How To Grow Carrots

Planting Carrots

Carrots require full sun and light, sandy soil that drains well. Soil temperature needs to be at least 55° F when planting. Usually direct sow in garden about 4 weeks before last frost. Transplanting is not recommended. Seed Depth: Surface sow or cover minimally ¼" Plant Spacing: 2-3" (after thinning) Row Spacing: 12-18" Plant every 2-3 weeks for a continual supply. Allow seed 12-18 days for germination.

Harvesting Carrots

Loosen soil and pull up with a twisting motion to be careful not to break off the leaves. Or you can store the carrots in the ground until you need them. Cut off leaves and store carrots in a cool area with high humidity. You can freeze, dry, or can carrots for storage.

Saving Carrot Seeds

Suggested isolation to prevent cross-pollination for these biennials is ¼ mile. If you have mild winters, you can simply leave the carrots outside. But if not, you will need to store the carrots in a cool environment over the winter. In the spring, transplant the entire carrot to the original depth about 6" apart in rows about 18" apart. They will continue to grow and flower. Seeds are ready to gather when they are dry. Use a screen to help clean the seed. Carrot seed should be viable up to 2-3 years if properly stored under cool, dry conditions.

Common Problems

  • Carrot Fly
    These shiny, black flies have yellow heads. They can damage the roots of carrots and make the plant look stunted, keeping the leaves small with a reddish color before turning yellow. Plant onions, leeks, rosemary, sage or wormwood to repel the carrot fly. Crop rotation is also recommended.

  • Leaf Spots
    Spots will appear on the leaves, eventually turning the leaves to yellow. Severely diseased plants will have a "scorched" look to them. Prevention methods can include crop rotation, clearing of crop debris, and better air circulation.

Suggested Companions

  • Wormwood
  • Rosemary
  • Tomatoes
  • Leaf Lettuce
  • Chives
  • Radishes
  • Peppers
  • Leek
  • Sage
  • Beans
  • Cabbage
  • Peas
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Onions
  • Cowpeas

Poor Companions

  • Dill