A Guide On Planting Carrot Seeds – Important Soil Requirements

Last Updated on August 5, 2022 by Griselda M.

Planting carrot seeds requires tons of patience as they take a long time to germinate which could make one think they died.

Carrots are biennial plants that need at least two seasons to produce any vegetable. Carrots are usually planted after the last frost date of spring. They should be sown in well-prepared seedbeds or holes.

Planting Carrot Seeds

Sowing Method

Carrot seeds can be planted in either direct or indirect planting methods.  Direct planting means that the seeds are planted directly into the soil, without a growing medium.  Indirect planting means that the seeds are first grown in a growing medium such as vermiculite or peat moss, then planted into the soil.

If carrots are to be planted in direct soil, it is best to sow in a shallow container and transplant them into the soil later. Sow carrot seeds in rows, 10” apart and 2-3″ deep.  The seedlings will grow about 3-4 inches tall before they are transplanted. 

If starting seeds indoors, use a germination tray to cover the seeds. The seeds should be sown after the last frost date of spring, which is usually in mid-May.  Thin your seedlings to at least 3-4 inches apart to allow air to circulate.

Germination

Carrots seeds take a long time to germinate, 14-21 days. During the germination time, the soil should be kept moist.

Jiffy Seed Starting Greenhouse with 72 36mm Peat Pellets

Planting Carrot Seeds

Thin The Seedlings Once They Germinate

It is advisable to thin the seedlings to about 4-6 inches apart.  The seedlings need to be thinned every two weeks until the plants have reached a length of 8-10”, after which time it is not necessary to thin anymore. A few weeks before planting, thin the seedlings so that only the strongest plants remain.

Keep The Plants Moist

Irrigate with water whenever the soil dries out.  Carrot is a cool-season crop and requires cool weather for optimum production.

The plants can be harvested from late fall through early spring. Carrots are very popular vegetables and there are many different varieties available.

Read more about Low Nitrogen Fertilizer

Seedling Care

Seeds are best planted in a sunny location with well-drained soil.  The soil should be kept moist until the seedlings have emerged from the ground.  

Once the seedlings emerge, they should be watered every day until they are large enough to be transplanted into their permanent home.  The plants should be transplanted into a well-drained, but not too dry, soil as soon as possible after they reach two inches in height.

Carrots should receive at least one inch of water a week during the growing season. When grown in dry soil, carrots may become misshapen, or develop a bitter taste.

Carrot Seedling Care

Carrot Varieties

Some of the popular varieties commonly grown are:

  • Cortland – This variety has long taproots and high yield potential.
  • Early Burpee – Early maturing and high yielding variety.
  • Excel – This variety is hardy and productive and is best grown in cooler climates.
  • Giant Winter – The largest carrot variety available.

Requirements For Planting Carrot Seeds

Carrots need to have a frost-free period of at least six weeks to produce good-quality roots.

  • Soil Temperature.  Soil should be kept warm enough so that the soil is moist when the seeds are planted, and that the temperature does not drop below freezing. Ideal soil temperatures for germination are between 60 to 70 degrees, with little or no germination happening below 40 degrees.
  • Soil Moisture. The soil should be kept moist but not soggy.  Watering can be done by overhead sprinkler or by hand.
  • Sunlight.  Carrot seeds need light to germinate and to help them grow.
  • Spacing.  Carrots seedlings need 6-8 inches of space to grow and should be thinned out once they are large enough to handle.
  • Soil Fertility.   When planting carrots, it is important to provide a good balance of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.  Carrots need an abundance of nitrogen to produce a strong root system and healthy plants.  Phosphorus and potassium are also important for healthy growth.
Requirements For Planting Carrot Seeds

Summary For Planting Carrot Seeds

Planting carrot seeds requires enough preparation before putting those seeds on the soil or germinating trays. You must also provide them with proper nutrients to ensure they grow healthy and strong.

FAQ’s

How to germinate carrot seeds before planting?

Carrot seeds are the most popular seed type, but they are often difficult to start. It is not necessary to soak your seeds for a long time.

What month do you plant carrot seeds?

Carrot seeds can be planted from late March to early April. When the temperature reaches 10°C (50°F) the soil should be moist, and then you need to water the seeds.

Should I soak carrot seeds before planting?

Seeds should be soaked in water for a few hours to soften and make them easier to handle. If you soak the seeds for too long they will begin to rot. After soaking, drain the seeds and then place them on a clean surface to dry out. After 2-3 days the seeds should be ready to plant.

How long does it take to grow carrots from seed?

Carrots can be grown from seed in about two months, though it is not necessary to start seeds indoors. The time from planting seeds to eating fresh-picked carrots will vary depending on the season and the variety of carrots.

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