Growing carrots is fun and easy, but there are some simple tips that are worth knowing to help you harvest carrots that are sweet and tasty.
The first is knowing how long they take to grow and when to harvest them.
RELATED: How to grow carrots in Australia
How long do carrots take to grow?
Carrots take around 8 to 12 weeks to grow (depending on the variety).
The most flavourful carrots come from young plants, harvested before they reach maturity.
That’s when they’ve developed enough to have a sweet flavour but haven’t yet started producing starch in their root system.
If you wait until the carrots reach maturity (around 16 weeks old) they will still be edible, but the sugars will have turned to starch and the flavour will be less sweet.
Australian carrot varieties and weeks to harvest
The below table displays how long Australia’s popular carrot varieties take to grow.
|Carrot variety||Weeks to harvest|
|All Seasons||9 – 11|
|Purple Dragon||9 – 13|
|Red-Core Chantenay||10 – 11|
How do you know when carrots are ready for harvest?
While it’s important to keep track of the number of weeks since you planted your carrots, there are a few other tricks to check up on their progress.
Once the carrot starts poking out of the ground, it’s usually a sign it is ready for harvest.
The top of the carrot should be about 2.0 – 2.5cm in diameter, although this will vary based on the specific carrot variety.
Are carrots easy to grow?
Not only are carrots super versatile in the kitchen but they’re also easy to grow across most of Australia.
So long you get the basics right, you should have bundles of sweet organic carrots in no time.
Our carrot grow guide below should provide a good starting point:
Grow Guide: Carrots
|Plant type: Perennial grown as annual|
|Height: Up to 50cm|
|Climate: Suitable for most climates|
|How to plant carrots|
|Soil: Well-drained soil with compost|
|Soil pH range: 6 to 7|
|Soil temperature: 21°C – 27°C|
|Spacing needs: 2cm between seeds then thin once seedlings have sprouted (spacing needs will differ based on the variety)|
|Seed depth: 2cm|
|Germination days: 10 days|
|When to sow: Autumn to Spring in hot climates, Spring to Autumn in temperate climates|
|Caring for carrots|
|Sun: Full sun|
|Water: Water regularly to keep soil moist (but be careful not to over-water)|
|Feeding: Not necessary but may benefit from a low nitrogen fertiliser|
|Time to harvest: 8 to 12 weeks for small, sweet carrots (max 16 to 18 weeks).|
|When to harvest: The top of the carrot should start to poke out of the ground when it’s ready for harvest. The top of the carrot should be 1.9 – 2.5cm in diameter.|
What is the best month to plant carrots?
Carrots will grow year-round in most of the country. Here’s when you can plant them:
- Hot climates: Autumn, Winter, Spring
- Temperate climates: Spring, Summer, Autumn
Wherever you live, try to avoid planting carrot seeds in extreme hot or cold temperatures.
Do carrots regrow after harvest?
Carrots are biennial. They are grown for their roots, which are harvested in the first year.
However, if you don’t harvest it and leave the carrots in the ground, the tops will flower and produce seeds the following next year. This is how carrots reproduce.
Do carrots grow well in pots?
If you have a garden or yard, the easiest way to grow carrots is to just plant the seeds in the ground.
However, carrots are also a great crop for containers.
But remember: you need to choose pots that are deep enough to accommodate the roots. Carrot roots are quite long and will extend well beyond the top of the container, so make sure you’re able to provide plenty of space for them to grow.
What is a good companion plant for carrots?
Companion planting is a practice that many gardeners engage in to ensure success for different kinds of plants.
For instance, some plants can be used to deter pests from attacking other plants or to attract insects to the garden that will eat the pests.
Chives, lettuce, leek, peas, rosemary, tomatoes, onion, and radish are all considered good companion plants for carrots.
Though companion planting isn’t a guaranteed method of increasing your harvest, it can help you get more out of each plant and make your garden healthier overall.
How often should carrots be watered?
Like most root vegetables, carrots need to be kept moist but not soggy. Well-draining soil is important for successful carrot cultivation. Try to keep the soil slightly damp and never let it fully dry out.
How many carrots do you get per plant?
Carrots are the root of the plant, so each carrot plant is only capable of producing one carrot per harvest.