With their long roots, crunchy texture, and edible greens, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t want to know how to grow carrots from seed in your very own vegetable garden.
Growing carrots from seeds is something fun to learn as a beginner in the gardening world. Still, plenty of advanced gardeners enjoy growing them because they are incredibly versatile in the kitchen.
Learning how to plant carrot seeds is crucial because you want your plants to have a healthy life from start to finish. The carrot roots and carrot tops are both edible, even though most throw the tops in the garbage bin.
In this article, try some of our helpful tips for growing root vegetables and find ways to cook with every part of the plant. By the end, you’ll feel ready to start planting carrots from seeds in your garden, raised beds, or container garden.
Carrots are a humble vegetable, and there is a lot more to them than meets the eye. Carrot plants, also called Daucus carota, have a 1,000-year history of cultivation. They are a cool-season biennial that is a staple in healthy diets and for medicinal purposes.
Carrots grew in the wild in Europe and Asia and were domesticated in Afghanistan 5,000 years ago. Today, they are loaded with vitamin A and essential minerals, and we enjoy eating them raw or roasted in modern cooking.
When learning how to grow carrots from seed, the first step is choosing which cultivars you want to plant. Many people buy a seed packet from a local garden center or nursery.
Planting carrot seeds is exciting because there are many different colors to choose from, like ruby red, golden yellow, or vibrant orange.
The Imperator carrot is the kind that you are most likely to find at your grocery store. These carrots have a high sugar content and fast-growing foliage compared to some of the other types.
The Nantes carrot got its name because they grow best in the Nantes area of France. They are perfectly cylindrical and are not thin carrots like the Imperator.
Chantenay is another fun carrot to grow. These are a smart choice if your soil conditions are less than ideal. This variety does well in heavy soils and grows up to seven inches long.
Danvers is the most popular heirloom variety. These carrots have long tap roots and are usually orange but occasionally come in other colors.
Don’t be fooled by thinking that you can grow baby carrots at home. Baby carrots are shaved-down versions of larger carrots. They are usually smaller than radishes but have a delightfully sweet flavor.
Knowing how to plant carrot seeds leads to success with germination and gives you a hefty yield when it comes time to harvest them.
If you have picked the type you want to grow and are ready to start planting carrots from seedlings, then keep reading for step-by-step instructions.
How to Plant Carrot Seeds
Having a flourishing garden seems a lot more complicated than it is. As long as you nurture your plants and adequately prepare the beds, these root vegetables are low maintenance.
It is still essential to give them the right growing conditions, but carrots are hardier than other more delicate fruits and veggies.
When to Plant Carrot Seedlings
Carrots enjoy colder weather and, because of this, can have two harvest dates. If you want to harvest your carrots in the summer, sow your seeds outside in the early spring or three to five weeks before the last frost.
Plant carrots every three weeks until the late spring for a continuous harvest. To harvest in the fall, plant carrots in the seedbed in the mid to late summer or ten weeks before the first frost.
What about peppers? How long does it take to grow peppers from seed? Peppers are different from carrots, as they prefer hot weather.
Prepping Soil for Growing Carrots from Seeds
A thriving garden bed has a fertile foundation, whether you are growing asparagus from seeds or carrots, or tomatoes. High-quality soil is vital to the success of your root vegetables. If possible, start the growing season by testing your soil to ensure that it has the right pH level.
Soil pH between 6.0 and 7.0 is usually ideal when growing carrots from seeds. Carrots are more forgiving than other fruits and veggies and adapt well to different soils, but they do best in light, sandy soil types.
If growing them in a raised garden bed, fresh potting soil is also acceptable. You don’t want to plant carrots in heavy clay soils because the poor drainage and heavy weight could harm the taproots.
Boost the fertility of your garden bed with organic potting mix or other organic material. Vermiculite, peat moss, and mulch or tree bark are great ways to add fertility to your beds and create loose soil.
How to Grow Carrots from Seed
Figuring out how to plant carrot seeds is one of the most challenging parts of the entire process. Start your carrot plants in early spring or late summer. Carrot plants germinate when the soil temperature is between 55 and 75-degrees Fahrenheit.
Growing carrots from seeds is key to success because the fragile root system doesn’t do well after being transplanted.
Pelleted seeds make the process a lot easier because it keeps everything uniform and prevents you from having to pull up extra seeds after they start growing.
Create a furrow in your garden beds a quarter-inch deep from the soil surface and begin spacing each seed two inches apart.
Carrot plants must have full sun and should be placed in a location with at least six hours of direct sunlight every day. If you prefer, plant them in containers so that they can easily be moved around as the sun changes. You can also plant celery in a container, as well as many other vegetables, whether you keep it indoors or put it out on the patio.
Like when planting cucumbers from seeds, keep your soil moist to prevent dry conditions from affecting the color, shape, and flavor of your veggies. An inch of rain or water is what you should shoot for every week.
If there is a chance that it will freeze outside, protect the seedlings with a row cover or plastic bag to regulate the soil temperatures and insulate your plants.
Managing Pests and Weeds in the Garden
Weeding is an essential part of learning how to grow carrots from seed. Weeds compete for nutrition and resources, and pulling weeds that have overgrown too long could disturb your carrot roots.
Spread a thick layer of mulch at the soil level to help keep weeds at bay. Avoid using weed killer, or it could damage your plants and dangerous chemicals could seep into your food.
Pests and diseases are common issues when you grow carrots at home. Carrot weevils, the carrot rust fly, nematodes, and leaf blight are some of the main problems you’ll face.
To prevent them, stay on top of weeding the garden and rotate your crops every year. Insecticidal soaps are a great resource to use to deter pests, but you can also introduce beneficial insects to the garden or make your own insecticidal spray at home.
Use a gallon of distilled water or fill a one-gallon jug of tap water and leave a few inches of empty air space at the top. Add the dish soap and vegetable oil to the jug.
Place the water jug cap on the container and shake it until everything mixes. Dump some of the solution into a spray bottle and apply the formula to your plants whenever you notice pests hanging around.
Harvesting Your Homegrown Carrots
You’ve already discovered how simple it is to grow carrots at home, and now the fun part begins. Harvesting carrots is an exciting time because you finally get to enjoy the fruits, or should we say vegetables, of your labor.
Carrots are ready to harvest two to three months after planting them. You might notice their bright colors popping out of the top of the soil. Grab the carrots at the base of the greens and gently pull them straight up until they come out of the dirt.
Root cellars are ideal locations to store your harvested carrots if you have one, but the refrigerator works just fine, too.
Cut off the carrot tops before storing them. Instead of throwing the greens away, make them into something delicious that you’ve never tried before.
Add the vinegar, oregano, garlic, salt, pepper flakes, and black pepper to a small bowl and mix them. Allow the different flavors to sit and meld for five minutes.
Stir in the minced carrot tops and parsley, and then drizzle in the olive oil. Serve the carrot top chimichurri over your favorite protein, or use it as a marinade.
Carrots are one of the simplest plants to grow and they are suitable for gardeners of all skill levels. With various fun colors and varieties to choose from, there is no reason why you wouldn’t be able to find a carrot that you enjoy experimenting with in the kitchen.
We hope that learning how to plant carrot seeds has helped you pick up some gardening tips to utilize the entire vegetable.
If learning how to grow carrots from seed has made gardening an easy and fun hobby for you, share these directions for growing carrots from seeds on Facebook and Pinterest.