Carrots (Daucus carota)

Carrots are relatively easy to grow and can be sown regularly throughout the season for an abundance of carrot crops. They now come in a variety of colours, from white to purple (and, of course, orange).

How to grow carrots


For the best results, carrots need a sunny position and fine, crumbly soil that has not been freshly manured, without too many stones.

Carrot varieties

For early crops, choose ‘Early Nantes’, ‘Amsterdam Forcing’ or ‘Mignon’.

For the main sowing season, sow ‘Autumn King’, ‘Red Intermediate’ or ‘Chantenay Red Cored’.

For stoney soil, try the shorter or stump-rooted varieties, such as ‘Rondo’ or ‘Parmex’.

And to tempt kids, you could try ‘Sugarsnax’, ‘Parmex’ or ‘Bolero’.

Freshly harvested carrots

Sowing carrots

The seeds need to be sown where they are going to mature. Follow our how to grow carrots guide for full details.

How to care for carrots

If you have sown too thickly they will need thinning out. Don’t compost the larger thinnings as they make a delicious addition to salads. It is better to sow thinly, rather than having to thin out seedlings, as handling and bruising the plants can attract carrot fly.


Carefully lift carrots as soon as they are large enough to use. Don’t leave them to get very large or you’ll sacrifice flavour.

Read our how to grow carrots guide for further advice and information.


Carrots may be susceptible to the following problems: Forking, Cracking, Carrot Fly.

Foliage season(s) Spring, Summer, Autumn
Sunlight Full sun
Soil type Clay, Loamy, Sandy
Soil pH Neutral
Soil moisture Moist but well-drained
Ultimate height Up to 15cm (6in)
Ultimate spread 5cm (2in)
Time to ultimate height 3 months

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