Growing Carrot

Daucus carota : Apiaceae / the umbelliferae family

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
    P P P P P          

(Best months for growing Carrot in USA - Zone 5a regions)

  • P = Sow seed
  • Easy to grow. Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 8°C and 30°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 5 - 30 cm apart
  • Harvest in 12-18 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Onions, Leeks, Lettuce, Sage, Peas, Radishes, Tomatoes, Beans, Celery, Rosemary
  • Avoid growing close to: Parsnips, Beetroot, Dill, Brassicas, Fennel
  • Carrot harvest (commons.wikimedia.org - woodleywonderworks - CC BY 2.0)
  • A few seedlings
  • Very young carrot seedlings
  • Young carrot plants

A hardy root vegetable which grows well in deep cool soil.

Carrots take about 3 weeks to show themselves and the first leaves look like grass.

If broadcast sowing, mix with radish seeds which will germinate quickly and indicate the sown area. In hotter or dry areas, water well before seeding then cover with boards to maintain the moisture and cool soil for more successful germination. Check every week or so.

Over fertilised ground will produce split roots. Protect against carrot fly. It is best to put carrots in a different area of the garden each year for four or five years.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Carrot

Steamed or raw carrots are tasty. Cook them in a small amount of water until nearly dry then add a pat of butter and teaspoon of brown sugar to glaze.
They can be added to most casserole-type dishes.
Grate raw carrots and add to salads

Your comments and tips

18 Feb 24, Pat (USA - Zone 8a climate)
Cover with a board means: place a board on the ground flat over the seeds. Carrot seeds do not need light to germinate. Look under board a couple times a day if possible, until you see first leaves of carrots. When more than 10 % or so appear, remove the board so they can grow normally. PS it works well to plant not a single ROW of carrots, but a band of carrots, maybe 6 to 10 inches wide. Whatever width you can manage to work. To thin. If sown thicket enough, you can pull the little babies to thin and use them in salads.when you have carrots left about 2” apart, leave them to grow to size. As you need carrots, thin further. By the time they mature you should have enough room for them to grow full since. You might leave 2 or 3 in a back corner to continue on to next year, when they should eventually go to seed for you. To save seed, allow them to die and brown, save the tops and further dry seed indoors on an herb rack of mesh that should prevent seeds from coming through. When dry, collect on a piece of paper and allow to dry further. When dry, store in a paper envelope or seed pack.
25 Jan 24, Bill (Canada - Zone 6b Temperate Warm Summer climate)
Hello: I live in Zone 6B Stoney Creek. I would like to get 2 harvest of carrots this year but not sure when to plant seeds throughout spring, summer or fall. Can you please advise? I was thinking of planting Bolero Nantes carrot seeds. Thanks for your time! Bill
09 Feb 24, Celeste Archer (Canada - Zone 5a Temperate Warm Summer climate)
I thought I might mention: after you harvest your first crop of carrots you probably have enough time to grow a crop of the smaller varieties of radish. Radishes: ******** Germination temperatures: ideal 15c - 25c acceptable 10c - 30c ************ Germination time: 5 -10 days *************** Growing temperatures: ideal 10c -18c intermediate to short day lengths -Growth must be continuous and rapid for good quality. Acceptable grow temps 4c – 24c. Roots of globe varieties tend to elongate and develop poor shape in hot weather when the tops also grow taller and larger than in cool weather. Long days induce flowering or seed stalks (bolting) and with warm weather the seed stalk may develop so rapidly that no edible root is formed *************** Days to harvest: Regular radish reach market size in 21 to 28 days. Chinese radish take 50 to 90 days (or more) to mature. ** A regular radish seed can produce a radish from planting to harvest in about 33 days. This crop also likes short day lengths and cooler temps making it an ideal crop to “squeeze” in late in the season, before the first frost. With a first potential frost date of October 15 – you could direct sow radish seeds like Cherry Belle, or French Breakfast (both with about 21 days to harvest from seedlings) on September 7th and reasonably expect to harvest your radishes before the first frost. You could also sow in trays and then plant them out… if real-estate is an issue, or if you need to get the radishes started before your harvest your carrots (timing) ************* Storage and Conditioning the recommended storage temperature is 0 C with a relative humidity of 95% to 100%. Topped radishes packaged in perforated plastic bags will keep for 3 to 4 weeks. Bunched radishes will keep 1 to 2 weeks. ********** Temperature information was gleaned from: ATLANTIC PROVINCES AGRICULTURE SERVICES and amalgamated with information from individual radish varieties such as Cherry Belle. ****** if you don't harvest your radishes on time they will be pithy/mealy
01 Feb 24, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Use a shade cover while germinating the seeds - like shade cloth.
30 Jan 24, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Best to check the planting guide for your climate zone. No chance to two repeat crops.
28 Jan 24, Celeste Archer (Canada - Zone 5a Temperate Warm Summer climate)
Carrots: -- Germination minimum temp is 2c: optimum germination temp is 10c to 25c (the temperatures must be sustained). Seeds germinate over a 2-week period -- if crust forms on the top of the soil, germination will be restricted. *********** Optimum growing temps : 15C to 20C , with a minimum of 5C and a maximum of 24C Outside of the growing range (less than 5c or more than 24c) the carrot goes into "dormancy/holding pattern" with extreme temps killing the carrot. ********* Average days to harvest for carrots is 60 to 80 days. The days to harvest are calculated based on ideal growing conditions (temperatures/sunshine/water). *************** Having lived in your area MANY years ago – I can recall – and checked with environment Canada – Based on last year’s temp – June was a good month to start planting carrots – and September had decent carrot growing temps – as did the first week of October. I would plant carrots in semi-shade as Stoney Creek can get VERY HOT in mid-summer – and this is a problem for carrots that don’t like temps over 24c. ********* So, what I see is a total of 129 days of good carrot growing weather (June 01 – to the first week in October). You need 2 weeks for germination and depending on the type of carrot about 80 days to harvest: total of 94 days. If you plant starting June 01 – you can plant carrots every couple of weeks until around July 5th (07/05 plus 95 days yields a date in the first week in October). If you want to do only 2 plantings – then I would plant on June 01, and again the last week of June. This is based on 80 days to harvest – if you have carrots with a higher number of days to germination and/or days to harvest (like dragon carrots that take 90 days) – adjust accordingly. You need your last harvest in by the first week in October so count backward to find your last planting date. Bolero Nantes have the following stats: Germination 10 - 20 days and days to harvest 70. The site indicates that your last planting should be 3 months before your first expected frost date -- and it looks like your first expected frost date is October 15 -- which yields a last planting date of: July 15th which is a couple of weeks later than what I have calculated .... remember that Nobody can guarantee what your weather will be ..... when it comes to your last planting, I would error to the side of planting a little early -- and I would feel a little bit short on time with a July 15th planting...but I have heard of people planting later and doing just fine.
22 Nov 23, Scelo (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Can I grow carrots in December? I am in South Africa (Durban)
26 Nov 23, Celeste Archer (Canada - Zone 5a Temperate Warm Summer climate)
In addition to my prior reply: don't forget to check the weather OVER the ENTIRE duration of growth. That is, the average days to harvest for carrots is 60 to 80 days. The days to harvest are calculated based on ideal growing conditions (temperatures/sunshine/water). So if your planting seeds on December 01 -- then expect germination by around Dec 15 - and then add 80 days -- which yields March 04 -- so you need to verify that you have the correct growing temperatures in Dec, Jan, Feb and March (in case you carrots take a little longer). Best of LUCK -- and remember the 60 - 80 days is for the average carrots some varieties take longer -- like my favorite - the DRAGON CARROT takes 90 days. Dragon Carrots are sweet and full of color. The nine inch roots have a bright orange interior with an amazing reddish purple skin. Full of nutrients including lycopene, Dragon Carrots are good for the body and look fantastic in the kitchen. (info for dragon carrots take from a seed retail site).
26 Nov 23, Celeste Archer (Canada - Zone 5a Temperate Warm Summer climate)
I really can't answer your question, (Can you grow carrots in December in your area) but I can give you all the growing criteria and then you can check (via prior years climate data for your area) whether your area meets the conditions for carrot growth or not. .Carrots: -- minimum germination temperature is 2c : optimum germination is 10c to 25c (the temperatures must be sustained). Seeds germinate over a 2 week period -- if crust forms on the top of the soil, germination will be restricted. Carrots like well drained, well aerated loamy soil. They are SOMEWHAT drought resistant. -- optimum growing temps : 15C to 20C , with a minimum of 5C and a maximum of 24C Outside of the growing range (less than 5c or more than 24c) the carrot goes into "dormancy/holding pattern" with extreme temps killing the carrot. Carrots like well drained soil and they like aeration... so planting in hills (or hilling) is beneficial and allows carrots to grow longer. Carrots can tolerate shade but do best in full sun. I looked up the temperatures for germination and growing on the Atlantic Canada's Advisory board publications (since I don't have all my germination and growing temps memorized). Hope this helps you decide whether or not you can grow carrots in your area in December.
25 Nov 23, (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
August to April.
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I'm interested in which ones grow best in Bendigo in summer, a hot temperate region.

- Bill Howe

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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