Successful Carrot Growing

Fresh carrots can be grown in the spring and fall.

For a small investment in time, you can have sweet, crunchy carrots in a rainbow of colors! 

What Do You Want to Know About Carrots?

Choose the Right Carrot Variety for Your Soil

Carrots come in multiple types –  Perisian, Nantes, Chantenay and Imperator. 

Parisian – small round balls. Also known as Amsterdam type.

Nantes – long and blunt with small cores

Chantenay – cone shaped.

Imperator – very long and thin.

If you have heavy soil – try Chantenay or Parisian types.

For loose or sandy soil – try Nantes or Imperator types.

For pots and containers – try Parisian types. 

Carrots are available in white, yellow, orange, red and purple.

In some areas, a second crop is planted in the summer for fall harvest. These carrot varieties are often listed as “storage”  in seed catalogs. 


Where should I plant my carrots?

  • in well drained soil
  • in loose sandy soil
  • near a water source
  • in soil without stones or chunks of hard dirt
  • have the ground prepared the fall before,
    if possible
  • 10 hours of sunlight or full sun 

How Do I Prepare Raised Beds for Carrots?

In many gardens, a raised bed for carrots is a great idea because it’s easier to fill with light fluffy soil than to fix the natural soil.

Ideally, the bed should have loose soil 12 inches deep. A minimum 8 inches to 10 inches deep is required for many varieties.  

Fertilize with a  low nitrogen fertilizer, usually a 1-1-1 or 1-2-2. 

 Avoid filling the bed with only ordinary garden or top soil, because the surface will crust over
and the bed will dry out faster. Carrot seedlings can’t push through crusted soil.

Add potting mix, garden compost and sand.
Mix 1 part organic matter (peat moss, compost, etc.) to 1 part sand or perlite to 2 parts soil. 


Can I Grow Carrots in Pots?


Select a short variety and plant in a 5 gallon pot or barrel.

Allow 2 inches between carrots.

Parisian and other short varieties are the best option.

Adelaide and Atlas are known for being small and sweet.

Use potting soil.

The potted carrots may require more water and fertilizer than the in ground or bedded plants. 

How About Growing in the Ground?

It’s best to prepare the ground in the fall, so you can plant as early as possible in the spring.

Year One – test the soil to find out what nutrients need to be added.

Apply fertilizer as needed, always avoiding too much nitrogen.

Year Two – In the spring,

Plant when the soil is moist but not waterlogged. Avoid compacting the soil. 

Apply 1.5 pounds of 10-10-10 fertilizer per 100 square feet and rake in.

You might need a second fertilizer application 30 days after germination. Alternatively, apply a side dressing when carrots have reached a third of their growth. 

How Do I Plant Carrots?

  • Plant as early as the ground can be worked or the soil is 45 degrees F or warmer.
  • Plant 1/4 to 1/2 inches deep, about 1 inch apart.
  • Choose single rows or broadcasting. Rows are easier to weed.
  • Tamp down the seeds to make good contact with the soil.  
  • Keep the soil moist until germination, often 1 to 3 weeks. 
  • Water the seeds in.
  • Consider pelleted seeds or seed tape.

Getting the most Carrots

Provide 1-inch of water per  week to ten days. 

Thinning is essential. Don’t skip this step.

Use a scissor to snip out extra seedlings.

When carrots are 3 inches tall add mulch to conserve moisture.

In the spring, try planting a few carrots every three weeks to prolong the season. 

Pay attention to the days until harvest. Waiting too long can make bitter carrots in the summer.

Remove all weeds as soon as possible. 

When Do I Harvest Carrots?

Usually 60 to 75 days after planting

Pay attention to harvesting dates because old carrots loose their flavor and texture.

Remove green tops for storage.

If you take care of your plants, you can look forward to tons of carrots.

A 100’ row of garden carrots will yield around 20 to 60 pounds of carrots.