Growing Carrots

Carrots are hardy biennials that are grown as annuals. The thick, vividly colored taproot of the carrot plant is the part that's eaten and loved for its sweet flavor and crunchy texture.

There are all types of carrots -- long, short, fat, thin -- they differ only in size and shape. Your soil type will influence the variety you choose. Shorter varieties will tolerate heavy soil. Carrots are cool-weather crops and tolerate cold.

The root of the carrot plant can vary in shape and size.

For a continuous crop, plant carrots every two to three weeks starting two to three weeks before the date of last frost. Sow the seeds directly in the garden. Wide-row planting of carrots gives a good yield from a small area. Carrot seedlings grow slowly when young, so it's important to control weeds during the first few weeks. In areas with high soil temperatures, mulch to regulate soil temperature.

Harvesting Carrots

The time from planting to harvest is from 55 to 80 days, depending on variety. Pull carrots when the soil is moist: If you try to pull them from hard ground, you'll break the roots. In warmer areas, late season carrots can be kept in the garden throughout most of the winter and harvested as needed.

Types of Carrots

You have several types of colorful carrots to choose from when growing carrots in your home garden.
We've listed the different varieties of carrots below.
  • Danvers Half Long, harvest at 75 days, is uniform-size at 7 inches; it is bright orange and sweet.
  • Short 'n' Sweet, harvest at 68 days, produces 4-inch roots and is good for heavy soil.
  • Thumbelina, harvest at 60 to 70 days, is an All America Selection; bred for heavy soils, it produces 2-inch round carrots.
  • Juwarot, harvest at 70 days, is dark orange and grows to 8 inches long.
  • Yellowstone, harvest at 95 days, is soft yellow.
  • Purple Haze, harvest at 70 days, has purple flesh and an orange core.
Check out the next section to learn how to select and prepare carrots.

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