If you want sweet, juicy carrots, it’s important you let them grow quickly.
This means providing the seeds with optimal soil conditions for germination.
When to plant carrots in Melbourne
Carrots can be planted in Melbourne from September right through to May.
The only time to avoid planting carrots is Winter, when the soil may not be warm enough for germination.
The best way to grow carrots is by sowing seeds directly into the soil.
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.|
How late in the year can you plant carrots?
Carrots can be planted right up to the end of Autumn (May).
If you do plant your carrots in Autumn, make sure that they receive full sun over the cooler months.
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The best soil for growing carrots
Good soil is essential for tasty carrots.
Carrots will thrive in loose and well-draining soil with a pH value of between 6 and 7.
You may need to amend heavy soil with compost and sand.
Can you grow carrots in Melbourne winter?
Once established, carrots will grow through Melbourne winter.
However, you should avoid sowing carrot seeds in the months June – August because the soil temperature will likely be too cold for them to germinate properly.
Do carrots need fertiliser?
Fertiliser is not necessary for carrots but they may benefit from a low nitrogen fertiliser every month or two.
Anything with too much nitrogen will put energy into the leaves on top but not the all-important root.
Do carrots need full sun?
Carrots grow best in full sun, especially over the winter months.
They will, however, tolerate partial shade.
How often should carrots be watered?
Like most root vegetables, the soil should be kept moist but take care not to overwater. This is why well-draining soil is so important.
Try to keep the soil slightly damp and never let it fully dry out.
How long do carrots take to grow?
Carrots take from 8 to 12 weeks from sowing the seeds until they are ready for harvest.
16 – 18 weeks is the longest you should leave carrots in the ground. After this time, they will start to loose their sweet taste as their sugars convert into starch.
How to know when carrots are ready for harvest
Aside from keeping track of the number of weekings since planting, there are some other basic tricks to check up on the progress of your little orange friends.
The top of the carrot should start to poke out of the ground when it’s ready for harvest, and top of the carrot should be around 2.0 – 2.5cm in diameter.
How many carrots do you get per plant?
The carrot is the root of the plant.
Therefore, each carrot plant is only capable of producing one carrot per harvest.
Why are my carrots short and fat?
There are two main reasons why your carrots are short and fat rather than long and skinny:
- If you don’t have a deep layer of topsoil or your soil is too heavy, your carrots may struggle to grow in the desired shape.
- Some types of carrots have a short, globular shape. These varities somewhat resemble radishes.
Can you plant carrots in Autumn in Melbourne?
Yes you can. Carrots can be planted in Melbourne right up until May.