Growing carrots from seed can be a bit tricky, but it’s totally worth it! In this post, I will show you how to plant carrot seeds the right way, with detailed step by step instructions, and seedling care tips too.
They get a bad wrap because they can be finicky. But growing carrots seeds is actually very easy once you know how.
So, if you’re ready to finally be successful, then this is for you! Below I will walk you through all that you need to know in order to grow carrots from seed, step by step.
Here’s what you’ll find in this detailed guide…
Growing Carrots From Seed
Once you know how to plant carrot seeds, and how long it will take, you’ll find that you can easily grow any type that you want. And trust me, there are plenty of varieties to choose from!
Types Of Carrot Seeds To Plant
Believe it or not, there are tons of different types of carrot seeds you can plant in your garden. The exact one you choose will depend on your preferred flavor or color.
You could try a couple of different varieties, or get a mixed pack to see which you like the best. Here are a few of my favorites…
Don’t worry, the steps for growing carrots from seed are the same no matter which type you choose. Heck, you could even mix and match them.
Recommended Carrot Seed Starting Methods
For the best success, it is super important to use the right method for planting carrot seeds – and that is direct sowing.
I don’t recommend starting them indoors or winter sowing them. That’s because transplanting carrot seedlings almost always causes the roots to become deformed.
So don’t waste your time experimenting. Stick to planting them directly in your garden for the best success.
Related Post: 3 Seed Starting Methods That Every Gardener Should Try
How Long From Seed To Harvest?
From seed to harvest, carrots can take anywhere from 60-80 days. This number varies wildly depending on which variety you choose.
So, always make sure to check the packets to figure out how much time you’ll need to give them to mature.
Planting Carrot Seeds
No matter what variety you choose, the planting process is always the same. In this section, I’ll tell you exactly when and how to plant carrot seeds.
When To Plant Carrot Seeds
For those of us who live in a cold area, the best time to plant carrot seeds is as soon as the ground is workable in very early spring.
If you live in a warm climate, sow them in the fall once the weather cools down, or in early winter.
How To Plant Carrot Seeds Step-By-Step
Carrot seeds are easy to plant, so there’s no need to get anxious. But if you want everything to go smoothly, it is best to have all of your supplies ready first.
- Hand trowel
- Organic soil amendments (worm castings, compost, or granular fertilizer – optional)
Step 1: Prepare the soil – Before planting carrot seeds, make sure you loosen up the soil, and remove any impediments, like sticks or rocks. Otherwise, they can inhibit healthy root development.
Step 2: Determine the spacing – Since they don’t require a ton of space, you can plant your carrot seeds 1″ apart. Or, if you prefer, you can just scatter them in rows, and thin them out later.
Step 3: Plant the seeds – Make shallow trenches or holes in the soil, then drop the seeds in. Or, sprinkle them over the top, then gently work them down to about 1/4″ deep.
I like to use my finger to draw a shallow line in the dirt, then thinly sprinkle them into the trench I created.
Step 4: Cover the seeds – Once you’re done planting, push the dirt back over them, and gently pack it down. That way, you’ll ensure the soil will come into contact with the seeds.
Step 5: Water – Moisten the soil in the bed using the lowest setting on your garden hose.
Using a gentle stream will ensure that you don’t displace the tiny seeds. The soil should be evenly moist, but never soggy.
Carrot Germination Time
The amount of time it takes carrot seeds to germinate can also vary. They are a bit slow, and it can take anywhere from 14-20 days to sprout.
So be patient, and don’t get discouraged if it seems to be taking forever. During this time, make sure the soil never dries out, or it can inhibit germination.
What Do Carrot Seedlings Look Like?
When they first pop out of the ground, carrot seedlings have two long and narrow leaves. Those are called the “seed leaves”.
All of the rest that form after that are called “true leaves”, and they look just like tiny baby carrot leaves.
How To Care For Carrot Seedlings
The work doesn’t end when your carrot seeds sprout. You will get the best results if you also ensure the seedlings are well cared for.
- Water – For the best success, always keep the soil evenly moist, but never soggy. Dry or wet soil can kill the delicate seedlings. Use a moisture gauge to get it just right.
- Fertilizer – Once your carrot seedlings have their first few true leaves, start feeding them with a liquid fertilizer at half strength. They love compost tea or fish emulsion too.
- Thinning – If you didn’t have the patience to space them out properly when you planted your carrot seeds, you’ll need to thin the seedlings. Just make sure you never pull them out, or it could cause major damage to the ones nearby.
Below I’ve answered some of the most common questions about growing carrots from seed. If you still have a question after reading though this section, ask it in the comments below.
How many carrot seeds do you plant per hole?
When sowing fresh carrot seeds, you can plant one per hole. But if you’re using old seeds, place 2-3 per hole, and thin them later.
How deep do you plant carrot seeds?
Carrot seeds should always be planted twice as deep as they are wide – so only about 1/4″.
How can you germinate carrot seeds faster?
To help carrot seeds germinate faster, plant them in the cooler weather of spring or fall, and always keep the soil evenly moist. You could also try soaking the seeds before planting to help speed things up.
Do carrot seeds need light to germinate?
No, carrot seeds do not need light in order to germinate.
Do you soak carrot seeds before planting?
While it’s not necessary to soak carrot seeds before planting, doing so can help to speed up and increase germination rates.
Growing carrots from seed is amazingly easy and fun. With no need for transplanting or starting the seeds indoors, it really takes the burden out of planting them.
Do you want to learn how to easily grow any type of plant you want from seed? Then you should take my online Seed Starting Course! It’s a fun, fully comprehensive course that you can go through at your own pace, any time you want, and from anywhere. Enroll and begin today!
Otherwise, if you just need a quick-start refresher, then download a copy of my Starting Seeds Indoors eBook.
More Posts About Growing Seeds
- How To Plant & Grow Lettuce From Seed
- How To Plant & Grow Radishes From Seed
- How To Grow Spinach From Seed: Step-By-Step
Share your tips for planting and growing carrot seeds in the comments below.