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Edibles Grow Sheets


  • Scientific Name
    Daucus carota
  • General Information

    Photo: “Markus Spiske,Pexels”
    Photo: “Markus Spiske,Pexels”
    Carrots are a cool weather crop and a root crop. It is a biennial grown as an annual. Native to Afghanistan.

  • When to Plant

    Sow seeds in garden beds from February to August depending upon your microclimate.


  • Planting

    Rake ground level and irrigate until moist, 12 inches deep. Work and amend soil with fine textured compost. Plant seeds one-quarter to three-quarters inch deep depending upon soil type and weather. For example: plant seeds one-quarter inch deep in clay soil in cold weather and one- half inch deep in sandy soils in warm weather. Plant seeds densely and when they are about two inches high, thin to about two inches apart. Carrots take 10 to 21 days to germinate. Carrots can be grown in containers.


  • Soil Requirements

    Carrots grow best in sandy or fine loam soil. Soil should be friable. Rocky or clay soil will form misshapen carrots. In clay soils, grow short carrots or improve soil with amendments. Carrots prefer pH range of 5.5 to 7.0.


  • Water Requirements

    Water once or twice a day until seeds sprout. As carrots are growing, water less often and with less water. This encourages longer roots. Toward the end of the season, as the roots are enlarging, water less often but more deeply. This encourages development.


  • Fertilizing

    Work in organic vegetable fertilizer, prior to planting. Carrots prefer moderate levels of nitrogen and low levels of phosphorus and potassium.

  • Pollination

    Carrots rely on bees/insects for pollination to produce seed for the next crop.


  • Harvesting

    Carrots mature two to three months after seeds are planted. Carrots usually get sweeter as they get larger. They can also be eaten as baby carrots. To check for maturity, brush aside the soil around the stem and see how wide the shoulders are. Refer to seed packet or catalog to determine the mature size and shape of the variety you are growing. 

  • Storage

    Store in crisper or plastic bags/containers in the refrigerator (32 degrees). Carrots will keep four to six weeks. Carrots can be dried or frozen.


  • Good Varieties for Marin

    Beds: ‘Bolero’ ‘Mokum’ ‘Nantes’ ‘Nelson’ ‘Yaya’

    Containers: ‘Little Finger’ ‘Short ‘n Sweet’ ‘Baby Sweet’ ‘Sweet Baby Jane’ ‘Parmex’ ‘Thumbelina’

    Colors: ‘Purple Haze’ ‘Red Samurai’ ‘White Satin’

    Heavy Soil: ‘Thumbelina' ‘Oxheart’

  • Helpful Tips

    Thinning carrots:  You can wait to thin until the carrots are fingerlings and eat the tiny carrots. You can clip the carrot tops with scissors, rather than pulling out, to avoid disturbing the carrots left in place.

    To speed up germination, soak seeds in water for several hours or overnight before planting.

    Let one or two carrots go to seed. The flowers attract helpful hover flies and you get to enjoy the rare sight of carrot flowers.

  • Common Problems

    Hairy, forked or misshapen carrot roots can be caused by nematodes, over watering, dense or rocky soil or too much nitrogen.

    Carrots can fail to emerge due to soil crusting, high temperatures or seedling pests.

  • Pests- Diseases & More