Tips for Planting Your Carrots

When you plant your carrot seeds directly in your garden, make sure you work your soil early in the spring so that it is loose and well draining. When there is no risk of a hard frost, plant your seeds about 3/8 of an inch into the soil. You can space your rows about 15 inches or a little wider if you prefer.

Note that carrots are not usually grown as transplants because when you place them in the garden, the roots have a propensity to fork.

Cover the seedlings with a thin layer of organic mulch such as straw or shredded bark. This will keep your soil moist while the seedlings are developing. Once your seedlings emerge, you can add more mulch around the plants. A layer of mulch about 3-4 inches deep is recommended after the seedlings emerge.

Once the carrot seedlings begin to appear, you should thin them out a bit. They’ll need at least ¾” between plants. As the carrots mature, thin them out to about 3-4 inches apart. As a general rule, the larger the carrot you want, the wider the spacing should be. Wider spacing also helps with an easier harvest.

Thin your carrots when they are about 1 inch tall. Be careful not to disrupt the other plants while you’re thinning your garden. Root vegetables are often sold as pelleted seeds. These seed varieties will help with even spacing and will reduce the time you spend thinning out your carrots.

If you want to have carrots throughout the growing season, you can grow a new batch after the first carrots have grown for about 3-4 weeks. Carrots will germinate after about 2 weeks, and sometimes your plants will germinate unevenly throughout your garden.

If you want a fall crop of carrots, give yourself at least 2-3 months before the first fall frost. This will ensure that you carrots will be ready to harvest before a hard frost hits.

Check with your local extension agent to get an idea of when the first frost is likely to occur in your area.

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