Seed Swaps


Daucus carota subsp. sativus

Belonging to the Daucus genus, Carrot has a botanical name of Daucus carota subsp. sativus.

Carrots are a great choice for the small garden as they don’t take up a lot of space. They are primarily a cool climate crop, so it is best to sow in early spring or autumn for best results.

Carrots are divided into categories based on the way they grow:

Imperator carrots
These are carrots that grow very thin and long (about 10 inches)

Danver carrots
These are much like Imperators, but grow slightly shorter (approx. 7 inches). The tops of danvers are usually thicker and are stronger in taste.

Chantenay carrots
Grow to around 5 – 6 inches in length, and are wider.

Amsterdam carrots
Grow no longer than 3 inches long and are small and thin.

Paris Market
This is the smallest carrot type and grow as a stubby, globe shape (around 1 1/2 inches in diameter). They are great for container growing.

The carrot plant is a actually a biennial, meaning it has a lifespan of two years and produces it’s seeds in the second year. However, carrots are normally harvested in the first year before they reach full “maturity”.

Blooms appear in these approximate colours:   Cream and   Pale green and   Navajo white. The mature flowers are of a clustered form. When ripe, fruit appear in these approximate colours:   Carrot orange and   Deep carrot orange. Leaves appear approximately as a   Dark spring green and   Kelly green

Carrot grows as a biennial and is a flowering edible vegetable / flower. Being a biennial plant, it tends to grow best over the course of two years.

Carrot is known for its erect habit and growing to a height of approximately 15.0 cm (5.85 inches). This plant tends to bloom in mid summer and be ready for harvest in late spring.

Try planting Carrot if you'd like to attract butterflies to your garden.

Popular varieties of Carrot with home gardeners are Scarlet Nantes, Danvers Half Long, Little Finger, Nantes and Chantenay Red Cored.

Carrot is said to originate in Afghanistan.

Being a fairly low maintenance plant, Carrot is normally quite easy to grow provided a minimum level of care is given throughout the year. It will be helpful to note the correct soil, sun and water needs of this plant to ensure that this plant thrives.

This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Carrot have been kindly provided by our members.

How to grow Carrot

  • Full Sun

  • Partial Sun

  • High

Cultivate periodically or mulch to control weeds and try to keep the soil evenly moist. Ensure that the spacings are correct and thin where need be as growing carrots too closely together will result in small yields.

Cover with fleece to prevent carrot fly

Plant in a location that enjoys full sun / partial sun and remember to water often. As a guideline, Carrot does best between USDA Hardiness Zones 3 and 11. Planting Carrot in loamy and sandy soil with a ph of between 6.0 and 6.5 is ideal for as it does best in weakly acidic soil. Keep in mind when planting that Carrot is thought of as very hardy, so this plant will tend to survive through freezing conditions.

See our list of companion Plants for Carrot to see which plants you should plant in close proximity to encourage growth.

Growing Carrot from seed

Carrots can be grown from seed quite easily, and they tend to grow better when planted directly in the spot they are to grow. Prepare the soil well before planting, as carrots need deep, well drained soil that is free from rocks and other obstructions. Mix in some manure and compost and turn over to a roughly the depth of a spade.

Try to aim for a seed spacing of at least 0.39 inches (1.0 cm) and sow at a depth of around 0.23 inches (0.6 cm). Soil temperature should be kept higher than 16°C / 61°F to ensure good germination.

By our calculations*, you should look at sowing Carrot about 14 days before your last frost date .

Transplanting Carrot

Ensure carrots are planted after danger of heavy frost. If transplanting into the garden, tip the seedlings out of their growing container extremely carefully and separate them into individual plants. Put them into well prepared soil and water in well.
Alternatively, thin out the seedlings that have been planted directly in the first instance to a fingers width between plants, these thinnings can be eaten.

As Carrot is very hardy, ensure temperatures are mild enough to plant out - wait until after your last frost date to be on the safe side.

By our calculations*, you should look at planting out Carrot about 14 days before your last frost date.

Harvesting Carrot

Good to loosen the soil around the carrot then gently pull at base of greens.
Choose the carrots for harvesting carefully, leaving the ones in the best positions to mature

Seed Saving Carrot

Must keep all Queen Anne’s Lace mowed to prevent cross-pollination. Dig roots before killing frost, and store in sand or sawdust in root cellar. Replant in Spring, keeping roots 2’ apart. 2

Seed viability is three years.

How long does Carrot take to grow?

These estimates for how long Carrot takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world.

Start logging and journaling your observations to participate!

Days to Germination How long does it take Carrot to germinate?
13 days

Average 13 days | Min 2 days | Max 35 days (1218)

Days to Transplant How long until I can plant out Carrot?
+ 23 days

Average 23 days | Min 1 days | Max 49 days (27)

Days to Maturity How long until Carrot is ready for harvest / bloom?
+ 66 days

Average 66 days | Min 42 days | Max 302 days (18)

Total Growing Days How long does it take to grow Carrot?
= 102 days

When should I plant Carrot?

Our when to plant Carrot estimates are relative to your last frost date.

Enter your frost dates and we'll calculate your sowing and planting dates for you!

When to sow The number of days to sow Carrot before or after your last frost date.
14 days before Last Frost Date
When to plant out The number of days to plant out Carrot before or after your last frost date.
14 days before Last Frost Date

Carrot Etymology

The botanical epithet is from the Latin sativus meaning “cultivated”.

Carrot Folklore & Trivia

  • Carrots were not originally orange, it was the dutch horticulturalists in the 17th century that bred in this characteristic to honour the dutch royal family.

Other names for Carrot

Karotte, Carotte, Carota, Zanahoria, Wortel, Morot, Carrote

Daucus carota var sativa, Daucus carota var. sativus, Daucus carota sativus

Misspellings: Carrots, Carot, Karots

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1 Cass County Extension

2 The New Seed-starters Handbook; Published 1988

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