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Scientific Name

Daucus carota subsp. sativus

Crop Culture

Carrots are a popular root vegetable favored for their sweet flavor and versatility. They prefer full sun but can tolerate partial shade. Carrots grow best in loose, sandy, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0-6.8. Heavy or clay soils can lead to poor root development.

Before planting, prepare the soil by removing stones and breaking up clumps to ensure straight growth. Avoid using fresh manure or high-nitrogen fertilizers, as these can cause carrots to fork and grow hairy roots.


Direct sow carrot seeds outdoors 3-5 weeks before the last spring frost date. Plant seeds ¼ inch deep, spacing them 1-2 inches apart in rows 12-18 inches apart. Thin seedlings to about 3 inches apart once they are a few inches tall. Consistent moisture is essential, especially during seed germination and early growth.

Grow Guides

For a comprehensive guide on growing carrots, including varieties and troubleshooting tips, please refer to our detailed carrot grow guide.

Diseases, Insects, and Weeds

Carrots are relatively low-maintenance but can be affected by pests like carrot rust flies and carrot weevils. Floating row covers can help protect the crop. Keep the area weed-free to reduce competition and prevent disease. Carrot fly can be a problem; crop rotation and protective netting can help prevent these pests.


Carrots can be harvested at any size, but flavor often improves with maturity. Harvest when they are about ½ inch in diameter or larger. Gently loosen the soil around the carrot and pull up by the foliage. Carrots can be left in the ground until needed, but should be harvested before the ground freezes in winter.

Storage and Preservation

Carrots can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks. For long-term storage, keep them in a cool, humid place like a root cellar, or bury them in boxes of damp sand or peat moss. Carrots can also be blanched and frozen, canned, or pickled for extended storage.