Choose a sunny spot
You’ll get better carrots if they are grown in a spot that gets plenty of sunshine.
Light, loose soil is best
They are pretty versatile but will grow best in very light, loose soils and not so well in heavy or sticky clay soils. Dig your plot over well, removing any big stones as you go, then rake over.
If you don’t have the right type of soil you can create a trench about 20cm deep and 20cm wide and fill with compost (or plant in deep containers filled with compost)
Deep containers or raised beds/traditional plot
You can easily grow carrots in a container – just make sure it is at least 20cm deep so that the root can grow. If growing in beds, dig them over well before planting.
Thin out before planting...
Before you plant your carrots, we would recommend that you thin them out. Carrot seeds are tiny, so you’ll usually find more than one growing in each bio-pot. Use a pair of scissors or secateurs to snip off all but the strongest looking. This will give it a better chance to grow larger. (You don’t HAVE to do this – if you don’t you will simply end up with several smaller carrots!)
Peel off base of pot before planting
Once you are ready to plant, we’d recommend that you very carefully peel off the base of the bio-pot, trying not to disturb the roots of the carrot. This simply opens up space for the carrot to easily grow deeper. It’s easier to do when the bio-pot is wet, so soak it well in water beforehand.
How far apart?
Carrots can be planted fairly close together – approx 8-10cm
Protect from carrot root fly
Carrot root flies lay their eggs near carrots – when the larvae hatch they bury into the soil and feed on the carrot roots. To prevent this from happening we recommend the following things:
- Cover the row with horticultural fleece, securing it down at the ends and sides.
- Plant onions or leeks alongside your carrots – the scent deters the carrot root flies.
Neither of these are completely effective, but they will help.
Don't let the soil dry out
It is important to keep carrots well watered during dry spells to prevent the roots from splitting. Aim for consistently moist soil, but not waterlogged!
When to harvest
Pull carrots when they are at the size that you would like to eat them – this is usually around 12 weeks after planting and you can usually see the crown above the surface of the soil. Just pull one up to check, and if you’re happy the others can be harvested too.