Carrots (Daucus carota var. sativus)
Germination Soil Temp:
Days to Germinate
Date to sow Indoors:
Date to sow Outdoors:
1/4 - 1/2 inch
6 - 8
March 1 - April 1
5.5 - 6.5
60 - 70 Degrees
2 - 3 inches apart
10 - 14 inches per row
increase if temparature rises
Full Sun, tolerates some shade
Moderate N, P and K
Avoid rotating with dill, fennel, parsley
Carrots are root vegetables that range in color, shape, flavor, and yield. Carrots are an easy vegetable to grow and a fun vegetable to harvest for the entire family.The soil a carrot grows in dramatically affects its size, shape and taste. Work compost into the soil to loosen the soil for deep-rooted vegetables. The soil should be well worked to 'fine' textured seed bed. Carrots will grow longer and deeper in raised beds or containers.
Compost or a balance fertilizer like 10-10-10 can be added at a rate of 1.5 pounds per 100 square foot of garden.
When planting in rows or raised beds sow carrot seeds about 3 per inch in 10 - 14 inch rows. If planting in rows use 1/4 oz of seed per 100 ft row. Carrots can be planted in deep containers also. Cover seeds with 1/4 inch of soil and lightly water to settle seeds in the soil. Seeds are tiny and fine, a board or stick can be used to keep rows straight. It might be helpful to mark your row after sowing. When seedlings emerge, thin to 1 plant every 2 to 3 inches.
Light hoeing and cultivation of weeds will reduce water and nutrient competition. Prevent green tops from developing (sunlight exposure) by lightly covering tops with soil. In hot, dry weather carrots will become woody or fibrous. Monitor carrots from maggot damage, if present rotate crop the next year.
Onion, tomatoes, lettuce, rosemary, beans, sage
In soils that are difficult to work or shallow, plant shorter varieties: Danvers, Little Finger, Short n' Sweet and Thumbelina. In deeper soils or in raised beds choose Chantenay and Nantes.
Tug on the top of a carrot and if it lifts from the soil begin harvest. If the carrot top breaks loosen the soil with a fork. Harvest carrots when they are at least 1/2 inch in diameter, carrots will continue to grow if they are left in the ground. A fall crop can be left in the ground as they are harvested or a killing frost. Carrots can be harvested for 4 - 6 weeks. Store in a cool place like a garage - do not allow them to freeze.
Carotenes, fiber, biotin, potassium, thiamine and vitamins K, B6 and C.
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Source: UT Extension, PB1578 - Tennessee Master Gardener Handbook