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A picture of a Carrot


Daucus carota ssp. sativus

Starr 070730-7894 Daucus carota subsp. sativus by Forest & Kim Starr (CC BY 3.0)

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size








4 months to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images of Carrot

A close up of some orange Daucus carota subsp. sativus carrots with green tops
A close up of an Daucus carota subsp. sativus carrot in the wild
A close up of a Daucus carota subsp. sativus

Carrot Overview

Daucus carota subsp. sativus produces thick, sweet, orange roots, commonly known as Carrots. It is from this plant that most domestic carrots are cultivated from. Carrots prefer growing in sunny locations with free draining, deep soil that encourages long straight roots. Raised beds or containers lifting the crown of the plant above 60cm (2') will also help to deter carrot fly, a low flying common pest which lays its eggs near the developing root. The subspecies Daucus carota subsp. sativus has evolved from the Wild Carrot species, Daucus carota, along with other subspecies that adapted to different climates in different regions of the world. Carrots can range in colour from white to yellow, red and purple depending on the variety, but all have large long tap roots. An example is Daucus carota subsp. carota that produces thin, bitter-tasting, white, but inedible roots.

Common problems with Carrot

Carrot Companion Plants

Lettuce, onions, radish, tomatoes, basil, parsley, rocket

How to harvest Carrot

Carrots can be harvested 8 - 12 weeks after sowing, or as soon as they have reached the preferred size. Generally, small is better; however, a carrots flavour is better if it experiences a frost. This triggers the plant into storing sugars into the root. In sandy soil sites and milder locations, carrots can be stored in-situ over winter with a layer of mulch to shed the worst of the winter wet. However; you will need to lift them before they start growing again the following spring.

How to propagate Carrot


For the best results direct sow seeds where you would like them to grow as they do not like their roots disturbed. Seeds can be sown every three weeks from the first frost until until ten weeks before the last frost for a continuous supply. Sow seeds singularly 1 cm deep, spaced 5cm apart. Make the rows 30 cm apart. To help prevent a hard crust from forming and preventing the seedlings from emerging, cover with a fine compost or a layer of vermiculite. Germination should occur in 10 to 20 days, but have been known to take longer.

Special features of Carrot

Crop rotation

Do not plant root crops on the same soil to prevent soil diseases. Rotate with other crops.

Pot plant

Can be grown in large containers, provided they are over 30cm deep.

Other uses of Carrot



The taproot is edible fresh, cooked or preserved.


High vitamin A value! The beta-carotene helps good eye-sight.

Edibles to Sow Outdoors in July

Successional sowings of these quick growing and cropping plants will fill spaces and ensure a prolonged harvest.

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Edibles to Sow Outdoors in March

If the soil is warm enough, get an early start on the growing year by direct sowing these into prepared beds.

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