Many people are hesitant to grow carrots because it is often challenging to get them started, and we understand entirely. Carrots aren't the easiest vegetable to get established in the garden, but once they get going, there's no stopping them! If you're new to growing carrots or have struggled to get them started, we're here to help.
There are so many excellent carrot varieties to try, from Purple to Atomic Red to Snow White, and of course, the classic Tendersweet. Garden-grown carrots are infinitely tastier than store-bought, and there are more options beyond the classic orange. Carrots are a super versatile vegetable, too, and will grow in containers as well as traditional garden plots.
Carrot Growing Facts
- Carrots are slow to germinate. They take anywhere from 12 to 25 days to sprout after planting.
- Carrots must be sown in the cooler weather of spring or fall in order to germinate successfully.
- Carrots do not transplant well, or at all. They must be planted where they are going to stay.
- Clear the area of rocks, soil clumps, and anything else that may impede the carrot from growing downwards. Don't expect perfectly straight grocery-store carrots – your carrots will likely have some forks or bumps, and that's absolutely fine. Believe me; they will still taste fantastic.
- Sow outdoors in early spring, 3-5 weeks before the last frost.
- Plant seeds in full sun, 1/4" deep and 2-3" apart. It's hard to plant the individual seeds, so plan on thinning out the rows later on.
- Water frequently so the soil is moist but not soggy. This is the key to successful germination! The soil must be damp so the tiny sprouts can break through the top of the earth. If the soil dries out and a crust forms, the carrots will not come up.
- Be sure to mark where you planted the carrots. It's easy to forget or plant over them since they take so long to germinate.
- Once the seedlings are 1" tall, thin them to 3-4" apart. Don't pull up the thinned ones, as that can disturb the roots of the ones you're keeping. Use scissors to cut the seedlings at ground level.
- Water consistently so the roots grow uniformly. Carrots need 1" of water per week in the beginning, then two inches of water as they start to mature.
- Keep the area well weeded; use scissors to cut weeds that may disturb the carrot roots.