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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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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For Angi Schneider of @schneiderpeeps, the answer is pressure canning, hands-down.

The fact is, there are many ways to preserve food, and each of them has its place and serves its purpose. But the only preservation method that allows you to preserve full meals that are ready to eat straight out of the jar is pressure canning.

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For the past week or so, I’ve been sharing a new morning routine I've been committing to...

It's the simple act of lighting a candle to start each day.

In this age of unnatural blue light emanating from our screens, fluorescent and even LED lighting from overhead lights and lamps, it can be quite a shock to the system to go from sleeping in complete darkness to flipping on the bright lights and checking email on your smartphone first thing in the a.m.

By simply lighting a candle and allowing your eyes a minute or two to adjust before turning on the lights or checking a screen, you have the power to create a much calmer and more peaceful start to your day, and that has lasting effects that can and will stay with you all day long.

I know I’m not the only one who can benefit from this simple but powerful morning ritual, so I decided to start a challenge to encourage others to do the same.

If you'd like to participate, grab a candle and a pack of matches (or a lighter) and commit to lighting a candle to start your day for as many days as you can during the month of October.

Every time you share a photo of your candle/morning ritual on Instagram posts or stories and tag me @thehouseandhomestead and use the hashtag #candlelitmorning, you'll be entered to win a naturally-scented candle of your choice from Plant Therapy!

This being said, I know that good quality candles aren't exactly cheap, but you can save a tone of money by learning how to make your own!

If you're interested in learning how to make your own all-natural soy candles with essential oils at home, I'm currently offering my DIY Scented Soy Candles Masterclass for FREE as part of the Handmade Holiday Giveaway, hosted by my friend and fellow Vancouver Islander Diana Bouchard of @wanderinghoofranch

Other limited-time freebies include:

* Exclusive homestead holiday recipes
* Free knitting and crochet patterns
* Free homemade cocktail mixers course
* Cute printable gift tags and more!

Click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead to check out everything that's included in the Handmade Holiday Giveaway.

And don't forget to join in the #candlelitmorning challenge right here on Instagram!
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Sometimes I don’t post photos because I can’t think of a brilliant, thought-provoking caption to go with each one.

But then again, sometimes a photo speaks for itself:)

This weekend reminded me how important it is to be present, both with ourselves and with the ones we love. This weekend I was reminded of what I’m truly grateful for. 🧡

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In the interview, Allyson shares that “on average three-year-olds can identify 100 different brand logos, and that increases to 300-400 by age 10.” If that’s not reason enough to turn off the TV and get outside, I don’t know what is!

“Whatever children are exposed to, they are able to soak it up like sponges, but they aren’t getting that exposure to nature,” she says.

Catch the full interview in the Fall issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine. Subscribe for free to read your first issue free or become a member to get this issue plus access to our entire library of past issues for just $7.99/year!

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#homeschool #homeschooling #naturebasedlearning #naturebasededucation #wildandfreechildren #freerangekids
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🛠 “Even the simplest tools can empower people to do great things.”
- Biz Stone

The other day I asked you what the most valuable asset is on your homestead, and I shared that mine is my dear husband @thehumblehandyman

Everyone who knows him knows he can build and repair just about anything. It’s a true talent, but he’s also spent years learning and sharpening his skills.

But talent and skills are only half of the equation; You’ve gotta have the right tools for the job!

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Which of these tools do you already have?

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What are your go-to tools to use around your house and homestead??? (Duct tape totally counts 😉)

Let me know in the comments below! 👇

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For me, it’s this guy right here.

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When we were getting chickens, he built our chicken coop. When I wanted to put in new garden beds, he built them. Deck? Done! Firewood? Chopped! Bathroom? Remodelled! Car broken down? Fixed! (Did I mention he’s a trained mechanic too?)

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It’s not exactly a stretch to say that we’ve taken the whole pumpkin spice craze a little bit too far.

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The reason we tend to love pumpkin spice so much is because it triggers feelings of comfort and nostalgia; Memories of days spent with family at the pumpkin patch or around the Thanksgiving table. In short, pumpkin spice triggers our emotions as much as it tantalizes our taste buds.

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With everything that’s going on in the world right now, I know I’m not the only one feeling pulled toward hearth and home. This is a heavy time for all of us. No one person is meant to bear the weight of the world on their shoulders, but I've heard from so many people lately who say that's exactly how they've been feeling.

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I've been focusing on the tangible things that I can control, like cooking meals and preserving food.

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And I've been making a conscious effort to turn off the noise of the outside world and give my family and my own emotional health my full attention.

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Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead to grab it now before it disappears 🍁
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I laid in bed the other night and couldn’t sleep.

I know that probably doesn’t sound out of the ordinary, especially considering the collective stress we’ve all been through over the past year and a half. But if I’m being totally honest, I’ve done a pretty good job of not letting it get to me.

I used to have really bad anxiety, and I made a conscious effort to learn how to manage it in (mostly) healthy, natural ways. I practice a lot of gratitude every day, and overall I’ve learned to deal with stress, anxiety and negative thoughts pretty well.

Lately though, I’ve been feeling the weight of it all. Aside from dealing with personal issues like our ongoing infertility/pregnancy loss journey and the every day stresses we all face, the bigger things have been feeling bigger and heavier lately; The mandates, the politics, the pushback, the arguments and attacks online, the divisiveness, and the seemingly never-ending pandemic that every single one of us is still dealing with in some capacity.

I’ve been seeing more and more calls to “choose a side.” I’ve witnessed my own close friends on both sides of the debate hurling insults at each other, defending their ground, and refusing to listen to each other’s valid points and concerns.

I’ve even witnessed a widening crack in the homesteading community, despite the fact that so many of our core values and beliefs align and are unique to us.

Despite the division, I would still argue that ALL of us have much more in common than not, and to see the divide continuing to deepen has started to get under my skin lately.

(Continued in comments…)
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