, don’t forget to deep water the container.  
  • Now place the container in full sun. You can position the pots in the south or east-facing windows. 
  • Carrot seeds will start to pop up within 6 to 8 days after sowing. Once the weeds appear, pluck them off with your hand as they tend to compete for resources.
  • Once the weeds start to appear pluck them off with your hand as they compete for resources.
lined up varieties of carrots on wood background

How To Plant Carrots From Seed

Carrots tend to grow superbly when grown from seeds in the gardens. Due to their downward vertical root growth, they can be grown a bit densely, and are very economical in small gardens. You can start sowing seeds right from the beginning of spring until late summer to reap the fruits throughout the year.

The first tricky part is to start sowing seeds shallowly and covering them with a thin soil layer followed by maintaining enough moisture in the top layer until they germinate.

The carrot seeds take two to three weeks to germinate, where maintaining the best-growing conditions can be tricky.

To avoid any mishaps, such as loss of water, start by deep watering prior to seed sowing and then watering on weekly basis.

To make sure there is enough moisture you can employ other conventional means such as using lightweight row cover. This practice works very well to keep back moisture and prevent the nasty carrot rust fly from damaging the crop.

Likewise, you can lay a small beam or plywood over the seedbed to cut back the loss of water from the dampened seedbed.

Even if you have the luxury of not having to worry about carrot rust bugs, you may still have to worry about soil-dwelling insects like wireworms, which appear to enjoy carrots. Carrots are so appealing to wireworms that a fully grown carrot serves as an excellent lure.

To avoid losses, bury carrots or carrot bits around the appropriate seedbed, marking where you tuck them.

If wireworms are present, dig up the carrot pieces and easily remove the wireworms from the bed, or at the very least significantly reduce their population.

For preparing the carrot bed, take special precautions to ensure that the soil is loose and free of stones and other debris.

Carrots are simple to grow if you take the effort to create a suitable environment for them.

If you use nitrogen-rich fertilizers or manure that hasn’t been composted for more than a year, you’ll end up with enormous, bushy tops and weak, spindly roots.

How To Plant Carrots Without Seeds

It is possible to grow carrots without seeds. You can start with nursery-grown seedlings or use cut carrot tops.

Purchase a bunch of carrot seedlings from your nearby nursery store and direct plant them into the soil. 

The second method to grow carrots without seeds is from mature carrots. Take out some fresh carrots. Cut the topmost layer and put each carrot top in bowls with water. Next, keep the bowl in partial shade. Water dipped carrot tops take 3 to 5 days to sprout their first true leaves. 

Now, it is time to put them back in the soil. Try not to cover the baby leaves. The carrot tops will take one full month to mature. And within two to three months, the carrot vegetable grown from tops will flower and give seeds. 

closeup of carrot in ground

Care For Carrots During The Growing Season 

  • Sunlight: Carrots are sun-loving species. They need at least 06 to 08 hours of sunlight daily. Plant your carrots in a sunny spot that supports afternoon partial shade. 
  • Soil: About soil, prepare a sandy loam soil that is fluffy and soft. Prepare the ground by removing rocks and clumps. Moreover, carrots crave slightly acidic soil with a pH ranging from 6.0 to 6.8.
  • Water: Water plays a vital role in photosynthesis, and carrots love lots of water. Do not let the soil turn dry. You can go mulching the soil for water conservation. Moreover, go for one-inch deep watering every week. 
  • Temperature and Humidity: Carrots adore growing in cool regions. They grow best in regions where average daylight temperature falls between 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Fertilizer: Carrots do not crave fertilizers. They can grow very well on their own. If your garden or potting soil is not rich in organic matter, go for any good quality organic vegetable fertilizer. 

 How To Grow Carrots At Home

  • From March to June, sow carrot seed sparingly in drills in prepared soil.
  • Cover the seeds with a thin layer of dirt and water with a rose-tipped watering can.
  • Within a few weeks, the seeds should germinate.
  • To avoid carrot root fly, go for thinning carrots.
  • Always keep the growing space weed-free and water very well.

In 14-16 weeks, you should be able to pick fresh carrots right at home.

washed carrots on wood cutting board and background

How Long Do Carrots Take To Grow?

Carrots are fairly quick-growing crops. Carrots grown from seeds will mature within 70 to 80 days. Once they are ready to harvest, pull out carrots by loosening the soil around carrots with the help of a spade. 

What Is The Best Way To Plant Carrots? 

Seed sowing is the best way to grow carrots. 

How Do You Grow Carrots Step By Step?

Step 1 Start sowing carrot seeds as soon as the spring arrives in a loose and light, sandy loam, and well-draining soil. 

Step 2 Make small, raised beds. If your garden space is small, prepare the furrows with your hand. If it is spacious, you can use the long handle of any garden tool to complete the job. 

Step 3 Now, sprinkle seeds over the soft soil surface and cover the seeds with a fine soil layer. Tap the soil with a spade or with your hand. Water the carrot field or pots. 

Step 4 The seeds will sprout in two to three weeks. It is time to thin them to avoid any chances of over-crowding in the future. 

Step 5 Do not forget to water the fields weekly; exactly 1 inch deep. It is best not to let the soil turn dry. Dry soil will form a compact hard soil layer limiting the growth of seeds.

Step 6 Remove the unwanted plants, weeds, and other poor-performing carrot plants. Look out for pest infection. 

Other Gardening Articles

  1. Dark Colored Vegetables For The Garden
  2. How To Grow Ginger Organically
  3. How To Grow Green Onion
  4. Winterizing Raised Garden Beds
  5. Easy Fruits And Vegetables To Grow

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