One of the most popular root vegetables, carrots take a little time to grow, but come packed with important vitamins and nutrients.

Our featured carrots variety: Danvers Half Long

Carrots May Be The First Vegetable You Ever Ate

Carrots May Be The First Vegetable You Ever Ate

Crunchy, sweet, yet kind of bitter at the same time, carrots are an enduring favorite vegetable among a large swath of the population: the average annual per capita consumption of fresh carrots in the U.S. over the past decade or so is 8.8 pounds. That’s a lot of carrots! And, we’re also guessing they might be one of the first vegetables—and, indeed, maybe even the first “solid” food—you were ever fed as a baby.

Interesting Facts About Carrots Plants

Fact 1
Carrots—Daucus carota subsp. sativus—are an annual vegetable and member of the Apiaceae or Umbelliferae family, which also includes parsnips. Less predictably, the family also includes parsley, dill, and fennel, to name a few.
Fact 2
Carrots are a domesticated form of the wild carrot, Daucus carota, which originated in Europe and southwestern Asia about 5,000 years ago, also known as bishop’s lace or Queen Anne’s lace.
Fact 3
We normally think of carrots being orange, but they can also be yellow, red, purple, and white. Baby carrots, by the way, are not a separate mini, variety of carrot. Rather, they are milled, sculpted versions of immature, misshapen or undersized carrots that otherwise would have been discarded due to their appearance.
Fact 4
Many people are not aware that cooked carrots are more nutritious than raw carrots because the cooking process releases additional nutrients, such as beta carotene.
Fact 5
And even though that famously-elusive cartoon character, Bugs Bunny, seemed to love carrots, the actor who played his voice, Mel Blanc, reported abhorred them.

Carrots Gardening Tips

Difficulty
Difficulty

Easy.

Sun
Sun

Ideally full sun (minimum of 6 hours) but carrots can tolerate some shade.

Water
Water

Keep carrots consistently moist. If they happen to dry out, don’t drench them with water to make up for it as that will cause their roots to split. As always, take care not to over-water when the seeds are first planted. Similar to most plants, early morning watering is best.

Soil
Soil

Loose soil is preferable though this variety can tolerate heavier soil than most. Enrich with mature compost before planting. Soil temperatures should be at least 50 degrees F.

Air
Air

60°F to 65°F

Timing
Timing

Direct sow 3 to 5 weeks before the anticipated last spring frost. Plant again every 2-3 weeks after that for continuous harvest. In zone 8 and warmer, plant in fall or winter.

Planting
Planting

Direct sow seeds outdoors 3-4″ apart in rows. Space rows at least 12″ apart.

Germination
Germination

14-21 days. Ideal germination temperature: 55-75°F; will not germinate above 95°F.

Time to Harvest
Time to Harvest

70 days

Feeding
Feeding

Add organic fertilizer sparingly to the soil 30 days after germination. Choose a formulation with more potassium and phosphate than nitrogen, such as 0-10-10 or 5-15-15.

Mulch
Mulch

Add mulch as seedlings develop to retain moisture and discourage weeds.

Pests & Diseases
Pests & Diseases

While carrots are resistant to insect pests and diseases, they are favorites of deer, rabbits, woodchucks and gophers and must be protected.

Special Considerations
Special Considerations

Weed regularly to eliminate any competition for water or nutrients.

Companion Plants
Companion Plants

Beans, Radish, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Onions, Peas. Don’t plant with Anise, Dill or Parsley.

Container-Friendly
Container-Friendly

Yes, at least 12″ deep. A bigger container is better.

Harvesting Carrots

Harvesting CarrotsCarrots’ flavor improves as they grow. You can harvest them as soon as they’re big enough to eat, or you can wait until they all mature for a single harvest. Harvesting will be easier if you soak their garden bed with water before pulling them up. In northern climates, be sure to harvest them before the ground freezes. Otherwise, you could leave them in the ground all winter, harvesting them when the ground thaws as long as you cover them with at least a foot of mulch. Cutting the greens off after harvest will ensure they keep longer. Refrigerate in a plastic bag.

Growing Carrots—Highlights

  • Carrots are a popular root vegetable that are easy to grow.
  • They’re relatively slow-growing but the seeds can be sown outside early in spring as they can tolerate cool temperatures.
  • Direct sow these seeds in the outdoor garden; carrots do not like to be transplanted.
  • The seed variety we sell—Danvers Half Long—is a popular heirloom seed originating in 1871. It is a reliable producer yielding large, firm, tasty orange carrots.
  • It will grow best in loose, well-worked soil, though the roots of this “blocky” variety can push through heavier soils than many other carrot varieties.
  • Like many vegetables you can grow in your garden, carrots are low in calories and high in fiber. They’re a great source of vitamins and beta carotene which promotes good eyesight as well as a healthy immune system. They are 88% water which makes them hydrating as well.

Here at Bentley Seeds, we want to set you up for success. Our growing guides are designed to give you all the information you'll need to start growing from seed, in an easy-to-digest format.

We also encourage you to print out a copy as a handy reference in your garden.