When to Plant Carrots – Planting Guide 2021

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when to plant carrots

Carrots (Daucus carota) are known for providing a great source of nutrients, being delicious, and being relatively easy to plant. Start growing carrots and have a continuous harvest within a couple of months!

When to plant carrots? Because carrots seeds are slow to germinate, they should be planted in early spring, when the cool season is still around. Of course, this will vary as it depends on your location, but if soils temperatures are around 50 degrees F, then you are ready to grow your carrots.

As a cool-season crop, carrots tend to prefer lower temperatures while going through the first stages of taproot growth.

However, carrot tops will grow faster than the roots, which are fantastic, considering they are also an edible part of this vegetable.

Interestingly, each year carrots are often planted around the same time. Make sure you purchase a soil thermometer, and this way, you will make sure the soil has the right temperature for your carrots.

Planting Carrots in Different Climates

planting carrots in different climates

Finding the most suitable carrot seeds is paramount for having an abundant harvest season. Look for carrot varieties that will quickly adapt to the climate conditions you are in.

Here are some points to consider for growing carrots in different climates:

Tropical Climate

Carrots love tropical climates because of the mighty sun and water combination. It is advisable to sow seeds when summer is about to end or when spring is around the corner.

However, carrots dislike clay soil, which is often the type of soil found in these areas. If this is the type of climate you are in, it would be best to plant carrot seeds in raised beds.

Dry Climate

Living in a dry climate could be slightly more challenging when growing vegetables; however, you must plant your carrots two or three weeks before spring begins and sometimes during early spring.

Ensure you are loosening the soil if it becomes too compacted; otherwise, this could affect your vegetables.

What’s worse, you will only realize the negative impact compacted soil has had on your harvested carrots when it’s too late to do anything about it. 

Temperate Climate

In regions where the temperate climate is the norm, carrots could be planted throughout the year. However, they will thrive best when planted from late winter through mid-spring.

Carrots, or queen Anne’s lace as it is also known, will not grow properly when temperatures are too high, though, so make sure the soil’s temperature is correct before planting.

Lastly, if the soil has too much clay, why don’t you try adding sand or sand mixture? Carrots are known for preferring a more sandy and loamy soil, which will cover their nutrient needs.

Continental Climate

Countries in this climate tend to do well when growing carrots in early spring or around two to three weeks before the season’s last frost.

If you live in this area, you can continuously check the soil temperatures to see whether the soil has reached a suitable temperature.

If not, it would be best to wait until the climate condition improves.

Polar Climate

It is possible to grow carrots in this particular type of climate. However, it must be done in a highly controlled environment during the summer. This way, you will harvest a fall carrot.

Carrot seeds may be slow to germinate in a polar climate, though. Yet, communities living in a polar environment have now found ways to grow root vegetables.

Choosing Carrot Seeds

how to choose carrot seeds

There are so many different carrot varieties to choose from, and each one has specific requirements for thriving.

As a result, you should observe the climate conditions you are in, as this will determine when it’s the best time to sow seeds.

When choosing your carrot seeds, other factors you should consider are the following: growing time, garden space, and the culinary uses it has.

How to Water Carrots

how to water carrots

The first thing to notice is that carrot seeds will not thrive if they are placed in dry soil. In fact, they will never germinate.

  • The first and most appropriate step is to water the soil before you sow the seeds and maintain a moist level throughout the pre-sowing season.
  • You won’t have to water the seeds after planting; otherwise, you could easily lose them as they wash away from the moistened soil.
  • Once you see the seedlings, you can water the plants every day. Make sure the soil has no rocks. Otherwise, they will affect how water filtrates, and it will not reach the plant’s roots.
  • When you can recognize the carrot tops because they have grown significantly, you will notice the plant starts demanding more water.
  • You could water it daily, making sure the soil maintains its moisture levels. Place a finger into the ground; if it’s too hard and you cannot go in, you are missing water.
  • On the other hand, if your finger slides in easily, then the soil is moist, which is ideal for growing carrots.
  • Lastly, when your carrots have reached maturity, you will need to stop watering them so often.
  • Ideally, you will not even need to water them before harvesting unless you have heavy soil. If this is the case, you cannot let the earth go dry, as it will crack your carrots.

How to Plant Carrot Seeds

Here are the steps you need to follow if you want to have a prosperous harvesting season:

  • You must plant Queen Anne ’s lace directly into the soil as they will not tolerate being transplanted.
  • If the soil temperature is correct, your raised beds are ready to go, and you have loosened up the soil, then you can sow the seeds 12 inches apart in rows that will depend on the number of seeds you have.
  • Keep in mind that the carrot seeds are tiny; thus, you need to sow them at least 5 inches deep into the soil. Do not water them.
  • Adding a row cover will protect the tiny seedlings that will begin to emerge within the first couple of weeks.
  • You can now water the seeds, but remember to be careful; otherwise, the seeds may leach, and nothing will grow. On the other hand, too much water can cause problems to the taproots.
  • Keep up the moisture at all times, especially if the weather is warm or if it hasn’t rained in a couple of days. 
  • Enjoy nature’s process from seed to seedling to growing a whole adult carrot. Have a happy growing season and a more joyful harvesting season!

How to Grow Carrots

Growing vegetables is more accessible when the seeds are sown in raised beds. Not only are you able to reach all the areas, but the vegetables will have more room to develop.

  • You will first need to loosen the soil so the vegetable’s root can penetrate the ground entirely.
  • Once you have achieved this, you can water the raised bed and start sowing seeds carefully.
  • It is advisable to include sand in the seeds if the soil is heavy. If the soil is loamy, then you are lucky – and you can leave it as it is!
  • Add radish seeds to the bed, right next to the carrots. This will allow you to do a companion planting association, where both vegetables take care of each other.
  • Additionally, you will be able to alternate your harvesting season between the fast-growing radish and the slower-growing carrots.
  • Keep an eye on carrot rust flies as they absolutely love this vegetable. The most damage they do is when they are still in their larval phase.

However, it is tricky to spot the carrot rust flies because all the damage is done underneath the soil. You won’t see anything above ground, although some carrots may die.

If you would like to avoid them, place a row cover on top of the carrots. This is an organic, ecological, and efficient way to protect the growing vegetables.

How long do Carrots take to grow?

Even if this vegetable is slow to germinate, carrots can grow a few inches high within the first couple of weeks after being sown.

However, queen anne’s lace will fully grow in 12 to 18 weeks. In other words, your harvested carrots took less than five months to reach their full potential. How amazing is that?

What is the best month to plant carrots?

It all depends on the climate and when the frost dates are. You could check the carrot varieties you are about to sow and see how long they take to mature.

Once you have this information, you will see if you are on time to sow seeds. 

As a general rule of thumb, carrots can be grown from April to September, but this will depend on the area and the specific needs.

Conclusion

Most beginner gardeners are afraid to sow carrot seeds in their garden. But you are not like them because you now know there is a way to harvest rich and healthy carrots that make your mouth water!  Happy planting!

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