A Guide On Planting Carrots In The Fall

Is planting carrots in the fall possible? Yes, it is, but it depends on where you grow your carrots or where you live.

Gardeners in the south have the advantage of sowing carrots in the fall for winter harvest. Northern gardeners always start their carrots planting in midsummer to harvest them in the fall and early winter.

The beauty of growing carrots is that many planting and harvesting windows keep these nutritious roots on our plates throughout the year.

Orange carrots are the most ordinary carrots, but you can try planting yellow, white, crimson, or even purple carrots. Besides the carrot color, choosing the right size and shape that suits your soil is critical. Carrots’ size and shape vary by type – ball type Danvers and chantey carrots have a blocky shape that handles heavy or shallow soil. In comparison, slender types like imperator and Nantes carrots require deep loose soil.

Let’s Look At Planting Carrots In The Fall

With the calendar turning to September most gardeners, begin to think of wrapping up the gardening season. However, there is still time to plant several vegetables that can withstand the cold season for the southern gardeners.

The northern gardeners are limited to planting radishes, spinach, lettuce, and arugula in September, while southern and Western gardeners have the luxury of growing a wider variety of vegetables.

Carrots and peas are the two common crops that are planted in warmer areas for fall harvest.   Both crops mature in a few months after planting and tolerate a light frost thriving during the cold. Both crops can be harvested while still immature to yield some tasty vegetables in case the temperatures dip earlier than expected.

Let's Look At Planting Carrots In The Fall

If you live in a mild winter climate, you can also try overwintering some carrots or peas planted in the fall for harvest in the following spring.

Carrot Varieties For Planting In The Fall

Choose a variety that grows quickly to ensure they are mature before the days grow too short and the temperatures become too cold. Here are some excellent carrot varieties to try:

  • Merida – This type produces 7-inch long Nantes type carrot. It can be planted in the fall for spring harvest, as it is slow to get bitter in spring.
  • Primo – Is a Nantes type of carrot that matures in 60 days from seeding. It colors up early, providing a good harvest is baby carrots.
  • Red Cored Chantenay – This type matures in 68 days after seeding, producing 6-inch long blocky carrots. This type is adaptable to many soil types.
  • Little Finger – This type produces 3 to 4 inch long carrots that color up quickly and mature only after 65 days.

When To Plant Fall Carrots

The best time to plant carrots in the fall is September in raised beds if you live in the South and West areas. Prepare the bed by removing previous crops and weeds, loosening the soil, and adding at least half an inch thick layer of compost. Work the compost into the ground.

Once the soil is ready, sprinkle the carrot seed on top of the smooth seedbed and cover it with a quarter-inch layer of soil. Because the weather is still warm in September, shade the planting bed using a shade cloth during the 90 degree days and keep the soil evenly moist. If the soil dries out or the weather becomes too hot, the seeds won’t germinate. Water them well and leave them to grow.

Once the carrots have germinated and the tops have grown a few inches tall, the carrots are at least 2 inches apart.  3 weeks later, then again to 3 or 4 inches apart. Fertilize after the first thinning with a quick-acting fertilizer like the 5-10-10. Avoid using high-level nitrogen fertilizers or fresh manure.

You can start harvesting your carrots as soon as they show color. To overwinter them, bulge with a 6 to an 8-inch thick layer of hay or straw before the ground freezes. When ready to harvest, pull the straw back to clear the way for harvesting.

When Should Southern Gardeners Sow Their Carrots?

After the hot summer has passed and the fall begins, it is time for Southern gardeners to prepare their gardens and plant carrot seeds. Southern gardeners with a warm or mild winter can sow carrot seed in the early fall, that is, September. If they sow in September, they can harvest throughout the winter and into

Carrots can reliably be sown outside in the fall without protection from the weather patterns. Gardeners across South Carolina, Florida, Sacramento can grow fall carrots with ease.

If you’re not sure about the region you are leaving and growing carrots in the fall, you can check your weather forecast in advice for gardening.

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Carrot Planting Tips For Southern Gardeners

It is possible to sow your carrot seed throughout the fall and winter if you live in the Deep South. You can aim to harvest carrots in the most excellent parts of the winter as they will have the sweetest flavor in this time.

Gardeners in the upper South cancel carrots from late August into September. They are planting window is a bit shorter compared to the deep South. However, they have cooler winter temperatures that make their carrots super sweet.

The best way to store mature carrots is to leave them in the ground and harvest only when needed. This is great for cold and mild weather.   However, if your climate is seriously warming up and you’re expecting hotter days ahead, it is best to pull your mature carrots and store them in the root cellar or any other cool, dark and dry place in your house. Scorching weather makes your roots beta and causes the plants to bolt.

Consider putting a shade cloth to the carrot bed until the plants become established; this will help to conserve moisture and cool the soil temperature until the winter weather sets in.

Fond more information about Carrots Planting Spacing – What You Should Know

When Should Northern Gardeners Grow Their Carrots?

Northern gardeners should plant carrot seeds mid-to-late summer to get a fall or winter harvest.

Over the past many years, the northern governors have perfected extending their current season resulting in a bountiful harvest in early winter.

When Should Northern Gardeners Grow Their Carrots

Conclusion

As we have seen, planting carrots in the fall as possible will require some techniques for you to show at the right time and harvest an excellent crop.