How to Grow Carrots


  • Sowing Instructions (Indoors)
  • How to Transplant
  • Sowing Instructions (Outdoors)
  • Crop Maintenance
  • How to Harvest
  • Pests & Diseases

Sowing Instructions (Indoors)

  • Sowing time: Sow from March to September
  • Stagger sowing times for a continual harvest
  • Sowing Location: When sowing indoors, sow in fibre pots
  • Sow 3 to 5 seeds per fibre pot, thin out later
  • Prepare fibre pots filling with compost
  • Soak soil first, sow seed 1-2cm deep & cover lightly with soil

How to Transplant

  • If growing indoors you should transplant out once weather is suitably warm
  • Take care not to disturb plant's roots
  • Plant fibre pot directly into prepared soil
  • Space 7 to 15cm apart depending on variety
  • Water well

Sowing Instructions (Outdoors)

  • Sowing time: Mid to Late spring & throughout summer
  • Sowing location: Direct into rows
  • Sow seed 1-2cm deep
  • Sow 3 to 4 seeds every 7 to 10cm, thin later
  • If thinning is required, do so once seedlings develop their first true leaves
  • This minimizes competition & allows for faster growth
  • Dispose of thining, do not leave on vegetable plot
  • Soil: Prepare soil creating a deep, light & free draining soil
  • Heavy clay soils are not suitable – improve by added sufficient well rotted farmyard manure or horticultural grit
  • Start digging over soil in late winter or early spring
  • Aim to achieve a fine crumbly texture
  • When cultivating, remove all weeds, roots, rocks and small stones
  • Fresh manure and small stones can cause carrot roots to split
  • Do not add manure as it can make the soil too rich for the seeds
  • Sand will add drainage so mix seeds with a handful

Crop Maintenance

  • Cover early sown seeds & seedlings using garden cloche
  • Carrot seeds hate drying out, if sowing in summer make sure to keep moist
  • Weed rows regularly
  • Protect against carrot fly (See below)


  • Pull up carrots as soon as they are big enough to eat
  • Best to harvest in the evening to avoid carrot fly attack
  • Use a fork to lift, being careful not to damage the carrots


  • Late sown carrots must be lifted by October and stored over winter
  • Only store the best undamaged roots
  • Cut off foliage, and lay the roots between layers of sand in a storage box
  • Store somewhere cool and dry
  • Remove any rotten roots

Pests & Diseases

  • Pests: Carrot fly
  • Damage to carrot: The carrot fly lays eggs that attack the carrot
  • Effect on carrot: Larvae leave small black tunnels throughout  the root causing wilting
  • Carrot fly is a low flying insect
  • Reduce attack by: Erecting windbreakers or fine mesh to protect crop
  • Remove all thinings from your vegetable plot
  • Try growing your carrots on raised beds
  • Or try carrot fly resistant varieties such as 'fly away'
  • Other plants such as garlic, chives, sage and rosemary will also help to deter carrot fly
  • Other pests, diseases & issues include carrot willow aphid, swift moth, green top, forked roots and splitting


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