Carrots

Carrots are easy to grow as long as they are planted in loose, sandy soil during the cooler periods of the growing season—spring and fall (carrots can tolerate frost). Depending on the variety and local growing conditions, carrots may take anywhere from 2 to 4 months to mature. 

Proper soil preparation is extremely important for carrot growing! If the carrot roots are obstructed, it could lead to stunted and misshapen crops.

Helpful hints:

  • Till down 12 inches and make sure there are no rocks, stones, or even soil clumps that could impede your carrots’ growth.
  • Avoid amending the soil with nitrogen-rich material such as manure and fertilizer because this could cause carrots to fork and grow little side roots. Carefully, mix in old coffee grounds instead. 
  • Consider planting carrots in a raised bed at least 12 inches deep and filled with airy, loamy soil (not clay nor silt) if your ground soil is heavy clay or too rocky.

Growing:

  • Sow seeds outdoors 3 to 5 weeks before the last spring frost date. 
  • Also, sow seeds in mid- to late summer approximately 10 weeks before your area's fall frost.
Plant a new round of seeds every 3 weeks for a continuous harvest. 
Carrots need a location that receives full sunlight, though they can tolerate partial shade, too. Soil must be loose, sandy or loamy, and airy so that carrot roots can easily push down through the soil.
Sow seeds directly ¼ inch deep, 2 to 3 inches apart in rows 1 foot apart in the garden (or wherever you plan to grow them) rather than transplanting. Keep the soil moist with frequent shallow waterings. Cover with a layer of vermiculite or fine compost to prevent a crust from forming.
Carrots can sometimes be slow to germinate. They may take 2 to 3 weeks to show any sign of life. Companion planting by mixing carrot seeds with quick-germinating radish seeds or sow radish seeds in rows between carrot rows. The radishes will grow quickly and by the time the carrots really start to grow, the radishes can be harvested.