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Growing Carrots


Carrots are an adaptable and easy to grow crop. Kids especially love them because they’re fun to pull out of the soil and they can be picked while they’re still small and sweet.

What carrots need:

  • Full sun
  • Deep soil – if yours isn’t deep, build it up or choose a shallow-rooting variety
  • Adequate moisture but don’t over water – let the soil dry out between waterings.

When to grow carrots:

  • In cool and temperate areas – spring, summer and early autumn
  • In subtropical areas – autumn, winter and early spring

How to grow carrots:

Sow seeds directly in shallow furrows 20-30cm apart. Mix the fine seed with a cup of sand – this makes them easier to handle and easier to see in the bed. Keep up a good supply of water while they germinate – depending on how warm the soil is, this will take between one and four weeks. Thin out (and use) the baby carrots to around 2cm apart and allow the remainder to develop. Liquid feeding once a month during summer will give a faster crop (but don’t overdo it because the leaves will grow instead of the roots).

How many carrots will I need?

A 4-5m row will feed the average family. Sow successively every 5 weeks for a continuous harvest.

What varieties?

  • Western Red – long-rooted smooth carrot, good for deep soil
  • Topweight – long tapering roots, also good for deep soil
  • King Chantenay – shorter-rooted, good for home gardens
  • Early Shorthorn – short, fat carrot, good for shallow, heavy soils
  • Baby Carrot – small, sweet carrot, fast-maturing (10 weeks)
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