Sunday, 06 October 2013 23:37

How do Carrots grow?

Carrots can be selectively bred to produce particuar colors. Click here to view.


  • Latin Name:

    Daucus carota

  • Growth:

    How do carrots grow?

    Carrots are biennials that are best grown in full sun and sandy soil.  They like cool weather and start growing about two weeks before the last expected frost.

    The growing period for carrots from seed to picking is approximately 60 to 70 days.

    USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 10. Click here to view USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.


    Spring: For a spring crop, plant at the beginning of April. Roots grow best at temperatures between 60 to 70 degrees.

    Summer: Growth and harvest in sunny summers with low humidity. Avoid planting during the hottest temperatures of summer

    Fall: For a fall crop, planting begins in August.

    Winter: Carrots struggle to grow in temperatures below 60F. Crop is protected with a covering of soil when weather is too cold or wet. 

  • Propagation:

    How are carrots propagated?

    Carrots are biennial plants, if left in the ground they flower and produce seeds for a second year.

    Carrots are mainly propagated either from purchased seed or harvested from previous crop. If the soil is kept fertilized and moist, the seed will sprout within 2-3 weeks.

  • Harvest:

    When can carrots be harvested?

    Carrots can usually be harvested about 3 months after planting.

    When the root vegetable is about one inch in diameter, the carrot is entering maturity and is ready to be harvested. The beds are soaked in water so the carrots are easier to pull out of the soil.

    Commercial growers use mechanized harvesters.

    Carrot Harvesting

    Baby Carrot Harvest

  • Storage:

    What are some efficient ways to store carrots?

    Common methods for storing carrots include refrigeration, canning, freezing, drying, pickling, and underground root storage (if left in the ground).

    Carrots keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 months if they are cleaned and placed in an air tight container.

  • History:

    Where do carrots come from?

    Carrots are first documented as far back as 5000 years ago in Ancient Egypt and Middle Asia.

    Originally carrots were not orange, but purple, yellow, and white. They were not used for eating but as a medicinal herb.

    The orange carrot that we are familiar with today is a product of cross breeding by Dutch growers in the 16th century.

  • Top Producers:

    Who are the top carrot producers?

    China, Russia, the United States, Poland, and Uzbekistan.

    California is the top U.S state for carrot production, growing approximately 70,000 acres of carrots annually.

  • Varieties:

    What are some common carrot varieties?

    Carrot varieties can be classified into two general classes: Eastern and Western carrots.

    Common varieties include: - The Nantes: A sweet crisp, cylindrical carrot that grows in spring or fall. - The Chantenay: Conical roots, round tips, a sweet flavor and long storage life describe this variety. - The Miniature/Baby: These are carrots with tapered roots that are less than 5 inches long, cylindrical and round. Their texture is crisp and sweet. - Danvers: Good for juicing; thick rooted cylindrical shape with a yellowish core. -Imperator: A slightly more fibrous textured carrot with stocky shoulders and strong tops.

  • Products:

    What are common carrot varieties?

    Carrots are eaten fresh, in salads, stir fries, stews, steamed, and in desserts.

    Carrots are the main ingredient in many nutrition bars, juices, beauty products, and vitamin supplements.

  • Top Health Benefits:

    What are the top health benefits of carrots?

    Carrots have a high beta-carotene content and provide important phytonutrient antioxidant benefits that improve cardiovascular conditions, prevent cancer and improve vision.

    Different varieties contain different amounts of essential antioxidants, such as carotenoids, hydroxycinnamic acids, and anthocyaninidins.

More in this category: Carrot Color Variety »