Want to learn how to grow carrots? The carrot is one of the most versatile root vegetables, imparting a sweetness to soups and stews, as well as making a great raw snack. Planting carrot seeds is easy and can be done in even the smallest of gardens – and even in deep containers, if you'd like to harvest carrots young.
Find more garden ideas at our dedicated page.
When to plant carrots
That depends on when you'd like to harvest your carrots. If you want summer carrots, plant them in April or May, after all risk of ground frost has passed. For winter carrots, plant them in July-August. You can also plant carrot seeds in three-month cycles for a continuous harvest. However, if you're sowing your carrots in late autumn or early spring (February/March), you'll need to protect them with glass cloches.
How to plant carrot seeds
1. Carrots don't require a lot of space to grow, since the grow vertically into the ground, but they do require good-quality, light soil to germinate. So, if your garden patch has rocky, hard or compacted soil, you'll need to replace the top level with high-quality garden compost.
2. Next, ensure you shallow-plant your carrot seeds: they are tiny and mustn't be planted any deeper than 5mm. Allow 2.5cm of soil per four seeds.
3. Cover with a thin layer of compost and water very gently, preferably with a rose or sprinkler attachment.
4. Carrot seeds do take a while to germinate, so don't worry if you don't see any seedlings for the first couple of weeks. Once the seedlings to appear and grow a little stronger, start thinning them out to allow for proper development.
- More on growing your own in our guide to planning a kitchen garden
- Roasted carrots: the perfect side dish to a main