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Growing Carrots

How to grow carrots in pots, containers, garden beds

and allotments


Fresh Carrots

Family/Latin Name

Apiaceae - Daucus carota ssp. sativus

Type of Plant

Root - Crop Rotation Group = Root

Suitable for


Pots, Garden Beds, Allotments


Pests & Diseases    Companion Plants    In the Kitchen

See also:-  Vegetable Growing Glossary  |    Container Growing  | Buying Seeds & Plants


Plant Dimensions

Height: Up to 20cm/8"  -  Spread: up to 7.5cm/3-inches

Yield per plant
Yield per 1.5m/5 ft row
1 Carrot: 

Time between sowing  and harvesting

About 12 weeks

Where to Sow

Outdoors in open ground. Avoid very stony ground as these can cause the carrots to become misshapen, stunted or fanged.

Containers at least 20cm/8" deep

Sowing time

Late March to July  - temperature   +10C/50F. 

How to Sow

In rows: Very thinly12mm/½"deep - space rows 30cm/12" apart

Broadcast: Very thinly 12mm/½"deep in blocks or groups

After Germination

When the seedlings are 2.5cm/1" tall,  thin plants to 5-7.5cm/2-3" apart. Throw away the thinnings as these do not transplant well. Do not leave thinnings on the soil surface as they attract carrot root fly (see pests and diseases below).

Growing on -  In Pots

Keep well watered and avoid dry spells to prevent the carrots splitting. Try to keep the tops of the carrots covered with soil or "earthed up" to prevent them turning green (known as green top).

Growing on - In open ground

As above


As above


Start pulling baby carrots from June onwards. It's a good idea to pull every other carrot, leaving the remaining carrots more space to develop into larger specimens. Crops over 16-20 weeks.

Pests and Diseases

Companion Plants

Carrot Root Fly
Indications First sign is that the carrot leaves may look a reddish rust colour. Lifted carrots have small holes and short white maggots
Treatment None once infected
Prevention Organic
1. Companion Planting
2. Prevent the fly getting to the carrots by erecting barriers about 45cm/18" high around the rows or beds, using stakes and polythene sheeting or fleece.
3. Sow carrot fly resistant varieties such as "flyaway" or "Sytan".
Apply an insecticide containing Lambda-cyhalothrin
Indications Leaves distorted, yellowing and stunted
Treatment Organic
Spray with a weak solution of soapy water
Use water through a hosepipe to knock the aphids off the plants
Spray with an insecticide containing Fenitrothion
Prevention None

 Companion Flower Graphic

Grow onions and/or garlic nearby, preferably surrounding the carrot crop.

If you know aphids are a problem in your area, grow flowers such as nasturtiums, calendula asters,  dahlias, and zinnias nearby but not close to carrots as aphids find them attractive so they act as a lure.


Create a bio-diverse environment by planting flowers nearby to attract bees, ladybirds and other "friendlies". To learn more about companion planting click here.

In the Kitchen

 Storage:  In a cool, dry, dark place for up to 5 days or in the refrigerator for  up to 10 days. Remove any leaves attached to carrots before storing for any length of time. Can also be stored in sturdy boxes between layers of sand or dry peat and kept in the garage or shed. Do not allow the carrots to touch when storing in this way.

Preparing:  Wash in cold water.  Cut off the stem end and straggling roots if present. Peel older carrots or simply scrub or scrape young specimens.

Cooking:  Carrots can be boiled, steamed, baked, roasted, micro-waved and sautéed.

As well as being a nutritious accompaniment to meats, poultry and fish, they are an excellent addition to most stews and casseroles.

For more preparation and cooking information about carrots plus lots of  recipes visit our sister site www.recipes4us.co.uk

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