If you ask new gardeners what they’d like to grow the most, carrots are usually at the top of the list. After all, who doesn’t love these bright, crunchy roots? Well, if you’re trying to figure out what are the easiest carrots to grow, we’ve got you covered. Read on, and get growing!
What are the Easiest Carrots to Grow?
When you’re looking for easy, almost no-fail vegetables for your garden, your best bet is to find a variety that thrives in your growing zone. You can find your area’s agricultural hardiness zone with a quick web search.
Other than that, some of the easiest varieties to cultivate are those that are short, rather than long. This is because they develop quickly, so you’ll feel that giddy thrill of near-instant gratification. Okay, so it’ll take a couple of months for them to develop fully. But you’ll be so happy when you pull those first carrots out of the ground and bite into them, it’ll be amazing. Just brush some of the dirt off first.
These are some of the tastiest and easiest carrots to grow in a backyard garden:
Chantenay Red-Cored Carrot: These sweet, crunchy roots rarely grow more than four or five inches long, and are fully grown in about 70 days.
Parisienne: Although they’re unusually shaped, these golfball-looking carrots taste incredibly, and thrive in any soil.
New Kuroda: While most carrots bolt in hot weather, these are amazingly heat tolerant. They’re juicy, hardy, and mature quickly too.
Little Fingers: If you like baby carrots, these teensy ones only grow a few inches long, and mature in 55 days.
Here’s a tip: always plant twice as many carrots as you think you’re going to eat. This will more than make up for seeds that don’t germinate, and roots that may get eaten by wild herbivores or insect pests. If you end up with a healthy bumper crop, freeze the extras to cook with in mid winter.
Further Reading: How to Freeze Carrots
What are the Best Conditions for Growing Carrots?
Carrots, like most other root vegetables, thrive in well-draining, slightly sandy soil. They’re also fairly heavy feeders, so they need to have well-aged compost mixed into the soil before planting.
Do you plan on growing carrots in the ground? Then you’ll need to dig down at least a foot so they have plenty of room to grow. Remove any large rocks, and make sure the soil is ideal for them to grow in. If it’s too clay-heavy, you’ll need to add sand and perlite for drainage and aeration. You’ll also need to add compost and even some manure so the carrots have a lot of nutrients while they’re growing.
Raised beds are perfect for areas where the soil is too compacted to dig down into. You can also grow carrots in containers! Just make sure they’re at least 12″ deep.
Related Article: Best Planters for Container Gardens
Carrots need direct sunlight for at least six hours a day. More is preferable. They’re also cool-weather crops, so they’ll do best in the spring and fall. If you live in a really hot location, they might bolt in the hottest part of the summer months.
If you’re sowing seeds, aim to plant them three to four weeks before your last expected frost date. Again, you can just do a quick search for “what’s the frost date in (YOUR ZIP CODE)”, and they’ll let you know. Once you’ve figured that out, and you have the right soil mixture sorted, plant your seeds about three times their width, and sprinkle lightly with a bit of soil. Keep the soil moist, but not waterlogged.
The average carrot will mature in 55-75 days. Remember that smaller carrots are sweeter, so don’t fret about harvesting them too early! Leave them in the ground too long and they’ll get woody, and lose their juicy sweetness.
Now that you know what are the easiest carrots to grow, which will you choose?