Carrots: How To Grow, Harvest & Cook Them

Thanks to their delicate flavour these handy root vegetables can be slotted into any meal of the day and also make for a stellar healthy snack.

If you fancy a crack at growing your own carrots then you’re in luck as these veggies are amongst some of the easiest to grow, whether you’re choosing to use pots inside or a patch outside.

Inside or Outside

Whether you choose to grow your carrots indoors or outdoors will doubtless depend on the land that you have to spare.

If you’ve got plenty of space (like an allotment or back garden) then you should consider setting out a good 2m² to allow yourself space to grow around 15 or so crops. Should you wish to grow regular healthy sized carrots you’ll need to have a depth of at least 30cm, make sure the soil is well-drained and fertile – if the soil is stony or heavy with clay you might find that your carrots in struggle.

Carrots will grow fine in containers (provided they are deep enough) so if you don’t have enough quality land to accommodate your new seedlings you can choose to grab some planters and use them instead. If you’re really stuck for space then you can grow carrots inside, although you will have to rely on plant feed to guarantee good results – this is something worth considering if you had dreamt of showing off your ‘totally’ organic carrots to your friends.

Sowing & Harvesting

Most carrots are best grown between April and early July, however there are some early cultivars that should be grown earlier – always check on the back of your seed packed or with the seller before purchasing. Sow your seeds thinly (rows of 15-30cm are ideal) and at a depth of 1cm to produce plants that are at least 5cm apart from each other. Once they have grown to become seedlings you can decide if you need to thin them.

After 12-16 weeks your carrots should be ready to be harvest. There’s no need to wait for the longest roots, in fact if you do that might impair the flavour of your crop. Gently pull your carrots from the soil (use a fork if the soil is particularly heavy) and then you’re ready to cook!

Eating Your Carrots

You’ll soon discover that your carrots taste best when they’re freshly picked. Although they will keep for up to 5 weeks, eating them within the first week will provide you with the best taste. How you choose to eat your carrots depends on how creative you’re feeling! You could throw them in your juicer and enjoy them as part of your breakfast routine, or you could throw them in your next roast. Click through here for some more ideas on how to prepare your freshly grown carrots.