Carrots grow best in loose soil, however Parisian carrots tolerate clay and rocky soils. Sow seeds directly outdoors April 15 – Aug 15, ¼” deep, ½” apart in rows 20” apart. Keep seeds consistently moist (you can cover them with row cover fabric to help keep them moist by shading them). Days to germination: 11-21 days (depending on soil temperature). Carrots need full sun, regular water, and to be kept well weeded. Carrots will be sweeter when grown during cooler weather. Sow seeds every 3 weeks for a continuous supply of carrots.
Harvest carrots as they begin to mature to full size and color (from pale to bright orange). During hot weather, carrots should be harvested as soon as they are mature so that they don’t become tough and starchy (you can store them in the fridge). In cool fall weather, carrots will sweeten and can stay in the ground until the soil begins to freeze – try placing a bale of straw on top of the carrots and this will delay ground freezing.
Carrot is a difficult seed saving crop. They are cross pollinated by insects and will easily cross with the common, wild Queen Anne’s Lace as well as all other carrots. Carrots are biennial – the roots need to survive the winter (in a hoophouse or root cellar) in order to flower in year two. Inspect roots and only allow good roots to flower for seed. Minimum population size: 25. Isolation: ½ mile or caging.