How to Grow Carrots From Seed


Learn how to grow carrots from seed as well as how to harvest and store them with this simple step-by-step guide and enjoy homegrown carrots in season and year-round! #growcarrots #carrotseedsLearn how to grow carrots from seed as well as how to harvest and store them with this simple step-by-step guide and enjoy homegrown carrots in season and year-round!

Carrots are one of my favourite vegetables to grow from seed. For one, they’re easy to grow just about anywhere, from in-ground garden rows and raised beds to a container on your balcony. 

Second, you can grow a pretty substantial amount of carrots in a fairly compact space, making them a great candidate for urban gardeners and apartment homesteaders as well as traditional homesteaders looking to maximize their harvest out in the country. 

Third, they’re a crowd pleaser when it comes to putting them on our dinner plates and there are so many fun heirloom and hybrid varieties to grow and try in addition to the standard long orange carrot. 

And finally, harvesting them is always so much fun because, unlike vegetables that grow above ground, you never know quite what you’re gonna get when you pull up a carrot root! Sometimes you get nice big, straight carrots. Other times you get some pretty interesting shapes and sizes. And if you grow Rainbow Blend carrots, well then you never know what colour you’re gonna get either! (Purple is my personal favourite).

But carrots definitely weren’t always one of my favourite vegetables to grow. In fact, the first year we tried to grow carrots from seed, we managed to kill every single one! We had no idea what we were doing when it came to starting seeds. We started our carrot seeds indoors when we lived in our condo in the city with no real plan as to where we would move them to later, or the fact that we could have just direct sown the seeds into a pot.

Then we overwatered them to the point of basically drowning some of the seeds and seedlings and then forgot about them in our spare bedroom for long enough that any little seedlings that had survived the flood most definitely did not survive the drought that followed. Oh, and I think we started them in like, June or something. 

My point is, carrots really aren’t that difficult to grow, but if you don’t know what you don’t know, then you could have a similar carrot-growing experience to our first one. And that might make you never want to try growing carrots again. And I just can’t let that happen on my watch!

So if you’re new to gardening or growing carrots from seed (or you just need a refresher on the specs), here’s a step-by-step breakdown of exactly what you need to do to SUCCESSFULLY grow carrots from seed. Because it really isn’t that difficult! Here’s what to do…

A handful of carrots

 

How to Grow Carrots From Seed

The Basics:

  • Prepare soil by making sure to remove any rocks or hard clumps that could prevent the carrot roots from growing straight down
  • Water the soil deeply before planting to help keep it moist
  • Direct sow carrot seeds starting from about two weeks before your average last frost date right into midsummer for a fall/winter harvest
  • Sow seeds about ¼ of an inch deep, an inch or two apart
  • Sow at three-week intervals for a continual harvest
  • Stop sowing seeds about 10 to 12 weeks before your average first frost date
  • Seeds can take up to three weeks to germinate, so be patient!
  • Keep the top couple inches of soil moist while seeds are germinating
  • Thin seedlings to about 4 or 5 inches apart as they begin to grow

The Details:

Because carrots are root vegetables, they do best in loose, well-worked soil free from rocks and other obstructions that might prevent the roots from growing straight down. If you’re planting in the ground, till the soil to a depth of about 10 to 12 inches and remove any rocks and debris. If you’re planting in containers, be sure to run a hand cultivator or rake through your soil to loosen it up and remove any debris.

Water the soil where you’ll be planting your carrot seeds thoroughly in order to help keep the soil moist. Since carrots can take up to three weeks to germinate, it’s important to keep the soil very moist during the first few days.

Direct sow carrot seeds outdoors any time from about two weeks before your average last frost date until about 10 to 12 weeks before your average first frost date for fall and winter crops. Continue sowing seeds every three weeks or so for a continual harvest all summer and fall. You can succession plant carrots after pulling up your peas, radishes and other spring crops.

Keep the top couple inches of soil moist for for at least the first 10 to 14 days, and continue to monitor moisture levels until carrot tops begin to sprout.

If planting in the summer when it’s hot and dry, you might want to place something on top of your planting area such as a row cover or plastic bag in order to keep the soil moist until seeds begin to sprout.

Once carrot tops are a couple inches tall, start to thin the seedlings to about 4 or 5 inches apart. Thinning can be hard because instinct tells you to keep all of the seedlings for more carrots later on, but if you don’t give the carrots enough space, you’ll end up with spindly, barely edible carrots when it comes time to harvest. Instead, thin seedlings out and give them space to grow and you’ll be rewarded with much bigger carrots in the end, which means more actual food for you and your family!

Bunch of carrots

 

Harvesting and storing carrots

The Basics:

  • Harvest carrots anywhere from around 60 to 100 days (check individual seed packets for specific instructions)
  • Harvest fall and winter carrots before the ground freezes
  • To store, remove tops and brush dirt off of carrots, but do not wash
  • Store in the fridge or in a cold/root cellar 
  • For optimum longterm storage, bury carrots in sand in a wooden crate or box in a root cellar or garage

The Details:

Carrots can technically be harvested and eaten at any point in time. But you’ll probably want to wait at least 60 or 70 days for most varieties and up to 90 and even 100 days for others. Check the time to maturity on each individual seed packet to get specific information for the particular carrot variety you’re growing.

While carrots are actually biennials (meaning they don’t produce a flower to collect seeds from until the following spring), if you are harvesting them for their roots, you’ll want to remove them from the ground before the ground freezes. A light frost will actually make carrots sweeter, but a hard freeze can affect the quality.

To store carrots, brush off any excess dirt and remove the carrot tops to keep them from rotting. The carrot tops are also edible, in case you didn’t know. You can turn them into a pesto or add them to soups and salads, or feed them to chickens and rabbits.

Store carrots in a cool place. If you only have a relatively small bunch, you can store them in the refrigerator. If you’ve got a more substantial amount, it’s best to store them in a root cellar if you have one. If not, you can store them in the garage. 

If possible, bury them in sand to keep them cool and moist. Put a layer of moist sand in the bottom of a crate, then lay a single layer of carrots on top. Then cover with another layer of sand and another layer of carrots until all of your carrots are buried and top with a final layer of sand. Store in the garage or root cellar. 

You could also store in an outbuilding to keep them cold if you have no other choice, but it should be well protected from rodents and other critters looking for an easy meal in the winter. 

If you’re in an apartment or smaller space but you manage to grow enough carrots to preserve (or even if you just pick some up from your local farmers market), but you don’t have a root cellar or garage and your fridge isn’t large enough, you can also pickle, pressure can, dehydrate, ferment or blanch and freeze carrots. So don’t worry. There are lots of storage options!

 

Plant carrot seeds now for an abundant harvest this summer and fall!

Carrots are an easy and rewarding vegetable crop to grow from seed. All you need is a little space and a patience while you wait for them to mature. 

If you’re looking for some good and perhaps some different varieties to try this year, here are some of my favourites:

* Just as an aside, the following are not affiliate links, however this is the seed company I purchase from and recommend here in Canada in the Pacific Northwest.

  • Danvers (large heirloom variety, good storage carrot)
  • Nantes (classic carrot, quick maturing heirloom, good for storage)
  • Paris Market (small round heirloom carrots, great for container gardening)
  • Rainbow Blend (multi-coloured hybrid variety, white, yellow, orange and purple, great “novelty” carrots)

For information on how to grow other common vegetables from seed, check out the following guides:

P.S. Don’t forget to download a free copy of my seed-starting starting cheat sheet, with at-a-glance information on how to grow 10 common garden vegetables from seed!

Wishing you homemade, homegrown, homestead happiness 🙂

 

 

 

P.S. Want more help growing your own food at home? Download my free guide, How to Grow Your Own Food in Less Than 15 Minutes A Day and learn how to grow an organic grocery store in your backyard even if you’re limited on time!


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2 Comments

  1. Evans Opata

    How do I plant cabbage or grow cabbage in my garden

    Reply
    • Tish Painter

      Hi Evans,
      Personally, when I have grown cabbage, I have started it from seed indoors. As cabbage likes cooler temperatures, I have planted the seedlings in early spring when temps stop going below freezing overnight (or a little earlier if I cover them). Remember to plant them with plenty of space between seedlings. They grow very large and take up plenty of space! To use space effectively, I plant lettuce and radishes between the young cabbages initially as these will grow fast and will be harvested before the cabbages get large. You can also plant the seedlings in later summer and they can become your fall crop if you have room in your garden. Succession planting is a great way to make the most of your space.
      That is a good way to start and you can find more information and tips for your particular growing zone online also.

      Reply

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ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
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Never before have we had access to so much information at our fingertips. Whether you have a question you need answered, are looking for a tutorial to walk you through a specific task or are searching for a recipe to help you figure out what to make for dinner, all you have to do is Google it.⁣

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When I graduated from university with a degree in journalism many years ago, I remember thinking that while I knew how to write, edit, interview, shoot, and handle just about every part of creating a publication from the editorial standpoint, I really had no clue how to actually get published, let alone how the printing process works.

Over the years I’ve followed my passion for writing, editing and creating content, figuring much of it out on my own. From creating my blog to “self-publishing” my own digital/print magazine for the last 4 years, I’ve taught myself most of the practical skills necessary for turning an idea into a publication and getting said publication in the hands and in front of the eyes of many hundreds of readers.

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It’s been a minute since I popped into IG to say hi. (Hi! 👋) But before I share what’s been going on behind the scenes, I thought it would be a good time to (re)introduce myself, because I’ve never actually done that before!

My name’s Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader living in the beautiful Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. I live with my family (human, furry and feathered) on 1/4 acre property where we grow and preserve hundreds of pounds of our own food every year, and strive to live a more self-reliant lifestyle in all that we do.

I grew up in Vancouver and had pretty much zero experience homesteading before my husband, Ryan and I decided we wanted to escape the rat race, become less dependent on the modern industrial food system (and all modern industrialized systems), and dove head first into this lifestyle around a decade ago.

We packed up and moved to Vancouver Island where we live now, started our first garden, and the rest is pretty much history.

(Well, actually that’s not true… There have been A LOT of ups and downs, successes and failures, wins and losses, struggles, challenges and pivotal moments along the way, but those are stories for another day).

Over the past few years, our decision to follow a less conventional path that aims to break free (at least in some part) from “the system” has been affirmed over and over again. We all know for a fact now that our food system, healthcare system, financial system, transportation system and so much more are all really just a house of cards built on shaky ground. We’ve been lucky so far, but sooner or later it’s all liable to collapse.

But preparedness and security isn’t the only thing that drives us… The peace of mind I get knowing that everything we grow is 100% organic, and that the ingredients in our food, medicine, personal and household products are safe and natural is worth more than anything I could buy at the grocery store.

(I’m not perfect though. Not by a long shot. I still rely on the grocery store, on modern medicine, and on many modern conveniences to get by, but I balance it as much as I can:)

(Continued in comments…)
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117 42

I’m all about practical gifts; Gifts that will truly make life easier and contribute to my and my family’s wellbeing. And our family includes our animals!

One of the ways we make sure our chickens are taken care of is by letting them free range during the day, but making sure they’re locked up and safe from predators at night. But who wants to be up at the crack of dawn to open the coop, or wake up to a bloodbath because you forgot to close the coop the night before?

(The answer is obviously no one… No one wants that).

Automating our homesteading tasks as much as possible allows us to worry about other things and saves us a ton of time. Plus, it makes sure that things get taken care of, whether we remember or not.

Using an automatic chicken door has been a GAME CHANGER for us. It’s one of those lesser known homestead tools that can make all the difference, and I’m always recommending one to anyone who keeps chickens!

This chicken door from @chickcozy_ is so easy to install and use too, and right now you can get one for a steal during their Black Friday sale!

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Yes, you read that right…

Modern Homesteading Magazine is coming to an end.

This decision has not come easily, but there’s a season for everything, and more and more I’m feeling called to transition out of this season and into the next in both life and business.

And so this final farewell issue is bittersweet. On the one hand, it’s the first ever annual issue, with 100 pages packed with brand new content that celebrates the best of the past 32 issues!

And it’s the first issue I’ve ever offered in PRINT!

But on the other hand, it marks the end of an era, and of this publication that I’ve absolutely had the pleasure of creating and sharing with you.

If you’re a digital subscriber, you will not be charged a renewal fee going forward, and will continue to have access to the digital library until your subscription runs out. As part of your subscription, you’re able to download and/or print each issue of you like, so that you never lose access to the hundreds of articles and vast amount of information in each issue.

Rather than subscribing, you can now purchase an all-access pass for a one-time fee of just $20, which gives you access to our entire digital library of issues.

Plus, for a limited time, when you purchase an all-access pass you’ll also get a gift certificate for a second all-access pass to gift to someone else.

I’m also still taking preorders for the print version of this special edition issue, but only for a few more weeks!

When you preorder the print issue, you’ll also get a digital copy of the special edition issue (this issue only), and will receive a print copy in the mail later this year (hopefully by Christmas so long as there are no shipping delays!)

Click the link in my profile or visit modernhomesteadingmagazine.com to check out the latest issue, purchase an all-access pass to the digital library and/or preorder the print issue today!

Thanks to everyone who has read the magazine over the past 4 years. I’m humbled and grateful for your support, and can’t wait to share whatever comes next:)

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25 3

It’s easy to romanticize homesteading, but the truth is that those homegrown vegetables, those freshly laid eggs, that loaf of bread rising on the counter, and that pantry full of home-canned food takes time, effort and dedication. It doesn’t “just happen” overnight!

But if you work on learning one new skill at a time and gain confidence in it before moving onto the next, one day you’ll be looking back and marvelling at how far you’ve come.

That’s where I’m at now. Life today looks a lot different than it did 10 years ago, when our homesteading and self-reliance journey was just beginning.

Back then we still lived in our city condo and were just beginning to dabble in all of this stuff. But my husband Ryan and I felt a sense urgency to start pursuing a more self-reliant lifestyle, and we committed to taking small steps, one day at a time to make that vision a reality.

Over the years we’ve continued to put one foot in front of the other, adding new skills and tackling new projects along the way that have helped us get to where we are today.

While there’s always more we want to learn and do, as I look around me right now, I’m so grateful that we took those first steps, especially considering what’s happened in the world over the past few years!

If you’re also feeling the urgency to take the first (or next) steps toward a more self-reliant life, this is your final reminder that today is the last day to join The Society of Self-Reliance and start levelling up your homesteading and self-sufficiency skills so that you’ve got what it takes to:

• Grow your own groceries
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Link in profile to enroll before midnight tonight, or go to thehouseandhomestead.com/society

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203 5

There are so many reasons to grow your own food at home:

💰 Saves you money at the grocery store
🍴 Healthier than conventionally grown food
🔑 increases your overall food security
🫙 Gives you an abundance to preserve and share

But perhaps the number one reason is because it just tastes better!

Not only does food taste better when it’s freshly picked or allowed to ripen on the vine, there’s something about putting in the work to grow something from a tiny seed and then getting to see it on your dinner plate that just makes it so much more satisfying than anything you’ll ever buy from the store.

Plus, having to wait all year for fresh tomatoes or strawberries or zucchinis to be in season makes that short period when they’re available just that much more exciting!

With the world spinning out of control and food prices continuing to rise, it’s no wonder more people are taking an interest in learning to grow their own food at home. But that also means changing our relationship with food and learning to appreciate the work that goes into producing it and the natural seasonality of organically grown fruits and vegetables.

(It also means learning to preserve it so you can make the most of it and enjoy homegrown food all year long).

In my online membership program, The Society of Self-Reliance, you’ll learn how to grow your own food, from seed to harvest, as well as how to preserve it so you can enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of your labor all year long!

You’ll also learn how to grow and craft your own herbal medicine, detox your home, become your own handyman, and so much more (because self-reliance is about more than just the food that we eat… But that’s a pretty good place to start!)

The doors to the Society are now open for a limited time only. Click the link in my profile or go to thehouseandhomestead.com/society to learn more.

#foodsecurity #homegrownfood #homesteading #selfreliance #selfsufficiency #homegrownfoodjusttastesbetter
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If you’ve been watching events unfold over the past few years and you’re feeling called to start “cutting ties” with the system and begin reclaiming your independence, The Society of Self-Reliance was made for you!

When I first launched this online membership program last year, my goal was to create a one-stop resource where members could go to learn and practice every aspect of self-reliance, as well as a space to connect with other like-minded people pursuing the same goal. And that’s exactly what you’ll get when you join!

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn inside the Society:

🌱 Food Security and Self-Sufficiency: Learn the art of growing and preserving your own food, ensuring you and your loved ones have access to nutritious meals year-round.

🌿 Natural Living and Herbal Medicine Mastery: Discover the secrets to creating a low-tox home and and to growing, making and using herbal remedies to support your family’s health, naturally.

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As a member, you’ll enjoy:

📚 Monthly Video Lessons: Gain access to our ever-growing library of video lessons, with fresh content added each month.

📞 Live Group Coaching Calls: Participate in our monthly live group coaching calls, where we deep dive into a different self-reliance topic every month, and do live demonstrations and Q&A’s.

🏡 Private Community: Join our private community forum where you can ask questions, share your progress, and connect with like-minded individuals.

I only open the doors to The Society once or twice each year, but right now, for one week only, you can become a member for just $20/month (or $200/year).

In today’s world, self-reliance is no longer a luxury, a “cute hobby,” it’s a necessity. Join us inside The Society of Self-Reliance and empower yourself with the skills you need to thrive in the new world!

Link in profile or visit thehouseandhomestead.com/society to learn more.

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Got out for an early morning harvest today. Been up since 3am, contemplating life, the future and the past, the order of things…

There is a rumbling right now, not just in North America, but around the world. Many of us can feel it, and know we are on the precipice of something big.

I’d been hearing about this new song that’s become an overnight viral sensation, written by an (until now) unknown singer named Oliver Anthony. His new song Rich Men North of Richmond has had 14 million views on YouTube in the past week alone, so I decided to check it out.

I also saw a clip of him playing a Farmers Market last week, and anything that has to do with Farmers Markets always has my attention;)

I can’t tell you how many tears I’ve already cried listening to that song. If you’ve heard it already, you probably know what I’m talking about, and if you haven’t, I highly recommend giving it a listen. All I can say is it’s been a while since a song resonated so deeply with me, and in this strange new world, I know I’m not the only one.

One of the lines in Anthony’s song is “Livin’ in the new world, with an old soul,” and that’s something I think so many of us in the homesteading community can relate to.

Trying to cling to better days; To a simpler time; To the old ways, all while doing our best to get by in the new world.

The world has changed drastically in the last few years especially, and it’s set to change in immense ways over the next few years. Today I’m feeling thankful for people like @oliver_anthony_music_ who give a voice to what so many are feeling right now.

Know that if you’re feeling it too, you’re far from alone. And while the future may feel uncertain and even a little scary, remember that if we stand united, we the people are a force to be reckoned with.

(Continued in comments…)
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114 18

Another garlic harvest in the books!

Garlic is easily one of my favourite crops to grow. It’s pretty much a “set if and forget it” crop. We plant in the fall and leave it to overwinter, fertilize a couple times in the spring, start watering only once the ground starts to dry out, and then harvest in the summer. We can even plant a fall succession crop after our garlic if we want so it really makes great use of garden space all year round.

Over the years we’ve managed to become completely self-sufficient with garlic. We now grow enough to eat all year (and then some!), plus we save our own seed garlic and usually have extra to sell or give away. And around here fresh, organic garlic ain’t cheap, so it’s a good cash crop for anyone who’s serious about selling it.

It took me a few years to really get the hang of garlic, but it’s one crop I’m now very confident with (knock on wood, because it’s always when we make statements like this that next year’s crop fails! Lol.)

A while back I compiled a comprehensive guide to growing, harvesting and using garlic both as an edible and medicinal crop. This is usually only available as part of a paid bundle (or in the fall 2022 issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine if you’re a subscriber;), but for a limited time I’m offering it for free, no strings attached!

Plus you’ll also get access to my step-by-step video lesson on planting garlic so you can set yourself up for success with your garlic crop this year.

Comment “Garlic” below or head to thehouseandhomestead.com/garlic-guide to get your free copy!
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75 25

Going through photos and videos from our trip to the @modernhomesteadingconference and the vast majority are of our daughter having the time of her life!

Even if I personally got nothing else out of this gathering (which I most certainly did), watching her discover her own love of this lifestyle outside of what we do at home made my heart grow three sizes!

Homesteading is about so much more than homegrown food and self-reliance. It’s about passing on invaluable skills and an understanding of and respect for our connection to the land that provides for us to the next generation.

Being around so many other kids and families who are also pursuing a homesteading lifestyle helped show our little one that this is a movement that is so much bigger and greater than what our own family does on our little plot of land. This is a lifestyle worth pursuing, with a community unlike any other.

Glad to be back home and more excited than ever to involve my kids in everything we’re doing. But also, I think I speak for my whole family when I say we can’t wait to go back someday!
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#homesteading #modernhomesteading #raisinglittles
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If you’re simply looking for ways to save a little extra cash this summer and live well for less, here are 12 tried and tested frugal living tips for summer that you can use to save money this season without sacrificing a thing.
Head over using the link in my bio!
https://thehouseandhomestead.com/12-frugal-living-tips-summer/
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